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Articles Daily Prompt Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria Rant

#MyLagos – A pot-pourri of their lifestyle.


Early one morning on my way to work, we passed by a healthy black goat (she looked pregnant, that’s how I knew it was a ‘she’ 😌), who fled from our path as a car approached and I mused to myself, that even the goat was wise and loved her life better than whatever it is she was attempting to pick up from the road.

So, how come, when you are walking or speeding down the road, grown-up men stand casually and intentionally in your path, expecting you, the car, bike or *Keke to manoeuvre around them rather than them stepping off harm’s path. You get to hear things like, nah “Omo ni le” meaning “the child of the landowner”. The last time I checked a vehicle with failed brakes or one driven by a drunk doesn’t recognise titles or anything in it’s path that won’t step aside.

#MyLagos people not only stand in the way to assert ownership, the *louts, do worse. For that driver trying to make ends meet, who probably ran away from school because he didn’t understand the signs and symbols or whose parents couldn’t afford to pay his basic fees, he found himself a new ‘teacher’ complete with marker on the road, to score the number of times he has settled his logistics bill. It’s amazing how they (the taskmasters) recall if you had paid the morning, afternoon or evening’s charge or you had a balance to complete.

The really funny one is that every day the marker or sign for the day is different.
Did it end there? For where?!
After the driver has survived the ‘usual’ suspects, the next day he meets a new group who are collecting money for their own branch and guess who suffers this “teacher’s” fees? The passengers, of course!

You asked what they do with the money? If only I knew, but it has been said that the owners wait patiently to receive as donated.
Suffice to say that the teachers are global, by this I mean, they come from neighbouring towns and states. I know we have a lot of Ibadan and Abeokuta “teachers”. I’m wondering if they don’t have vehicles in their vicinity to obtain. It is surprising what the “teacher” uses his own ‘salary’ to do at the beginning and end of the day – drink sachet gin, eat small rice or beans with plenty huge pomo (cow-hide) and beef and more sachet gin and water in between.

Permit me at this point to say that if you are loud enough and have the coarsest of voice! You will make a good teacher and your marker makes you ready for work. Did I mention the flip-side of not submitting your windscreen for the marks and your money for the course manual? You either lose your fuel tank cover, the rubber that protects your window or door, your wiper (if you have one) or your side mirror if it is convertible. Talk about convertible side-mirrors 😂 others lose their Keke foot mat.

For what it is worth, Lagos has a mix that I love sometimes. How about you?

Glossary
*Tricycle or Auto rickshaw
*Lout – an uncouth and aggressive man or boy.

@imanikel 121121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Articles Daily Prompt Freedom Fridays Life My Lagos Nigeria Rant

#MyLagos: Action People 😳


My buddy, Dee seems to think I should continue writing about My Lagos till I end the series. But can you ever really run out of drama in Lagos?! The City thrives on the noise and the excess drama and when I say “excess”, I mean excess. Their parties are loud, music loud 🙉, meat inside the food loud…sorry BIG😂, the bikes don’t have side mirrors but some definitely have boomboxes blasting away, their greeting, loud…across your afro or wig! 😅 Their fight? Legendary! Hmmm

Speaking of which, on my way to work yesterday as I attempted crossing over to the other side of the road to catch a vehicle, I heard someone walking really fast behind, as if to catch up with me and sounded very angry as he was talking. I quickly turned, so I’ll know if to step out of the way or something. Thank God I did – phew 😅 because from the corner of my eyes, I say his hands fling past my hairline literally, as he described whatever to the other listening party in the phone! So, here am I feeling like a bulldozer was behind, meanwhile someone was just having a descriptive conversation with another and his hands spoke more than his speech.

Another thing about My Lagos is their ‘Eye-witness’ nature. To get home from my estate gate, you either drive, walk down or take a bike. I was on a bike in and I saw someone running away. He had good reasons to, because the next fellow was shirtless, but clothed himself with “you go hear am today” and had a big stick in his hand, chasing after him. Of course, the street and the house they came out of, had enough spectators to form a *wakapass crowd for a movie. Who knows, maybe they were playing a movie role. But I didn’t allow my bikeman to wait and watch, which would have been natural for him because the fear I noticed in the first man’s strides and face were real. It is better to be safe than sorry.

