When a heavy rain falls before or during your night sleep; you end up not wanting to leave your cozy, snuggy bed.
But you do because your mother wants to eat puff puff and her hunger awakens yours. So, you mix that flour till your arms ache. You go out to pour the dirt into the debris.
Then you walk into a primal, private but fascinating scene
I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Snails weren’t really my focus in Biology; I paid more attention to humans, fishes and even lizards. Thus, the scene before me was a mystery.
Were they mating? I thought snails were hermaphrodites so why have sex?
Or were they fighting? That would make much sense; animals love to fight to exert dominance and state superiority. (Did you say some humans do that too? Na you know o. All I know is that this is common in the animal kingdom)
I’m sure these snails were having a duel. It looked like one was sucking the other’s brain out. Wait, do Snails have brains?
I decided to do some digging and here’s what I found out 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇
Turns out snails technically do not have brains. Usually, when I see the word ‘technically’ relating to anything science, I shutdown.(I’m yet to fully assimilate legal technicalities and not about to add science to it😒😒)
Here’s the tea! Those snails weren’t eating each other. Well, technically.😄😆
They were actually mating.
‘Scuse me but it did bring to mind the Avatar movie where the avatars mated by connecting their ropelike tentacles 😂😂😂😂.
Sometimes, both snails, especially if they’ve been sexually active (i.e brhoes or hoes), shoot out these chitinic tentacles and connect.
A gateway is established and sperm pass through the hot spot. This was what I walked into.
I feel like a peeping Tom now.🙈🙈🙈
There’s a sad twist to this tale. When snails mate, a price is paid. (Literally folks! I’m not trying to be ominous🙄). During mating, that white, chitinic thing you see? (Let’s call it a love dart) sometimes, pierces the other’s vital organs, damages it, thus cutting it’s lifespan short.
This love literally kills.
Don’t we all die each day? Every step taken, each joule of energy expended, takes something from us. Isn’t it better to die doing what we love? What makes us come alive.
I remember that nostalgic day. I was in my finals and like two lonely women; we gravitated towards each other on her bed.
Oedipus Rex; as much as it established the love between a mother and son it provided an insight as to why I loved my dad so much. It was nothing sexual or amorous; my dad was my hero and I really wanted to make him proud of me.
Looking back, I realised that as a kid; I only thought of my mother when it was time for food. My mother was so gentle that she never raised her voice even when reprimanding me. Whenever she tried to discipline me for being covetous, I would run to my father who would adeptly lift the disciplinary ban and we would both pout at my mother’s disapproving frown. Of course, I realised one day when my father chose to address that issue in a non-conventional but torturous manner that my mother was actually the nicer of the duo.
When my father died, the chasm between my mother and I closed rapidly. I tell you, there’s almost nothing that bonds more than two women shedding tears and sharing their grief over the loss of a loved one.
The demise of my father centred my world around my mother. My father wanted me to be admitted in the University of Ibadan so I could be closer to home and keep his wife company whenever he wasn’t around. Now that he was dead I was determined to be around as much as I could since she would no longer have his company to look forward to.
My mother has been a rock; she loved me even when I didn’t see it. I remember in Secondary School, my father forbade me from playing basketball even though he himself had been a state basketballer at The Great Ife(now OAU) when he was younger. The hangsman would not let anyone handle a sword in his vicinity; cryptic but deductable.
My father was an headmaster in a secondary School far from Ibadan so he only comes home on weekends. Thus, on weekdays, I would play my heart out on the basketball court, break my fingers and come home to my mother who would embalm it after a hot massage on the fingers. She would keep the broken fingers a secret from my father for even she didn’t like to see me beaten.
One day, my father in one of his “gather-round, Children! let’s gist” conferences, my father recounted his days of glory and sports stating proudly whilst looking at me “You are not a true basketball player until you’ve had your thumb, index finger and pinkie finger broken” .
He flexed those fingers like a war booty. I smiled discreetly; should I tell my father that maybe I am a greater basketballer than he seeing that all five fingers of mine had once been broken?
Back to the bed where mother and daughter laid, their bodies lying straight but their heads turned towards each other. The beautiful black cheeks of both amazons stained with tears borne out of sad nostalgic stories; stories that belonged in an autobiography. The mother raised her head to look down at the daughter. She wiped a stray tear and spoke while the daughter nodded;
” My child, you will be big and great; and you will write my story, our story for the world to see”.
Mother, at 70 kilograms now, I’m certainly big😂😂😂 and when I’m great; I’ll definitely write that story but for now just settle with a big, fat and sloppy “Happy Mother’s Day!”
