The Makeup Artiste

Right people. So, in the spirit of le wedding, decided to write a short story centered not around a bride or groom or any of the usual suspects in wedding stories. This one is about the make-up artiste. Enjoy.

TL

woman painting

Agnes Omotola Braide. Daughter of a Yoruba woman and an Igbo father. If you had read the story you are about to share on any blog, you would curse the person out in all the languages you speak as a daughter of Jezebel, sent from the pits of hell and who had the hottest parts of hell as the only destination they were good enough for. But here you are, naked except for the sheets you are wrapped in. The movement beside me called me back to the present. One touch, and fire ran through my body, enhanced by a second feeling I refused to admit I felt. But it was there, gnawing at my heart, clipping at my heels.

Forty eight hours earlier, I had woken up to the worst news possible for a young twenty eight year old Nigerian girl. Here in Nigeria, at twenty eight, you are already at the line of joining the “so you have not seen someone to marry you” crowd, that crowd that the Nigerian society unjustly does everything to tag as failures at womanhood. What keeps you going though is when you have a man everyone knows is your own. In the local parlance, you guys are “serious” and it’s only a matter of time before he drops on one knee and produces the shiny stone that you’ll pretend to be surprised to see when in your mind you are really saying “what took you so long?”

So, here was my twenty eight year old self, waiting for my Tega to do it. A little about us. I’m a make-up artiste, one of the best known in the country. Brides book me months in advance for their weddings and I’ve been in almost every Nigerian state and all the usual Nigerian wedding destinations like Dubai, London, the U.S, Bahamas and Seychelles to make brides pretty on their big day. Tega, on the other hand, was a suave advertising firm owner. Eligible bachelor extraordinaire, I’d met him before his rise began, and we had been together for six years now. I still think of this wrongly. It hasn’t sunk in. What I meant to really say is that we were together for six years until 48hours ago. That Thursday morning, as I was preparing to go and make my latest bride up for her engagement ceremony, I was making my early morning rounds on the blogs when I first saw the pictures. It was on every blog, every single one of them. Tega had gotten married to that witch the day before.

For two years, I’d known about her. She was his side-chick, but it had never been serious. I had initially made a humongous scene and quarreled with Tega. I was in the “how could he” phase at that time. But even as I fought my man, it seemed to push him further into her arms. My wiser friends borrowed me brain and I wised up. She was the side-chick, and I was the main one. I needed to behave like my status. So I gave Tega a stern warning that I didn’t want to see or hear about her again and then ended the quarrels. He was genuinely relieved. He stayed off her for a few months, but men are so hopeless when it comes to these things. He codedly started seeing her off and on again. I was tempted to throw a tantrum, but decided not to follow those instincts and turned a blind eye. It worked. It seemed the side-chicks changed but none ever got really serious. Tega and I moved steadily towards the marriage train. Until I got the shocker of my life that morning. Apparently, I had been the side-chick for a while and hadn’t known. He had married her. She was from the right elite family and not a hustler like me, and Tega probably calculated that he would ride on her name to get into the highest circles of society. My wising up now seemed like the most foolish thing to do.

But I, Agnes, being the strong woman I believe myself to be, packed my work things and went to Lekki Phase 1 to the bride’s family house and got to work. She was pretty, but oh my, she was one bridezilla. I normally would have left the venue to go and chill in my hotel room and prepare for the usually hectic wedding day, but decided to stay back so I wouldn’t be alone that day and start dwelling on dark thoughts. Better to postpone the evil day and party away. It was a decision I wish I hadn’t taken now.

It was while at the engagement that I listened to him. He said the words he knew would get to me. He knew me better than I thought he did, it would seem. My head told me to hit him over the head with a spiked baseball bat, that he was evil, but my heart refused to listen. It clung to his words desperately squeezing out comfort from them. Hasn’t he gotten himself a wife, you foolish girl, my head said. But my heart shouted louder, why can’t he be yours, even if it’s just briefly? You will regret this! My head screamed but I didn’t listen still. As the day wore on, the alcohol made the voice of my head fainter and my heart was roaring. Very bad combination for a heartbroken girl in denial.

