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Switching Faces

fe9b1705.jpgLike a multi SIM Chinese phone, like the padlock that takes all keys, like the internet that shows different things to different people. What you ask for is what you get? I’m a container that takes the shape of water.

“So easy to impress and so difficult to please”, that would make describing me in one line very simple: Brilliant, dull, handsome in its entirety but the mirror says otherwise. I relish complexity and I love a life full of intrigue, it makes my hair stand and my blood rush. Yet, in a moment of external fragility, I could crumble like a pack of cards; I could stay in a place and be named ‘boredom’. I’m as human as you can possibly be and I’m not a riddle, I live out the Jekyll-Hyde theorem like I was their creator and I was being paid. Double personality doesn’t cut it for me; it’s simply not enough to mask what the face inside is saying.


My boss thinks I’m the biggest of workaholics, he sees me when he comes in till when he goes out. He thinks I’m married to my work and the only way to compensate my commitment is frequent raises and promotions. And we both share the same love for Ludwig van Beethoven. His secretary thinks otherwise. She is a young girl so I don’t expect much understanding from her; she hasn’t disappointed me. She thinks I’m a weasel; that I put down my clownish disposition as soon as the boss is around. Besides, she thinks I describe the word ‘irresponsible’; because she is one of the girls riding my pony in the office. But then, the boss’ wife thinks the same thing. That’s a whole book in itself.


“To the greatest Dad in the world” is the line inscribed on the card I received from my daughter on my last birthday (the card is priceless, just like her when she was born). I wake her up gently in the morning and sing her to sleep at night with a sweet-sounding lullaby. My girl thinks I spend every spare time I get at work with the family and that family comes first. To her, it’s unimaginable that a man with my kind of work schedule will have an affair, I never miss a family appointment. She thinks I balance work and play quite well; I appear rich to all but my bank knows otherwise. She wants to be like me when she grows up. Rita thinks the same too. By the way, Rita is my wife.


I simply can’t describe Rita, but you haven’t seen anything like her. Just picture cupid’s favorite daughter. Exactly: But only better. It wasn’t love at first sight, but as it turned out eventually, it was love. She thinks I’m the most devoted husband, never miss dinner nor any family outing. I never fail to show her lots of love and affection and I make love to her like it’s going to go out of fashion; like we will be the last to have sex before the world burns. She thinks she has the lock to my chastity belt, because she thinks I’m the most trustworthy working-class husband ever. And the best father her daughter can ever have. She totally adores me and admires my addiction to Jill Scott’s music.


When the spirit comes down and my hands go up, my pastor is never surprised. To him, I’m the perfect brethren, loving husband, devoted father and one of the regular church members. I’m involved in everything the church is involved in. He meets my car in church first thing on Sunday morning and leaves me there. I live a humble life and I often seem like I’m at the bottom of the food chain with my toilet-slippers humility. Besides, I do counseling for youths: Elders in my church advice upcoming folks to follow my steps and walk in my big shoes. The pastor’s family spend their vacation in my country home where bible verses are inscribed all over my house and car. And I’m Don Moen through and through. Talking of holies of holies.


My driver thinks I’m a cold-hearted bastard, as he watches me switch tones and attitudes in the car. Besides, he hates my obsession with dirty rap. And everyone on my street thinks I’m an easy-going person. How I wish they knew. To the booze seller around the corner, it’s a whole new story. And her sister? Sigh!


My whole ‘chameleonic’ life has flashed by in one uneventful second, but in the quietness of it all, I begin to understand that I’ve lived a Banner-Hulk kind of life for as long as I know, being different things to different people and they still don’t see. Imminent failure is not exactly set on stone but the bloody writing is all over the flippin’ wall. Am I scared of being one person? Wouldn’t everyone’s life be so easy if they just satisfy everyone the way they want? Do I have to be me every time? Even if I want to be myself, I have no idea who that is.



The Thought

He entertained the thought; he felt that was his only offence.

Blows of cold air from the air conditioner hit him over and over again on his bare sweaty chest, sending chills through his body as the sweat trickled down to his round belly. He’s been fed to stupor by his wife, as evidently shown by his cylinder shaped belly. He clutched his head in his trembling hands with groans and moans from deep inside, wishing it was just a dream, wishing he’d never been there, wishing he had the balls to have never been there.