“Na which person *gra-gra loud pass, nah him dey win argument”. That’s what they are trying to turn me into, but God pass dem. Last night, I had to walk a distance towards the bridge before getting to another bus-stop. An unknown ‘pally’ who doesn’t live in my side of Lagos walked with me, as I tried helping him with directions to where he was headed last night. From the corners, some boys came out and tried surrounding him to get money ‘for the boys’ and he told them he didn’t have any.
So this is the new pattern now, not only do they harass bikemen and buses, they harass pedestrians too – mostly guys. So, I continued our conversation and told him to keep moving (stopping is an error he would have regretted). The first lad left apparently because he saw me and the genuineness my unknown pally spoke.

Were we in the clear? For where?! A taller bully showed up and demanded for money, I told him there was none and he said to me, “you dey like person wey dey give person money?” I told him if the first person who had asked initially came back, I’d give him money. But no money for this bully. He was upset and talked about how I would cry if my bag was snatched, I offered him the bag, but he kept saying “you get money?” All the while looking around. I wonder if he was checking to know the source of my boldness or an escape route should he snatch his grand-mother’s bag 😉

Glossary:
*wakapass – extras
*gra-gra – uncoordinated opinion

@imanikel 051121 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Project Laughter Relationships

She left Jesus behind… 😌


Oh she did!
Simply ran out and left Jesus! He was meant to go with her, ‘kill’ her fear, be the Light in the darkness she was walking into, hold her hand through the journey, but when they got to her destination, she left Him and RAN!

My baby girl, Arielle came visiting and during her stay, PHCN (our power distribution company) did their thing. Actually, they have been behaving these days, they ration it and we have decoded their timetable and are okay with it. Meaning, at a certain time in the night we will have power till morning. I’m cool with that because they have been consistent…but if it moves to another level of power throughout, as long as you have paid, then God be praised! 💃

So Arielle came visiting and the house was dark. I didn’t want to bother with the generator as I knew power would come at a certain time and besides, I was ok. But she felt, she needed to fan me. Even when there’s power, she loves playing with the hand-fan and I let her enjoy her moments. Minutes before, we had been in the children’s room with my cousin and she grabbed the hand-fan from the dark sitting room, ran back to the bedroom and began fanning me. As we migrated to the sitting room, she forgot the hand-fan there.

Did I mention that Arielle is a very busy 4-year old, the can’t-be-held-down-by-anything-very-bright-and-active one? Oh yes, she is!
On realizing that she left the hand-fan in the room and she needed to be busy, she went to my cousin, “Aunty Queen, please can I have your phone, I need the light.”
“No, Arielle, I’m using my phone.”
“Aunty a-baby (that’s me by the way), please can I have your phone?”
“Why?”
“I want to bring the fan from the room and fan you.”
I pretended to ponder upon her request and then said, “you’ll have to get the fan without my phone”
“But it’s dark!”
“You can see with the light from my iPad or better still, don’t worry about the fan, I’m ok.”
“But I want to fan you!”
“Then, you’ll have to go with Jesus!” having said that I continued watching my series on Netflix, whilst watching her from the corners to see what she’d do. Knowing that Arielle won’t give up till she’s gotten the hand-fan.

She snuck into the room, felt the bed and grab the fan from where she left it, ran out and screamed triumphantly, “I got the fan (showing it to me with pride and an accomplished smile)!”
“Good job, Arielle, I’m proud of you! And where is Jesus?” I queried.
“I left Jesus in the room!”
“You what?!” Trying to suppress my laughter and act surprised.
“I left Jesus in the room,” she repeated. At this point, Queen burst out laughing.
Maintaining my seriousness, I continued, “Arielle, how could you leave Someone I asked to lead you into the room and run out, please go back and bring Jesus.”