“You’ll be late,” the silky male voice beside me reminded me that Saturday morning. “You know she can be a real bridezilla if you keep her waiting.” He said this with a leery smile on his face. That feeling shot through me again and I didn’t fight it this time. In my time, I had done the figurative walk of shame a couple of times before, but this was the first time the guilt caused me real shame. I was going to the bathroom get ready to go and do the make-up for the bride whose groom still lay naked in my hotel room bed.

A Tailored Love Story

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 ” When something is made for you, every detail fits perfectly.”

I’ve posted fiction on this blog for 3 years but this is something  different. On  the 20th of September, God willing, I’d  be marrying this beautiful girl I met on twitter! Shes a fashion designer and definitely the one for me.

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And just like you, she came on here sometime and became a follower of the blog. Here’s sharing our little love story…

Foluso’s Story

 From Fans to friends to future partners
How we met:
I first knew of Tunde in April 2012 when my cousin had sent me a link to his blog, (They were friends from church). It was his debut online series ‘Finding Hubby’. I fell in love with his writing moreso, twas a very relatable story, but since I’m not an avid reader, I stopped going to the blog when the story ended.
Then In Dec finally, after that same cousin of mine had given me 1thousand reasons to join twitter, I found one more- I was going on there to get first hand info about my Ex. And then I found Tunde Leye, I’m like “oh the writer!”. So I started following him.
 
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 One afternoon, late April 2013, he had tweeted about bad network, hence was in an awkward position in another room in his apartment.  I replied the tweet saying that I was also in the same position in my brother’s room for the same reason. So he responded asking if I was a cousin of Tinu George’s having seen my name, I answered in the affirmative and that was how we got talking. He said immediately (as though he had been waiting for the opportunity) that he’d plan a meeting soon and within three weeks of everyday chatting, we met on May 12 at La Mango.
 
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Things I like about our meeting:
 
1. I like that I found him when I wasn’t even looking, even when he and my cousin were friends, we never got introduced and things just played out on their own.
 
2. There was ‘no long thing’. On our first date, He told me straight up he wanted something really serious. And that was well  understood cos from our chats he had identified the difference between dating and dating seriously.
 
 
The Proposal
 
It happened on the afternoon of Saturday March 15th, it was two weeks to my 30th birthday. I was home relaxing although in the midst of workmen because my mum was remodelling the house, mostly for our introduction scheduled for Easter Monday, wedding plans were in the works So I knew a proposal was coming soon but I really thought he’d make it a birthday something.
 
 
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 That’s why when he showed up, I didnt suspect anything.  Naturally we just started chatting about the introduction party. I had mentioned that I hadn’t told my friends yet since he hadn’t proposed officially and in that instance, he got up and said I should come to my studio to give him the books ( that I had borrowed from him for a shoot).
 
I was wondering ‘cos he had come many weekends after the shoot and had told him to sort out his books but he won’t listen. Well, I followed moments after and typically, I continued with what I was saying about not having told my friends since he didnt respond and seemingly covered up with books. Then he justed started laughing and I’m like what’s funny, then he goes “you’ve not told your friends about our introduction and you still don’t have a ring on your finger…awwww”, raising my hand and really laughing.
 
I moved away from him forming sulking since he was making fun of me. Then he pulled me to himself and said “oya sorry lemme sing for you”. I’m like I don’t want to hear any song, rolling my eyes in my mind-“wetin concern singing for this matter now?” He said he was serious as I sometimes ask him to sing, so I said ok. He held me close with my head on his shoulder and started singing Luther vandross’ ‘Dance with my father’ whilst stroking my hair and kissing my face, did the last verse in his own words (as written on the card) “…I would love to be your husband as long as I live. Now I’m going on my knees. ..” and it was in that moment I saw the opened box with the ring in front of me, it happened so fast I didnt know where it came from. Then he went on one knee and slid it on my finger. I was too surprised to talk.
 
 
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Things I like about the proposal
 
Even though I was expecting a more dramatic proposal knowing the kind of things he writes about, I ended up loving the way it turned out- more private and intimate.
 
 1.I like that it happened in my house and in a room which holds many memories for me. Its the same room I had cried myself to sleep many times heart broken. It’s also where I launched off my dream of fashion designing, moving from a bedroom to a fashion workshop.
 