A bit of a workaholic, a bit of a snub, David relished the challenges that came with being a young successful consultant in one of the Big 4 financial institutions. He gets his dopamine released by overtime working and his unwavering ambition to rise to the position of a managing partner was his driving force. He wasn’t the type that relished the company of women, he married out of compulsion. And despite having a beautiful wife, still finds the allure of work to be more pleasing than the bosom of his wife; his sole importance was attached to his career ascension. At a point, the visage of his office excites him than the curves of his wife, and she was spoilt for curves; she was a trophy wife, a beauty he won with money like a memento on the wall. He didn’t mind, didn’t care, his mother wanted him married and he did just that so she’ll stop nagging him.

With a smile it started, with sweetened cups of tea it continued, and ultimately convoluted with the skirts getting visibly shorter and disturbingly tighter. He waved it off as an unnecessary distraction; he kept waving it off but his mind was being fed; one spoonful of detail at a time. The new receptionist would sashay her way across the hall, and from his desk he could see through the glass as her bulbous behind rolled in symphonous turns and he felt a literal thirst drying up his throat. “When did this one come? Who is this new girl and why is she walking that way” he thought to himself, as she was always only serving him his tea. Then he entertained a thought, he pictured her holding his glass desk with her slim long hands while he washed the window panes like he had never done before. He shook it off, “I don’t have time for distractions”. But she never failed to greet him with a smile; never.

On a Wednesday evening, he checked his time, saw it was 5:07PM and decided to work a little bit more when he heard a tap on is door.

“Are you going towards Maryland sir” Stella asked in a brisk wasp like voice, peeping with the door half open: Her cleavage peeping with her.

“No, I still have some documents to work on with the new project” was what he should have said.

“Oh yeah, you’re going towards there? I’m ready now” was what he said

He grabbed his car keys and walked a bit fast to his car, opened the central lock; then the devil stepped in: Stella too.

Every single move was sultry and seductive, from her pulling up her skirt to reveal the cleanest thick thighs he’d ever seen, to pulling the seat belt as the anchor slid slowly down her fair skin chest, splitting them into two as they struggle-lessly peeked out of her red camisole. His head was blocked, his mind was blanked, his blood pumped faster than it should; it flowed downstream.

David didn’t check the traffic condition of the road before hitting the road towards Maryland, a place he had no business in. There was a heavy traffic lockdown on his way and he was weary of it already, but Stella looked unconcerned like she was right at home; all of her extremities benefiting from his well-functioning AC. Next, a thought popped up in his head and he blurted it out “Why don’t we go get a drink at Newcastle and move on when the traffic goes down”

A dozen missed calls later, half from his boss, half from his mum, none from his wife, David woke up on a large white bed, evidently a hotel room and was trying to fill his mind with what could have happened.  Then he got an email, he opened it and saw pictures of the sex he had with Stella. He had no idea someone was taking pictures, his turning and theatrics and herculean showmanship all laid bare. With his mouth unclosable, he looked in shock and terror and saw in the email “Be silent in the face of whatever happens this coming week, and nobody would see these: Kenneth”. Ken was also a consultant, also ambitious, but dangerously unethical. David had suspected him of planning a huge fund fraud that could verge on the company going paraplegic; he planned to blow the whistle. Suddenly, everything made sense, from the sudden appointment of Stella to the timing of the fraud.

He clutched his head in his now sweaty palms as the cold air from the AC hit him on his sweaty chest, filling him with regret, penitence and anguish. He entertained the thought, that wasn’t his only offence; but it led to his undoing.


Why I Don’t Love My Fiance

Michael J. Pittman

In 130 days I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.

I came to two conclusions:
First is, I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the outside. I know. It sounds cheesy, it sounds sappy. This perspective is not a novel idea by any means. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t love you for what’s on the outside. I love you for what’s on the inside.” But that brings me to my second conclusion.

I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the inside either.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things on the inside and outside that I love about

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The Rebellious Life Of A Flying Fish

I wanted to start writing this but, for some reasons I can’t explain, finding my pen eluded me and led me to a frantic ‘needle in a haystack’ search; which would uncover a lot of discoveries. Unnecessary discoveries. I stumbled on things I had no idea were still in my possession; souvenirs of a more decadent and wasteful past, reminders of when I was young and rather foolish like a lot of people still are in this boiling cauldron called life. A lot of dusty items made me realise that the dustbin rightly deserved them more than my wardrobe did. Dustbins live unappreciated and undervalued lives. ‘Searching’ can be a bastard, but the cleanliness after could be priceless: This is a subjective opinion.

