Rejected

You break a heart
when you refuse to touch it;
you’re guilty of the love-crime
when you refuse to commit.

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Narcissus and Echo

Do you know the legend of Narcissus and Echo? If you don’t, and even if you do :), see the video below. The video is not mine; credits to the unknown owner.
narcissus

“Narcissus and Echo” by J. W. Waterhouse

No Clay for You Anymore

Peju Alatise

Peju Alatise’s Art

I put my heart and soul into
molding a clay pot for you.
You didn’t ask or beg me to,
but for some reason, at that time,
it was the thing that I cared most about.

In the course of molding and shaping,
I asked if you would let me drink
from it when I was done,
from you,
if I ever got thirsty.

Looking back, I’m not sure if I had asked for too much,
or I had said something terribly wrong,
because the resounding “no!” that I heard
cut me deep in the soul.

At that time, I would have become water for you
whenever you were thirsty,
if you wanted me to.
I would have fed you milk from my breasts
and honey from between my thighs if you wanted,
and maybe that was too much.
Maybe too much was asking for me instead,
so he could cut me in the throat.

On my 21st birthday,
you told me to break the clay pot,
and when I was done with breaking it,
you stepped on it.

Testamendo-de-divorciado.jpg

I cried and begged and said
I could start all over again,
and I was sorry,
and I wasn’t one to use clay pots,
and I didn’t really want to drink with yours,
and I loved and fantasized about plastic plates instead,
and my question was hypothetical,
but you didn’t want to hear it.

I got so vulnerable around you,
and I always wanted to tell you everything,
and maybe I shouldn’t have been like that, you know,
maybe I should have kept some things to myself.

Ten days of depression.
Ten weeks of uncontrollable tears.
In ten weeks, I gained so much weight.
In the next ten weeks, I lost so much,
so much weight,
so much happiness,
so much zeal,
so much reason to live,
so much you.

Before the spirits took me away,
I looked for you
and waited for you
and cried for you but
I didn’t see you.

Where were you?

It’s the tenth month, and you’re back,
not for me,
not for the pot,
but for the clay.

You’re going to pretend like you didn’t squish the clay?
Like it’s a sweet new day today?
Like you didn’t send me away,
and nothing happened yesterday?

The karmic tie is broken
and I’m done.
Stay in your lane
and I’ll stay in mine.

I wanted to squish you
the way you did me.
My goodness,
I was a sensitive thing.
It’s not worth it anymore,
those days have passed,
and I’m glad that I, at least,
got to kick you at last.

 

Your Best Feature

Red Scar Peju Alatise

“Red Scar” by Peju Alatise

You become your best as a creature,
and as a creator,
when you realize that your scar
is your most-attractive feature.

The World’s Only Problem

Today, I proposed the theory that having a wrong sense of entitlement is the main and only problem in the world, and that all the things we refer to as problems are mere consequences of that one problem. If there is a second problem, it would the world’s ignorance on what the main and only problem is.

Having a sense of entitlement is good, but the line between a wrong sense of entitlement and a right sense of entitlement is quite thin. If the wrong sense of entitlement was not present, the slavery of the Africans (and other instances of oppression and violence) would not have occurred. If there was no right sense of entitlement (thank you, the King of Love- Martin Luther King- and everyone who was by his side), oppression would not have been largely fought against in America.

I focused on Nigeria in my proposal, and gave day-to-day instances of situations where people have a wrong sense of entitlement, and how it all leads to a huge mess.

Afrofuturism
I proposed the reorientation solution, but I did not go into full details on methods for effective reorientation, and how it could be organized. I recognize that substantial positive results would take a while.
However, I mentioned the bottom-up approach.

Beginning from the children, we could cultivate the spirit of volunteerism and selflessness in people. Greed is a consequence of a wrong sense of entitlement; it like maggots from a decomposing body.

As an afrofuturist, I recognize that technology would go a long way to shape our future, and its up to us, Nigerians, Africans, humans, to hold the scepter and decide what the future would be. I don’t know how it would all work, but it will. We can make it happen.

READ IT HERE.

Nigeria’s Only Problem

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“Old Oshodi in Lagos” (600×600)  by Ayeola Ayodeji 

What is Nigeria’s Problem?

When you invite a Nigerian to describe what the country’s problem is, get ready to die of boredom, because they’ll go on for too long, in an attempt to describe things that aren’t close to being problems. “Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and greedy officials, bad power supply, bad this and bad that, ba—” It’s okay, my brother. Let’s breathe.

Most of us Nigerians don’t even know what Nigeria’s problem is, and that itself is a problem.

Bad roads, bad classrooms, corrupt governments and officials, bad power supply, and whatnot, are not problems. There are bad roads in Northern Canada, and poorly-built houses and classrooms in Flint, Michigan, and bad power supply in Cameroon, and corrupt governments and officials in Russia, Israel and North Korea. Well, they are everywhere, even in the United States- the “most democratic” of them all. The secret handshake deals that take place between and among public and private interests would take more than a fortnight to analyze.