2. I like that he honoured my late dad in his own way with the song. He asked if I knew why he chose that song and I nodded.
 
3. I like that I was truly surprised for the first time ever! Because I always figure things out somehow. Even though I knew the proposal was coming, he pulled it off when I least expected!
 
Advice:
1. When it comes to relationships, you can’t be too careful. Don’t fight it and don’t generalise. Let God take care of you.
 
2. Comparison is the killer. Don’t compare your relationship with another. Be patient and understanding.
 
3. Pray together. Possibly, set aside a day when you fast together. It works!
 
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My Story

How Finding Hubby Found Me Wifey
 
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How We Met:
I had known about Foluso for about a year before we first talked. Like destiny, different people in different areas of my life knew her closely, but we had never met.
First, her cousin Tinu was my very good friend from the church I grew up and she always talked about going to Foluso’s house regularly. I had even seen pictures of her and thought, all these fine girls sha. Take one, I didn’t listen to the nudging.
Then one of my colleagues grew up with her. I was very good friends with this colleague and I had seen Foluso on her DP a couple of times as well. Take two, I still didn’t listen.
Then I discovered she was very close friends with a friend’s cousin. We talked about her, but I still didn’t hear.
Thankfully, in spite of my non-hearing, social media brought her to me. Like a blessing in disguise, MTN’s epileptic network led me to tweet about it. She responded, and all the previous bells rang in my head. So began three weeks of chatting non-stop. By the time we met at La-Mango, I knew it was her and I asked her out. So, my writing brought me my wife.
 
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The Proposal:
I knew she was expecting it either on Vals Day or her birthday which was a little over a month after. She was working on Vals Day on a bride’s wedding dress though so we didn’t see. I had planned to do the proposal rather dramatically at a Karaoke Bar, but that didn’t quite work out. Foluso is very hard to surprise, so I decided to ensure I did. Our parents had already met and we had fixed Intro date by then so she was watching for the proposal.
That Saturday, I planned everything down to my clothes. Just tees and linen pants (so it could hide the ring in my pocket), I got to her house. Workmen were everywhere except her workshop, so I knew that was the only place I could do it. As we got talking about the intro, she began talking about how when her friends asked her about proposal, she would just look like, en, he hasn’t done it yet. Inside, I was laughing. So I would not burst out laughing there, I went into her workshop. When I called her to come and sort my books (I loaned them to her for a photoshoot) she gave me a “look” and came to the workshop still chatting away.  I couldn’t help it any longer, I burst out laughing and I could see she was getting pissed. So I asked to do a song And then I proposed.
 
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Advice:
If you see what you want, don’t dillydally; go for it.
Don’t let ghosts of the past haunt your current relationship. I’d been single from a nasty break up for 3years when we met. I didn’t allow the experience affect our relationship
Answer your DMs. NICELY
 
 
Ok so, we have played this out in our ” Tailored Love Story”…Enjoy!
  

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Foluso’s Clothes: Foluso, for Ma’am – Yours Fashionably. Twitter @ursfashionably IG @yoursfashionably

TL’s Clothes: Chris Legend

Photography: Laphy Photography.

 

Baba Risi’s Court – Osun Decides

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Baba Risi surveyed the crowd and smiled. Rosco had done a good job mobilizing and organizing this governorship debate in the biggest motor park in Osogbo. And at least, he could say all of Osun was here and he didn’t pay them a dime, unlike the politicians. No right thinking Nigerian politician would miss this kind of opportunity lailai. He wasn’t interested in all the small small candidates, he had invited only the Iyiola Omisore of the PDP and the incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the APC. Those other ones, after the elections, if they offered them commissioner sef, they would take. But Ogbeni Rauf and Omisore wanted nothing less than governor. All those elitist debate organizers didn’t know nothing. They had not learnt from Ekiti that elections in Nigeria are not about their highly ideological grammar. See, their own debate, there was no mammoth crowd, only twitter people making noise that the people that would vote would never hear in one hotel.

Aregbesola came into the venue in convoy, waving through an open roof car in his usual style and the crowd went into frenzy until he climbed the podium. As soon as he sat down, on cue as if someone gave a signal, a single okada carrying Omisore entered the arena. Shouts of “grassroots baba, kukureyejo, akerekoro” rent the air as Omisore jumped off the bike and walked briskly to the stage.