It rained the night before and all was cool that morning. I clung to the pillow on my bed, certain of my shameless drooling but I had no care. Mornings like this were meant to be savoured dreamily, the cold air lightly grazing a goose-bumped skin. I was determined to utilise every minute I could in lala land so the night before, while the raindrops pelted the open window close to my bunkered bed, I wore my socks, white tees and shorts to bed.
Distantly, the beagle moaned. I did too. The pleasure of sleep was in direct contrast with the orneriness of the beagle, yet we both moaned. I turned my head to the other side of the pillow, my hands hanging limply beside my slender frame. My bunkmate tried to tap me but I ignored.
“Rachel, wake up. It’s time for devotion”
I grunted but didn’t move. I was determined to wake up on my own, I am not a soldier, I shall not be controlled. No beagle shall trifle with my beauty sleep.
It didn’t, but something else did.
“Una dey mad!!! You go tell me say una no hear beagle? All of una papa! I go mumu plenty people today“
I know my strengths, the whining of a beagle I can ignore, but a maddened irate soldier?! I love my sanity.
Without a preamble, I jumped from my bed and ran straight for the hostel room door. The beautiful female soldier was already whipping out a long belt. I swerved and bent like a Subway Surf character, anything but a pelted mark on a tender goose-bumped skin was desirable.
At the hostel gate another soldier stood ranting;
“Una wan show una self abi. See as dat one dey Waka. I go mumu all of una today. Oya, siddon for ground!!”
We were about ten at the gate. A lady opened her mouth in a whimper but was sharply interrupted by the stern-faced soldier.
“U say wetin? If I hear pim! Bloody white fowl. Mammy water!” She spat.
I maintained a straight, impassioned face and made for the wet, muddy ground my gaze never wavering from her face.
Just as I assumed the squat position my butt inches away from mud, she spoke.
“Okay, all of una move! Pick race”
I sped. I intended to keep a low profile devoid of any bullying so I did as I was told.
My legs quickened with the blaring whistles of the soldier
“Oya, double up! Double up my fren“
Streaks of white passed me by, the drowsy dregs of the night sleep fading away. I doubled up until I got to my platoon line. I saw friends, but early in the morning you don’t gist because half the populace haven’t brushed. Any attempt at conversation can foster a bad breath energy around you the whole day. I saw my friend Gabriel and nodded at him, he nodded back; the morning ritual was complete.
“This morning, Platoon 6 and 7 have lectures. Good morning” the camp commandant stated.
The morning devotion had ended and I dozed through it all.
” Platoon 1 wee!” “Wa” “Wee wee” “Wa wa”
I was gradually rising, sleep skulking away from my brightening eyes. So when the Man O’ War man shouted “Wee ooooooo” my fist rose in the air and I chanted with my platoon mates, voice box taut, lips in a wide grin;
The commander turned and the otondos followed. I stood still at a distance and smiled at the cheersome exuberance.
The morning jog had commenced. I slapped my sneakered feet against the grass and followed the teeming crowd.
The commander’s voice rang out with rousing songs.
Commander: “Amazing o…. Amazing🎶” White fowls: “Wonderful”
Ah! the morning was finally taking shape.😀
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That’s what I carried on in my pocket and on my face for the whole of the day. My friend asked me “Hey what gives? You are really happy this week”
The question wasn’t far fetched bruh!
Lately it seems everyone has been sitting on a time bomb, more than two weeks of isolation will make the happiest clown grumpy.
I thought about it before I replied. The day had been quiet like any other. No special food, job or money. Why then was I being breezily happy?
‘”Intentional happiness” I said through my bleached white teeth.
Two hours later, I sat right in front of my aged laptop after a session of unsuccessful rebranding of my resumé. I was considering turning in for the night when my phone chimed indicating that a message has been sent to me on Whatsapp. It was from my brother and it wasn’t a felicitatious message as I expected.
Four words. That’s all the message contained.
“Stomp The Yard. Channel 96”
I knew what he meant as soon as I set my eyes on those brief, pregnant words. I picked the remote control and typed in the figures, 96.
My brother and I have a weird history with this movie. See, there was this impregnable solidarity between my brother and I as we grew up. People called us twins and safe to say; he discouraged most of the boys from even a mere approach.
We have a code in my small family; “Kids against Adults. No snitching”
My parents had a TV regulation protocol for we the children. No unsupervised viewing of movies and none after 7pm . We needed our share of screen time so we worked out a plan. My brother would sneak in Blu-ray Discs and at night when everyone was asleep , I would sneak into the living room and we would watch movies in the lowest volume we could afford.