She walked to the doorpost, put her head into the semi-dark room and shouted, “Jesus, come out o!” and ran back to the sitting room. We couldn’t stop that laugh in a hurry.

On a serious note, many of us have gone into stuff with Jesus as our Driver, but when it comes to negotiating, strategizing, we think to ourselves, Jesus doesn’t understand the times we are in, after all He’s not a Millennial or computer literate, He doesn’t have a twitter account. But let me stop here to acknowledge the One that hasn’t stop trending, the One without whom there is no net! You are the partner, drawing on Him for inspiration, so don’t you ever forget that!

Little Arielle left Jesus in the room, because she knew He could take care of Himself and her and the rest of us in the house. But just to be her caring self, she beckoned on Him to join us in the living room.

Where have you left Him?
I heard you, “He is in me.”
When last did you allow Him have a say in anything you did?
“I think He’s been part of it all along.”
*Arielle, at least knew where and when she left Him. She even recognized that she left Him…. Some of us behave like Samson and ‘wist not that the LORD has departed’ and we continue flexing

I’m done with the questions, I’ll let you ponder on the answers and if you’d like to share, I’d be listening. For now, I’m off to check on Arielle and her adventures.

@imanikel 260721 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

*Thank you for the addition, CN 😊

Categories
Life Nigeria Rant

#HappySunday!


I know those that know will begin to laugh at the title. It happened like two or so weeks ago, I opted to let it pass, but then it happened again! So, here I am calling out all the #HappySunday peeps. Where are you at?!

“What happened?” you ask.

I was on my way to church on that Sunday and around my estate gate was a gathering of men (middle-aged, young and a slightly older man), the older man greeted me with “Happy Sunday!” and I responded, “Good morning Sir” and continued and whilst thinking about it, I wondered aloud and it occurred to me that I usually hear Policemen say that, I smiled and forgot about it.

On my way home, one of my neighbourhood friends stopped the Bike he was on, just to greet me as I waited to buy something at the supermarket. I hailed him back and the next thing he said was, “Happy Sunday” and waited. I wondered why he was waiting and the person with me said he was waiting to get something from me because it’s Sunday! Now, I’m shocked, as to why a greeting should be interpreted to mean, “It’s time to settle me, Sunday has come”…hmmm! 😳

I ignored all the “Happy Sunday” greeters and went home in that hot sun to relax and eat a good lunch.

Dear reader, I’m up for giving to anyone on any day of the week. But whilst, they have chosen a particular day and given it honour, an honour that gives it special recognition as tax-collection day, I have chosen the whole 7 days of the week, including their Sunday to collect my ‘tax’. So when next I meet you and greet you ‘Happy Wednesday’, you know what time it is, please, don’t make me repeat myself. Just simply do the needful and we will have peace in Salem 😌.

Oh, I forgot to ask, I hope your day is going on well and before you answer that, Happy Tuesday and you know what that means…I’m expecting different kinds of alert! 💃Anamashobiri! 😋

@imanikel 160321 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung

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Tanka Tuesday

Time to Laughter


Time has its’ many sides. But Colleen is having us share this time with Laughter and rightly so, as Eccl 3 puts it, A time to Laugh…

tankatuesday_time-laughter

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Tuesday Thoughts

#TuesdayThoughts – Laughter


Tuesday Thoughts_210616

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Thankful Thursday

#ThankfulThursday – Humour


I hear things like “you are very mischievous or why are you so mischievous?” and I smile because I know I am or can be. I don’t know if there is a negative or positive mischief, if there’s none – then I’ve invented one. I love it that I find humour in that which was intended to upset me … sometimes. Actually King is good at this. Do I get upset? Yes, sometimes, but of course I know it’s a joke.

I enjoy watching people’s reaction when I do or say what I do or say. I enjoy the ‘innocence’ with which I try to keep a straight face, as opposed to the shock on your face. Can I do comedy in front of people…No! I just draw it up, share with King and we laugh our hearts out.