Procession-Tunde-Famous

“Procession” (20 x 16 x 2 inches) by Tunde Afolayan Famous

Bad facilities and all that are mere consequences of Nigeria’s only problem, or second problem, the first being the one aforementioned- Nigeria doesn’t know what its problem is, and that’s a problem.

Nigeria’s only problem is that we Nigerians have a wrong sense of entitlement, and we can be quite aggressive and close-minded, even to change and development. It is not that we sometimes do not set our priorities right, or something else that you probably anticipated, if you did.

By a “wrong sense of entitlement”, what do I mean?

From the mechanic that is willing to beat you up or yell “ashewooooo!” [prostitute!] at you if you refuse to give him your number, to the policemen and soldiers who expect you to treat them like demigods when your paths cross, and offer your sacrifices in naira notes when applicable, to the local and state government officials who find it okay to steal from the people (after all they’re in charge) instead of getting things done with the resources available, to the pastor who deems huge offerings his right, regardless of the means of survival of the donors, because he is God’s mouthpiece, to Alhaji, who doesn’t really care if his car is packed in your driveway or the sound from his speakers is giving you a migraine- you must be Beelzebub’s girlfriend for not liking noise pollution- to Mummy ‘Dekola who deems your business her business and will die of high blood pressure if you don’t kneel before her properly, to our street men and roadside NURTW tax collectors who do not mind breaking windows and removing doors if they do not get a chance to extort drivers, even when the union dues have already been paid, to the drivers who think it’s okay not to pay their union dues, to Yahoo boys and men who think its okay, and even necessary, to make someone else wallow in depression, for their own survival and well-being- the interesting thing is, the rich almost never fall into their traps; it’s people like their own mothers or other members of the working class who do, to everything and anything else you can think of.

Whew! Yes, it really is that stressful- all of it.

Fulani-ladies-painting-by-ayeola-ayodeji-awizzy

“Fulani Ladies” by Ayeola Ayodeji 

Inadequate infrastructure and corruption and whatnot all stem from the root- the devil itself- having a wrong sense of entitlement. The bloody Nigerian Assembly is a mess for the same reason. Climbing fences. Throwing chairs. A mess.

The interesting this is, a wrong sense of entitlement might develop in someone because someone else has it: “You think it’s your right to block my driveway with your car, and I will show you that I have a right to break your glass.” What does it all result in? A mess.

Unfortunately, a wrong sense of entitlement and the “me first” approach to things is not just a Nigerian problem. It’s the problem of the world. However, in places where it is less dominant in the culture of the society, there have been lots of infrastructural, economic and social success. They are the “better” societies.

Let everyone, that would include me, and you, stop thinking they own or deserve to own the things, or the extra things, that they haven’t worked for and/or simply don’t deserve, and watch the nation, and the world, heal and grow.

It’s okay if my wife doesn’t want to cook today. As the “head of the house”, if the title matters so much to my ego and self-esteem, I should be able to fix something for myself and my family. I am not automatically superior to anyone because I belong to a certain ethnic group. When I use words like “aboki” and “mola” [mallam] or “omo nna” in derogatory ways, I must know that I am wrong. It’s okay if I don’t win someone’s soul to Christ or to Allah; why am I so obsessed with winning it, like a trophy? It’s okay if I don’t get your number; you don’t need to be insulted or disgraced for it. The money in the public purse is not mine, and I don’t deserve more than what my allocated salaries and benefits are.

A reorientation is needed, and I am fully aware that a reorientation is easier said that done, but we can try, at least. We can start from the elementary schools. There should be subjects/courses like Ethics, for instance. I don’t know how algebra has contributed to my existence, in the way that I interact with the world. The schools barely prepare us for the real world; I’ll discuss this some other time.

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These are some of the things that should be considered:

The spirit of volunteerism has to be encouraged among Nigerians, and in the world, to begin with. Also, I don’t know what has happened us-  sympathy and mutual respect melt in online communities and spaces. The wrong sense of entitlement gets worse when you give people Internet privileges.

1. Throw your thrash away properly. It’s not your street, you only live there.

2. Driving is a privilege, not a right. A little patience could save your own life.

3. I don’t deserve every woman and everything because I have a penis. My masculinity is not an egg; it shouldn’t be so fragile.

I’ll leave 4 and 5 and 200 to you to come up with.

Let me know what you think. 

Floor-Her and Flaw-Her [Flora My Flawa]

I was listening to Davido’s Flora My Flawa, and I heard the line that messed me up for about five good minutes. At first, I was listening to Adekunle Gold’s Ire. My autoplay was on, and when Ire was done, several videos were automatically played till it got to Flora My Flawa. What in the world does “if nothing lasts forever o, me and you go be nothing forever o” mean?

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

The mind game in that sentence is intense. The first part of that sentence has been strategically placed to distract the listener.