The faintest whisper of footsteps had us pressing the “Off” button on the remote. I would quickly make for the refrigerator as if a thirst for cold water woke me up from my sleep. My brother? He feigned sleep on his small mattress, it is believable because he slept in the Living room anyway.
‘Stomp the Yard ’ was one of those forbidden ‘Snuck-in’ movies we ate (watched, you know what I mean). 😀
The movie centres around DJ (Columbus Short), a hot-blooded Black American who battled on dance floors with talented brother to make extra cash on the streets of Los Angeles. DJ had a problem though; he was selfish, egoistic and the worst team player. His attributes got his brother killed and him arraigned for assault , ultimately gaining a criminal record. To set him straight, he was sent to his uncle who lived in Atlanta. He acquired a scholarship to Truth University (who else feels this name is gratingly phony?🙄) , joined the Theta Nu Theta and made enemies with the Mu Gamma Xi by stealing the ‘Second in Command’s girlfriend (Lol, smooth guy). That wasn’t all he did to make enemies though, he was as rude as a ‘plate of rice with no meat served to the president in a plastic plate’
Being in the TNT fraternity and with his beautiful girlfriend, April (Meagan Good), he was able to thwart his ego, learn selflessness and win the stepping championship in loving memory of his murdered brother by performing his signature move.
They say blood is thicker than water but in these movies? Brotherhood is like crude oil, its black depth washing over pale rust and converting it to the dark side. I watched a man who could not bond enough with his younger brother express an irrepressible loyalty to his fraternity brothers. I watched him deaden his egoistic tentacles place them around his tapering waist and roll it rhythmically with his bare-chested brothers on a high mount as they chanted in low tones;
“Thetas..Thetas..Thetas.. we rep the Thetas Thetas..Thetas…..we rep the Thetas..Thetas .. Thetas.. we rep the ooh ooh ooh ooh.”
The totem of the TNT is a python. They hiss at every stop after stomping their feet hard. Its amazing how they didn’t creep me out as much as the Mu Gamma Xis whose totem was the Wolf. In the completion, they howled, loud and fierce as wolves in a full moon their glittering red eyes raising hackles.
Python or Wolf, the savage frenzy of the stomping competition could not be denied. Neither could the entertainment; watching people fight for a cause as if it were their very life is never boring.
That said, the storyline was predictable even with the competition (I mean, the main rival fraternities in the movie in a tie and having to dance battle to determine the winner😏).
The lines were also cheesy and blandly simple but then not much is expected from a movie released more than 10years ago. Besides, since the cheesy lines were delivered by Columbus Short😍😍, I forgave totally 😀
Watching “Stomp the Yard” this evening brought back memories. Watching it in the late hours of 10-11pm made me feel like the teenage rebel I was years ago, only now, I watched it in a loud enough volume. I only wish I had my brother with me and it could have been complete.
Have you watched this movie before? What did you think about it? Do let me know in the comment section 🙂.
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Let’s end this with a rather cheesy line: “It’s not about you, or me; it’s about US” —-Stomp the Yard 2007
Have you ever goofed so badly before? Making a mistake that seemed flimsy but you knew would cost you something.
My mistake was a day and some words. The day, some words and I revolved round a man☺️
Ice-cream on a particularly sunny afternoon; imagine the coolness of the cup or cone against your hands, the tips of your fingers red with a slight pool of blood. Think about the creamy ice melting on your tongue as it rolls around in your warm mouth. Feel the freshness of the meltdown happening in your oral cave ? your tonsils teeming with cool excitement?
That is how refreshing it felt chatting with Johan.
Lol, okay it was not that deep but you get the general idea.😄
He didn’t know how I felt.
Oh come off it “Judgina”🙄 , we’ve all had crushes at one point or the other.
It was unfortunate that I had previously laid down plans and questions engineered towards me exiting the “friend zone ” prison.
The day was his birthday however distance was a problem; he was in a different continent. I wanted to wait up till 12am like the dutiful prospective bae but later discarded the thought.
I met Johan as an undergraduate. He was a Master’s student who I later found out was a student pastor.
The quiet ones.
They are magnets to my metal.
I just want to know what makes them tick. To discover the restraint that enables them imprison their thoughts instead of blabbing it out like every other person out there.
I wanted to know Johan’s thoughts and when I did, they were beautiful. So beautiful that I wanted to know him more.
I wished “unku” a happy birthday and we attempted to have a video chat but the forces were against it.
Village people! I know that was you and I still have a bone to pick. There will be a burial but it’s certainly not an hatchet’s.
I was secretly glad he was continents away or I would have had to buy him a gift and I was……. let’s sha say my pocket was having a dry spell at that moment.
There we were on the path to greatness and love ( That’s what I saw, and can’t nobody tell me nothing!😑😑), then my spirit told me it was time to go to bed.