Today, I’ve had series of fun and I feel so alive. Yes, they say the “Economy is biting hard”, I don’t know if Economy’s teeth is complete, don’t worry, I won’t open its’ mouth to check or count the teeth. But I’m suggesting to the Economy, instead of biting, why don’t you try smiling? And that’s my 2 cents! Adios.

Thankful Thursday_260516

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Challenge Project Laughter

Time up, Pastor!


For this week’s challenge on #WQWWC, Ronovan chose Laughter. Here’s my take on it

In Nigeria and I believe everyother place, the festive period is a time for connecting, celebrations and of course eating!!! You need to check out our Christmas holidays. I wrote about my experience some time back.

Growing up in a Christian setting, it was the norm for little Blossom’s (Duch B) family to be in church for thanksgiving every December. This December was no exception and they were in the village! The Anglican Pastor (probably from excitement of seeing so many people at this period) preached a very loooong sermon. Blossom (5years+), who had gotten tired of listening, left her mother’s side (unbeknownst to her), walked boldly down the aisle to the altar with arms akimbo and in a loud voice, told the Pastor that he was talking too much! 🙂Enough_150416

Her mum was so embarrassed that she couldn’t even get up to pick her, as they were seated at the back and the aisle (you bet) was a long way off. A long walk to freedom you’d say!

writers quote wednesday writing challenge

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Articles Project Laughter

From Ife with Love


Serious Business

It was a short break from school in Lagos, Imani and King Earl went to Ife for the break. Their cousins usually have lessons at a certain time during the day and on this day, King Earl was seriously playing with his younger cousin Eno-itoro, when the lesson teacher came. Imani and King Earl were invited to join and trust KE to have an answer for the lady.

“I didn’t come here for that, I came here for serious business!” he stated matter-of-factly, as he walked away from them and went to continue playing with Eno-itoro.

The lady was shocked beyond words and the laughter followed after KE’s departure.

The serious business is ‘playing’ because he had spent months learning and had just finished exams, now the lady was asking him to resume school during holidays. No way!

Siesta Time

Visiting with Aunty Rhoda means obeying the house rules and that includes daily siesta. King Earl had an issue with it when he was told to observe it.

“I have told you guys, I came here for serious business. You sleep in the night and wake up in the morning, now you want me to sleep in the afternoon” he protested.

But he still had to observe siesta and of course. He was the last to sleep and the first to wake up!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

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Articles Project Laughter

Of Tablets & Heartbreak


We travelled over the Christmas for the holiday and during this period, every discussion we had with King-Earl was laced with hidden references to his desire for Tablets. You see his cousins have tablets and King-Earl has been expecting one for him and another for his sister.

According him during a visit to his Aunty in Uyo:

Aunty Hope:   Earl, so you are going back to Lagos?
King-Earl:      Yes, Lagos where our Tablet is! Mine is going to be Navy Blue and Imani’s own will be Navy Pink. (all these responses whilsts reclining on her chair with his legs up and head down)

Another day…

King-Earl:     Daddy…
King:               Yes dude
King-Earl:      I’m giving you one week to buy our Tablets.

After a few days, which wasn’t up to one week yet.

King-Earl:      I’m giving you till tomorrow to take us back to Lagos where our Tablet is and buy it.

*As we speak, the Tablet matter has died down (at least for now). I guess something else has distracted him.

•••

Last night, we shared a bottle of wine between the four of us and King-Earl insisted that his be put in an empty Pepsi bottle. After which he moved close to Imani and did ‘cheers’. We all did it and gave toast. Shortly after that, King-Earl said “I wish my wine turned in Pepsi.”

I told him to pour his Wine into my wine glass and it will become Pepsi. Imani cautioned him against it, while the King laughed at my wayo. King-Earl moved calmly to me, stood by my side and said “I don’t want to break mummy’s heart. I’m only meant to fix it!”

That ended the wine-into-Pepsi saga.

*Wayo means Trickery

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.