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It means:
i. You and I will be nothing, and we will be nothing forever, since “nothing lasts forever”.

However, a person who might be more trusting of sweet words- a person who can be easily cajoled- would think it means:
ii. You and I will last forever; we will be like “nothing”, since “nothing lasts forever”.

It’s crazy how that sentence could mean two or more things at once. I could expand on what a third meaning would be, but I’d rather not. Mercury is in retrograde, and since Mercury is dominant in my chart- it’s the ruler, trying hard to make myself over-analyze anything at this time could drive me crazy. At least, Uranus is not in retrograde. Phew!

“If nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever.”

It’s one of those “make whatever you wish of it” sentences. It’s quite interesting.

On a lighter note, look at the poster for the song below.

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That cupid looks like its up to no good; like he’s about to ruin someone’s life. He looks like mischief itself to me. See how red the tongue is too; Oluwa, saanu fun wa. It’s probably so red as a result of sucking life and happiness out of innocent ladies.

Also, is that a stud earring? Chai. May the forces keep us safe from the deceptions of the Yoruba demons that continue to break hearts, ruin souls and waste lives.

Ki oju ma ribi, gbogbo ara logun re; stay cautious and alert in your dealings with sweet-tongued men, especially Yoruba demons. Whenever you are being toasted [wooed], listen to each word attentively. Don’t let them make you giggle your wisdom, knowledge and understanding away. Don’t let them cunningly collect your Saturday from you and give you Sunday in exchange. Ire o.

Saying “you and I will be something forever” would have made me less uneasy about the song, by the way.  No, I’m I’m kidding. It’s a nice song, and my criticism is just banter. I’ll dance to it again for sure. Whenever it gets to the “if nothing lasts forever, you and I will be nothing forever” line, I’ll just pretend like it doesn’t bother me, even if I begin to shake visibly as a result of my skepticism.

“Moonlight” Review

“In moonlight, black boys look blue.”

The intersectional aspect of the movie is amazing. It’s one of the very few movies I’ll never get tired of. It’s not like Black Panther or other movies that are based on illusions. It’s not a movie that lets you escape into some kind of fantasy. It’s real, and it addresses several sterotypes on gender, race, sexuality and masculinity in America, as well as the performance of societal expectations.

A lot of people relate homosexuality to femininity. “You like other men, and since only women should like men, you must be feminine. You are somehow weaker than the regular man.” This is why straight men are “suspected” [as if they have committed some sort of crime] to be gay (and “weaker”) when they display behaviours or attitudes that the society regard as “feminine”, since there is a subconscious “weaker” element associated with femininity.

Moonlight

This is why many gay men would become obsessed with being fit or ripped, and appearing as masculine and “hard” as they can [like the older Chiron in Moonlight] after they come out, to not be regarded or treated as weak. Some may do the exact opposite, and start to “act” femininity, to show that they are gay, because the society thinks it means “feminine”.

Their is a societal solid line between the masculinity and the femininity of people and things, and “we” unfortunately assume one to be weaker than the other. The society doesn’t like it when the waters of one flow into the other, although the solid line is a total illusion. I find it interesting.

It’s the same for the women, and so you see lesbian women trying (hard) to perform “masculinity” and act “aggression” in order to be taken seriously. Being transgender is very different from being gay. There’s a lot to be said about the popular culture of it all.

🎬: “Moonlight” [It’s still on Netflix]. Directed by Barry Jenkins.

Don’t Forget My Children

Little children who can’t pronounce war yet;
children who shouldn’t know what it is.
Running, their bodies plagued with beads of sweat,
with kwashiorkor and tuberculosis.

“Uncle, where is mama? Where is papa?”
Parents’ bodies are lifeless on the farms.
“Mama, why did you leave me here with master?”
Babies are starving, dying in their own arms.

Don’t try to make me shut my mouth
when I get possessed by pain and cry.
  
But if we return to the past, we’re going south.
Can brothers forgive other brothers if they try?

Take flowers to the sea for my children,
who could’ve been all they wanted to be.
At least, admit it was not okay for grown men
to snatch my children away from me.

hunger

Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970)

Cry Me a River

Cry me a river; 
just don’t let it touch my seat.
I know your tear tastes sour,
although you tell me it is sweet.

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river,
or you could make it two.
I’d love to swim and play in it
and be free for once from you.

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river, now;
you need not speak to me.
Sweet, dangerous psychopath,
must I be you to be?

Cry me a river,
cry me a river,
I’ve cried a river over you.

Cry me a river;
let’s drown our selves in it.
You beat me till I bled, you fool,
you crossed your heart you’d quit!

Cry me a river,
cry forever and ever,
I want to feel bigger
and better like you.


💜 “I beat you because I love you so much and when you hurt me or I think you’re about to, I find it hard to control myself” and other shits.
Don’t stay for the children or the anything. Run away (with your children). Throw the whole relationship away.