How the only pen I had got lost in my little house, or how a grown man can have only one red inked pen in his possession is inexcusable and almost irrational. The fine art of pen location control is a skill I’m yet to posses. Seen at last, between the bed and the wall; joint conspiracy it seems. I would have been forced to borrow from the next door but it might mean owing favours, which I frankly frown at. I like to believe you owe nobody and nobody owes you. I’m quite bullish about that too.

Fishes don’t need to fly. It’s debatable whether they fall from the skies or not; I know they do, but there is a gap between what I know to be true and what is provable. I used to believe goats grow to become cows and with every person that knew my in my early years, I get reminded of a ridiculous statement I made about seeing a cow eating sand. I was like 5 years old and I saw a goat eating on a refuse dump. In hindsight, maybe I was right. I believed a lot of things.

The moon used to follow me as my personal halo back then, as it shined its light on my little head. Now I realise the moon neither followed me nor does it shine any light of its own. Quite a big let-down when my almost inhumane diminutive geography teacher ingloriously revealed that the moon only reflects the awesomeness of the sun. I lost a bit sense of admiration because, like some people, it just feeds off the light of others. But it does enough to get the job done quite frankly.

This is nothing new.

Everyday I look back to the previous day and realise how much I’ve learnt. With every ‘yesterday’ I examine, I realise I was naïve and could have done better; that is the beauty of daily learning. Every year I look back into the previous year and realise all the mistakes a life contained that, given the opportunity, I shouldn’t make again. Every person you meet influence you in a way and magnitude you allow, then you begin to realise just how small an experience could change your view. With every passing minute I learn new things and I unlearn a few old things. The more some things change, the more some remain the same; defiantly some things won’t change, things like my faith in God, my love for football and my sexual orientation.

I’m happy I was born, on the last day of the tenth month in the year of our Lord to an awesome family. Shame all of us can’t be born on the same day, you would’ve understood why I’m so lucky to have that date. Each day I remember things I used to believe and do not believe anymore, or things I now hold in esteem that I never gave a thought before now. The inane pleasures I thought I would never indulge in but now do, the things I plan to do that I cannot even remember. I eat more, sleep less, love more, trust less, seen more, and speak less. A little chaos within, so I can birth a dancing star.

It’s my birthday by the way. And this is my life, hardly what it was before. With each October thirty first that comes I thankfully realise one thing, I have grown. I have changed, my preference in movies, food, drink, clothes and women have changed; subtle at best, dramatic at worst. I now hate some songs I used to like and I now listen to jazz and classical music. I’m neither afraid nor ashamed to be the person that I am today.

Lagos: Menace of Overpopulation

overpopulation in Lagos

Overpopulation in Lagos

Lagos, the centre of excellence with an official population of ten million, is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria as a country. The former national capital is popular and whenever the name Nigeria is mentioned, the state Lagos comes to mind immediately. Outside the glamour and well deserved popularity, the state is the most economically important state of the country and is arguably the largest urban area. The figure of its population is an issue the jury is still out on, but nobody can deny the immense number of people living in Lagos state. Few words may suffice to describe Lagos state, but ‘Densely Populated’ has to be one of them.

The allure of Lagos life and living, which agreeably has all the enchanting fireworks that other states so desperately crave, is so appealing that I can dare say other state dwellers dream of living in the state. But away from the glitz and glamour, when the topic of population is put into perspective it poses a valid argument. Is the population of Lagos state a part of its cure or parts of its disease? Many people have tried to rationalise the immense benefits of having so many people in the state, sighting it to be a pool of human capital, this cannot be compared to how other countries have gainfully used their population to foster development at a faster rate: China comes to mind. Their seemingly unending population drives industrial production and has given them a big factor of production which they had used to their advantage; this is not the case with Lagos. It has become a problem. So we can conveniently say, overpopulation of Lagos state is a menace. And with it comes stinging poverty.

The figure of population in Lagos is a matter of concern, the menace of overpopulation has been haunting ever since the high influx of citizens of other states into Lagos started. The fight for shelter, food and mere existence seem to petrify the people; not only the slum dwelling classes at the maximum but also the middle class and upper classes as well. More than a thousand people reportedly in into Lagos daily with less than one percent of them leaving. The number of issues affecting every individual is humongous; poor quality of drinking water, improper sanitation, aberrant politics, unpredictably frustrating traffic jam and the list goes on.