I should have listened man, I should have just listened .😩🥺
But then again, village people (y’all taking the blame for this hands down).
I had already said my goodnight but the Oliver in me turned and said , “Lemme just stay an extra ten minutes to keep you company”.
Johan gave me that large grin smiley face that turned my heart into puddles. Then he types: “Thank you so much for today , dear sister”.
Errm! what is going on?😏
I thought I was halfway through the bars of the sister zone. I tried to steal the key to the zone door but that didn’t work so I smuggled myself through the iron bars. This affectionate bequest of sisterhood had me feeling like an overweight baby stuck between two vertical iron bars; not a pretty sight.
How do I convey to this man that although I hope to be family but not in the fraternal way?
I took the warrior’s way of sarcasm out and typed: “You are welcome dear brother”
His reply wasn’t what I expected.
Who mentioned death now!
Oh no!🤯 wait!
My finger swiped vigorously upward on my phone screen, back to my sarcastic reply.
“You are welcome dead brother”
Alarm bells ‘clonged’ and clanged in my head.
wait😲!, what😳!, how😱😱!.
I just called someone dead on the anniversary of his birth.
Chai! this man must have equated me with an ill-omen. What do I do?
My turmoil was stuffed deep in a casserole of awkwardness.
My apologies were profuse but it didn’t seem enough. He didn’t seem to mind but I couldn’t move past it.
I quietly left my phone and curled on my bed; foetal style.
The number 1 code of the Crush Club: “You goof, you move.”
I haven’t moved an inch.😒
They say that there’s a calm after the storm; I’m waiting for it.😃😄😃
Have you ever had phone mishaps like these? Or had any terrible goofy experience? Do share in the comment section.
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I could feel my spirit panting like a warrior who has run through jungles filled with beauties he couldn’t wait long enough to admire because he had to reach the end, to beat his chest and drink in the damp air of the dawning dusk sprinkled with dew.
No, it wasn’t a literal race (it feels as though it were). The experience that left me shattered and oddly satisfied was reading Tomi Adeyemi’s “Children of blood and Bone”.
I’ve read fantasies before but none of them African, save for “Akata Witch” a story which I feel was tepidly written leaving me with a gross disappointment and uncertainty as to whether African Fantasy is a voyage I’d like to go on, ever again.
I have seen so many modern retellings of ancient Yoruba culture told so flamboyantly it takes the ‘ore’ out of the “culture” . I have watched movies with people dressed obviously like the Masai tribe in Kenya portrayed as the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. Believe me, I rolled my eyes so much that you would think they would lodge in the back of my head.
I’m however grateful for the author’s insight on Yoruba’s history and the maturity with which she weaves the fairytale thread around Yoruba culture without altering too much or disturbing it’s core essence. My spirit revived as I saw mentions of ancient Yoruba gods and goddesses painted with the glory that they have been stripped of for centuries.
‘Children of Blood and Bone’ is a book set in a fantasy land called “Orisha” whose citizens are known as “Orishans”. The Orishans were further divided largely into three sects; Maji, Kosidan and the Royals.
The Kosidans are ordinary humans, incapable of making magic and subjected to heavy taxes spent lavishly by the royals.
The Majis are a sect of magical beings identified by their white almost silvery hair. They usually are unable to perform magic until they reach a certain age of maturity. At the beginning of the novel, there was no magic as the source had been destroyed and all Majis who had matured at the time, including the heroine’s mother, were brutally killed on a genocidal night, leaving no magic in the land. The ‘magicless’ Majis were even more victimised, fined and taxed way above the Kosidans.
The Royals live in a protective bubble, oblivious to the squalor of the Majis and kosidans; a squalor maintained by the king of Orisha.
Zélie, the protagonist of the story sets on a journey to restore magic to the land and power back to the Majis. She is aided by an unlikely source and must battle so many obstacles even amidst despair.
Another admirable thing about this book was the author’s depiction of the Yoruba language as an exotic one which had become extinct as no one, save a few, could speak or even understand it. Yoruba, the language of the gods, the language of magic. It is saddening that this fictional position is an accurate description of the present state of indigenous languages in Nigeria. They are gradually becoming foreign, lost like a baton dropped in a jungle race.
The book weaves in several themes the prominent ones being magic, love and revenge. It’s definitely an interesting read and I’ll give it an 8.5/10.
Will Zélie fulfil her mission of restoring magic back to Orisha ? At what cost?
On a cool morning, with a duvet wrapped loosely around your form and a cup of coffee balanced on your lampstand, you can find the answer to these questions. What better way to enjoy this isolation period?