The candidates took their seats and Rosco had fierce looking agberos maintaining law and order. They were wearing t-shirts with inscription saying “We No Be Police ooooo” so people would not get any funny ideas. Baba Risi had gotten big money for this debate and he knew he had to do it well in order to land the contract for the presidential debate in 2015.

He got up and started “this na the debate of the people, the one wey we go ask the candidates wetin concern us gangan. I know say una wan hear their mouth, so I go ask, dem go respond. If una like their answer, make una show am, and if una no like am, no hide your feelings. Awon boys dey here, so make una dey calm, no make trouble o. The boys are not smiling, dem no be police, so dem no be your friend. If you do anyhow, you go see anyhow. So the two candidates will now introduce themselves now. Since A is before P, the APC candidate na him go come first. No long thing o.”

Ogbeni Rauf stepped forward and shouted into the microphone “APC!!!!!!”

“Change!!!” came the thunderous reply.

Baba Risi stood up and spoke into his own mic “I know say APC no be your name sir, so no use this one like rally.”

A little embarrassed, the governor responded “I am Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Oranmiyan that has come back to Yorubaland, the one they wanted to cheat but God said no and brought me to the seat of power. And I don’t need to tell you the wonderful things my administration has done in Osun. We have built both on the ground infrastructure and stomach infrastructure. We are here to ask for your votes again and insha Allah, you will give it to us.”

The crowd roared and it took a few minutes for Baba Risi to calm them down.

Omisore jumped up with hands behind him until he got to the microphone and then dramatically brought out two cobs of roasted corn, took a bite from each and waved them in the air.

“I am Iyiola Omisore. I eat what I share. My philosophy is, it must go round, chop I chop. My corn is the one that grows in this soil, the normal one. Not some people that bring odourless fufu. I don’t bring imported Lagos rubbish. Osun people eat osun things. We will bring federal might here. We will free you from slavery to Lagos and Bourdillon.”

The crowd roared. Baba Risi wondered if they even knew who to support or they just roared irrespective of who spoke.

Aregbesola took his own microphone waving the fufu bag in his hand and spoke powerfully into it. “This is innovation my people. We in APC make anything the PDP has done better! Where they share raw rice, we share jollof rice. And where they share ordinary garri, we share not just fufu, but odourless fufu, because we know how much the smell of fufu bothers our people and we are a government sensitive to your needs.”

“Ogbeni, I cannot lie, if it doesn’t smell like fufu, e no be fufu” Baba Risi chipped in and the crowd seemed to murmur in agreement. He continued “My question is for the PDP candidate. Dem say you no dey respect your elders. You commot cap for late Bola Ige head. You no dey prostrate for Ooni. As a Yoruba man, this is a grievous accusation”

“Ah, you too said it earlier today now. Anybody that does anyhow will see anyhow. That is Bola Ige’s own. And as the Ooni isn’t complaining, it is nothing. He is Ikeji orisa, even me I be omo orisa. I am a son of Ife soil and the 364 gods in Ife have given me victory!”

“So wetin I talk to this crowd na wetin apply to Chief Bola Ige. I don hear. Ngbo Oga Ogbeni, this your opon imo wey the children no get light to charge and wey you dey collect from them back, na him you wan do again the second time abi another thing dey?”

“Baba Risi, it is change. That is what the APC stands for. Very soon, because of Opon Imo, Osun students will soon become smarter than all the students in all other states. Especially because we give them good food to eat in school.”

“But una no dey top ten for WAEC results now, for the records”.

“YES!” Omisore shouted “and my government will change that. We believe this APC change government is sparing the rod. So instead of wasting money on food and opon imo scams, we will give our farmers contract to produce stronger canes from our vast timber industry and train teachers in new flogging techniques. Result will change immediately and we will create employment at the same time.”

“So na by cane children dey sabi book? Una hear so, my people? Okay, oga Omisore, shebi you don go prison before and dem say you no suppose fit contest. How you come dey do am?” Baba Risi asked.

“Chief, are you okay? Is this the kind of question you want to be asking me here?” Omisore responded angrily.