The national government continues to demonstrate obliviousness of it responsibility towards the citizens. As things stand, the future of the ordinary Nigerian citizen living in his/her own country is bleak, given that the population of the country is expected to double within 30 years if statistics are anything to go by. The situation in Lagos is replicated albeit on a smaller scale, in towns and cities all over the country. People living in other states find it hard to hope that there is anything viable to do over there, and they get glittering report about life in the Lagos metropolis. This attracts them and gets them happy to ditch what they are doing in their cities to come to Lagos in pursuit of a better life; regardless of the ‘downgrading’ work they might get, or with them coming with absolutely no work planned out for them: just coming in to make the numbers. Getting to the state, a lot of them are shaken by the rude awakening, there are no jobs! Even residents of the state do not have jobs, yet wave after wave of Nigerians and neighbouring country’s inhabitants keep flooding into the state, in pursuit of happiness. Had other states developed themselves to a good model, the inhabitants would have no need to come to Lagos. Why leave a town where you have a good work and a great life? With them having none of both where they are, the only logical thing they can do is come over.

To understand the gravity of the issue of overpopulation in this state, u just needs to visit the popular Idumota market on a Tuesday morning. Take position at a vantage point and have a good look at the termite-like movement of the people; make sure your valuables are well kept. There you would observe those that are there to work, those that are there to watch and those that are waiting for an opportunity for chaos to happen and they wreck evil. With all these in mind, we can sectionise the various facets of life within Lagos that suffers from the menace of overpopulation in the state.

Food: Producing food for two as you would for a thousand; the food produced and transported in is not even enough to feed those present, yet a lot of others are coming in. It would be unfair for us to castigate them for pursuing a better life. But the overpopulation is such a problem that food security has now become a struggle. “Too many people consuming too many things too quickly” is the best way to describe the situation, scarcity kicks in and food price climbs a ladder. With the future projection of population even getting increased, how would people feed? The upper class should maybe consume less, and subsidise food for the lower class, but then it’s their prerogative and you can’t force them.

Of the three basic needs of man, the one that ranks second is a nightmare in Lagos. Shelter is an extremely important need and the availability of it is limited in Lagos. Housing is a major problem in the country generally, but the population of Lagos gives a new dimension to the problem. People leave their states to ‘struggle’ in Lagos and a lot of them end up sleeping in buses and under bridges, exposing them to insecurity and the elements. For a typical example, visit the Ilaje area of Bariga in Lagos and be in awe of the volume of people living in these slums. Their fight for survival is hinged on finding a roof over their head and you would be surprised at the number of them that sleep in boats. How can people with such living conditions contribute positively to the development of the state? They simply cannot. And when they cannot solve problems, they become problems: Problems that the central government seem to have turned a blind eye to.

Aside from the devastating economy and the rather poor standard of living, overpopulation is also one smirking culprit in making our environment polluted. Due to the need for more space, drainage and waterways are now being converted into housing projects in various cities. As greater quantity of water is being reduced in the construction of more houses, Man makes living difficult for animals that heavily depend their continued existence on water, thus, creating a reason for more fish species to become extinct. And as Lagos urban areas continue to expand, the water that men drinks and the air that he breathes also continue to become polluted.

Healthcare; health is wealth and the apparent lack of good health shows the lack of wealth. The shocking figure of mortality in the state is totally appalling and looking around the health care facilities, you would be surprised at its inadequacy. Health care facilities are not enough in the state and the population keeps growing arithmetically, making it hard to cater for everybody. The lack of adequate checks and quarantines even mean a lot of diseases are imported along with various people coming in and the pollution rate also makes health care very difficult.

Overpopulation has never failed to smite any country’s economy with unkind effects like scarcity of resources for food production, low gross production and high unemployment rate that consequently leads to equally high crime rate. Listen to the experience of Lagos dweller about the security problems overpopulation causes and you would stare in awe. A lot of people inhabiting Lagos neither have jobs nor anything to keep them busy. They desperately lack food, shelter, proper hygiene and the only thing most of them take on themselves to do is commit crime to make ends meet. This is very rampant as even sellers of consumables turn to rob people inside their cars when there’s traffic on the road. Traffic lock being another unquantifiable problem on its own. With a large amount of docile population, the security risk is sky high in the densely populated state.

In conclusion overpopulation brings food scarcity, scanty housing, improper healthcare, pollution, scary crime rate, the starving margin and the insanctity of human lives, whereas it could have been harnessed for increased production to the benefit of the state. The situation is not all lost as it could be salvaged positively. Security has to be the start; that goes without saying. Then industrialisation is key; bringing in more industries. But then, why bring in more industries and risk population explosion? When industries can comfortably go to other areas in the countries, gainfully employ their citizens and leverage on the resources there to foster development. Other states should look at good paradigms and develop themselves to be made an envy of all states, so that its valuable population would come back home and develop it. Some credit to the government of Akwa Ibom state, a lot of their people have gone back ‘home’ because of the many feats of the government at making the life of the people easier. Develop other states and Lagos would decongest and population would become a cure.