“E never finish. Dem say na you kill Bola Ige. Answer that one too as we dey here. Wo, ayelala dey here so, no be court. If you lie, you go swell up till you burst.”

“En en! So this is an APC set up to rubbish me ba? I will deal with you, you this fake judge.” Omisore stammered angrily and walked up to Baba Risi. Baba Risi sat down calmly, watching to see what Omisore wanted to do. He didn’t have to wait too long. Rosco was racing towards the stage but was tackled by some mask wearing goons before he could reach there. Omisore reached for Baba Risi’s cap and took it off his head. He tried to bring the hand down to hit Baba Risi’s head with it. But even as he tried with all his might, the hand refused to come down. Omisore began sweating.

“Because I wear cloth dey stage, you think say I normal ba?” Baba Risi said with a grin. Omisore began sweating profusely as the hand got heavier.

“My people,” Baba Risi continued “all of them, them be the same. Plus corn, plus fufu, plus rice, plus iPad something, APC, PDP, all na same. Na make una shine una eye.”

 

Baba Risi’s Court – Domestic War

couple quarrel about gaming

 

“We cannot continue like this! This has to stop! Preposterous!” the bespectacled man shouted as he hurriedly approached Baba Risi. Behind him was his a woman in very colourful skirt and blouse, complete with sunglasses and an equally colourful bag. Upon closer inspection, Baba Risi saw that it was an assortment of carefully selected okrika wears from Tejuosho market.

“Oga, which one be all this big big grammar now? Wetin happen?” Baba Risi asked. It was a slow day in court but he didn’t mind. His Alaba marketer had paid good money for the video of Wizkid, Davido and Pasuma and so he could afford to be relaxed on some days. But these ones now were a rude intrusion. And husband and wife matters were usually the most annoying to settle.

“Baba Risi, it is this woman. I don’t know whether I am the man in the house or her. Because she controls everything in the house and it’s quarrel when I want to even take small control. And it’s my money we used to buy the things o!”

Baba Risi shook his head. Inside all the plenty talk the man just downloaded, he hadn’t mentioned the specific issue that brought them gangan. Husband and wife palaver. He turned to the wife. “Ngbo, what did you do to your husband? Why is he so pained that he is remembering how much he paid for bride price?”

“Please help me ask him o, because I don’t know. Is it a crime to enjoy myself in my husband’s house again?” she responded with an accent Baba Risi could not place. When she spoke, she did so with over the top gesticulations and hand movements.

“The thing has entered your body, see you wearing multi color like Joseph the dreamer and talking and waving your hands like your role models!” the man shouted.

“You don’t know nattin. You see what I’m wearing and can’t appreciate. What international stars are wearing. And for your information, I’m going to change my name soon!’ She shouted back.

Baba Risi shook his head “Will you two tell me what brought you here now or gerrout and go back home to continue your quarrel?” he bellowed.

Subdued by Baba Risi’s commanding voice, the husband responded “this woman wants to turn us all into Telemundo. From morning to night, it’s Telemundo is the house. The name I know her as when I married her is Omolola. Now, if I don’t call her LowLar, she won’t respond. My name is Joseph. But na lie, she will not call me the name my parents gave me. Now, it’s Jose Ignatio that she calls me. Our son’s name is Edward, she now calls him Edwardito. And then all these clothes she now wears nko? If someone dies in Telemundo, we won’t hear word in the house, it’s like a relative has died. Which kind of palapala is that?”

“En en. If I love Telemundo nko? Abeg, park well. If season start now, will I hear word about Chelsea? Oga Baba Risi, our house, the whole flat is painted blue. When my husband wants to talk about Chelsea, he will be saying they bought a player as if his ten kobo is inside the money. And if Chelsea loses a match, food that I spent time and energy to cook will just waste. For days, he will be moody and we will all be walking egg shells around him. And we understood. Now, he refuses to understand my own Telemundo.”

“Madaaaaaaaaaaam, how can you compare football with your soapy Telemundo? Come on!” the man said, rolling his eyes.