Thus, overpopulation is one of Lagos’ biggest challenges. Let’s shorten the queues.

Alive to be happy

If you live where I live, you would be able to identify with the words in my head. You probably know how it feels; every day the same, a repetitive cycle of redundancies. Some hate their life, some hate their job and some even hate the government; albeit that being permissible. But it is dangerous to drift through life without a smile to brighten the corner where you are. We live mechanical lives, having neither smiles, sparks nor sparkles. It’s almost like King Xerxes is forcing some to live, especially my friends in the banks, to whom I hold much pity.

There is more to life than we seem to know, there is immense depth of happiness waiting to be explored and enjoyed. People have long lost the purpose of life itself; we don’t even keep pets anymore: I miss my dog. Some live for the money and when it dries up, they become a pathetic specimen of what they used to be. If you’re not happy with your life, you can change it: Today.

Enjoy every single day of your great life. Take time to relax, everyone need it sometimes; close your eyes, breathe the air again. Take walks with your pets or loved ones and look around you; enjoy the wild outdoors, you will see amazing things; you will see the world smiling back at you.

For the sake of sanity, visit your family; I know a great deal of people who do not do this because of all the wrong reasons yet to enter the books. Visit them, you will make them happy; we tend to forget that while we are busy growing up, our parents are growing old. Do something for your body, sports or healthy foods would do just fine; that do not include shawarma or whatever those fast food places take your money for. Dream big, if you believe, it can become true; remember thoughts become things.

Be positive, be honest, if you see anyone without a smile, give them one of yours. It’s your life, enjoy the beauty of your seduction, and learn to put love into everything you do. Never wear colour blocking clothes, never do duck face and keep your emotions in the clubhouse. I really hate recent fashion trends. And don’t take pictures in bathrooms, please I’m begging.

Cherish every moment, every time you see a loved could be the last time you will. Remember that and treasure every passing second. It’s ok to cry. Soon the ‘whys’ and the reasons will be gone and all that will be left is the feeling.

No stress, you’re alive to be happy.

Your Beauty

Shyness, that was what it was thought to be; inability to look straight into the eye of another human and tell the person what sits deep in your mind, inability to speak to a person and hit the deepest part of who they truly are because of fear. It wasn’t shyness in her case, it was insecurity.

“Beauty: excelling in grace or form, charm or colouring, qualities which delight the eye and call forth the admiration of the human face or other objects.”

She has the beauty to brighten up the darkness, but her fears make her bury it deep beneath the shadows. Her reserve of wisdom is so vast it could teach a generation, so deep it can never be exhausted, yet she bridles her tongue and bites every word before it even nears the exits of her curvy lips. Haven been told over and over again that all anyone could possibly want from her is her beauty and her wisdom, it became imperative for her to guard herself against the wolf that she had been warned of. The wolf that only exist proverbially: the victimless wolf that has kept her butterfly from flying.

She’s not proud, but she’s timid. Afraid she’ll say something wrong. Her loud heart has been tamed by the stories created around her. In a world where the truth is forbidden, convenient fabrications have sharpened how she lives her life. She’s even afraid to use her face as profile pictures; ashamed of her flawless beauty.

You’ll find her at the back of the line, looking away insecurely or walking on the edges, being wary of every crawling gecko, suspicious of even the orgasmic sound of a mating wasp. Yet it would be erroneous to blame her, she has done no wrong, just living the life that society has designed. If only she knew better, she would live her life to the fullest and flaunt herself to the benefit of the world. If only she knew her beauty weighs more than the size of a bullet and it’s a blessing unto the world and not something to be ashamed of, then she would rule her world. She would dominate and let her aura influence those around her.

They say beauty does not last, but I decline. It’s transgenerational and could outlast whoever is wearing it. Beauty isn’t a thing that is only externalised; it’s also a sum of the internal. All she knows is that she’s wanted for only her beauty, but I wish she knew that someone out there would love her even if she had wicked scarification on her body. I wish she knew she was created that way to be a light on the bacon. If the world doesn’t get to hear her story, would she influence the world? I doubt. She’ll be stuck in silence except she decides to speak up. Someone should save her with these words “your beauty is your blessing, not your curse.”