“En, wetin be the difference? She dey carry Telemundo for head, you dey carry premiership for head. As she dey buy Telemundo cloth, no be so you dey buy jersey? Make I ask, if match dey, she dey near the remote?” Baba Risi said

“Ah, dem no born me o!” the woman responded.

“But na football nau!” the man responded, sounding defeated.

“Okay, make I judge this una matter sharparly. Since both Telemundo and Premiership dey cause wahala for una house, make una no watch any of the two again. So madam, no Telemundo for you, and oga, no Premiership for you again.”

“Ah, Baba Risi, which kain judgment be that now. How won’t I watch Premiership for a whole season? Even Chelsea matches? Haba!” the man responded, in despair.

“What! You dare to challenge judgment inside my court? Rosco, come collect contempt of court fine from this man now now!”

Like a flash, Rosco was by his side and slipped his hand into the man’s back-pocket. He removed his wallet and extracted two Five Hundred Naira notes while the man looked on bewildered. He could not protest any longer.

For the first time that evening, he looked at his wife and called her “Darling”, he said.

A confused look crept into her face. “Yes?”

“See, we can get the DSTV dual view. You can watch all the Telemundo and I still get to watch my premiership. Let’s just minimize the theatrics? Deal?”

She paused for a moment and then said “Deal baby! Te Amo”

“So una sabi how to settle una quarrel before, you come disturb Baba Risi? Shior” Baba Risi said. “Oya, make una move abeg. Bad market pipo.”

 

 

 

Baba Risi’s Court – Kukuru Musicians

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Baba Risi sat in his court and surveyed the thronging crowd. Today, the court room was filled to overflowing and Rosco was making a killing at the gate. People were paying One Thousand Naira to enter. Before that day, they highest gate fees he had taken was Two Hundred Naira, after his encounter with Stella Oduah on TV. And the reasons stood in front of him now, fuming at each other. Both of them were dressed the same way.

“Which one of you is Wiski and which on is Davido?” Baba Risi asked.

“It’s your boy Wizzy! Yayi!” Wizkid said, doing the peace sign.

Trying to outdo him, Davido skipped forward and sang “It’s Davido ooo”.

Baba Risi hissed. “What is all this palapala? What is your case by the way?”

“It’s this Nigga man. He doesn’t know that twenty man shall fall that day when they cross my lane, and he just went on twitter to mouth off to me. I been in this game longer and should get R.E.S.P.E.C.T” He spelt out the last word with an attitude.

“How you wan fall twenty man. Do you have gbekude?” Baba Risi asked

“No” Wizkid responded

“Gbetugbetu nko?”

“No”

“Bante?”

“No”

“Ifunpa?”

“What tha hell is that” I ain’t got none of those crap man. I got my crew and that’s all I need to fall any man” Wizkid responded indignantly.

Baba Risi laughed. “Na these ajebuta children wey dey your back wan fall 20 men? You no get all those things and you dey make mouth. Small pikin no sabi juju, he dey call am vegetable. Ngbo, Davido, wetin be your own side?”

“This one will just be talking respect like we are in secondary school. I’m bigger than him now, and he should be bowing down, with his wack H-factor. Hugly nigga”

“You wey do head like Ninja Turtle dey call person ugly? Wondafu.” Baba Risi responded and the whole courtroom burst into laughter.

“Oh, I’m wack, but who do they catch in pictures with orisirisi (pronounced owisiwisi) low class girls?” Wizkid added.

“You these too small pikin, na abuse una come abuse unaself for here? With una tight jeans wey no go let una blokos breath. And na so two of una short, kurumbete people.”

“An an!” Wizkid and Davido chorused. “Na you dey yab us pass baba now” Davido added.

“En, me I be the judge and na my work be that. Shebi na musician una be, na by music we go know who be winner for this case. Rosco, oya set the mic!”

The courtroom spectators cheered. It was not everyday you got the opportunity of watching Davido and Wizkid perform up close in this manner.

Quickly, Rosco set up the Ahuja sound system they had rented for the occasion.

“DJ Cripple, you don ready?” he hollered at the guy on the mixer.

In response, DJ Cripple scratched and screeched on his turntable. Rosco passed a well-worn microphone to Davido. “Oya go first, Ninja Turtle.”

Immediately, Sina Rambo and B-Red jumped up from the crowd to back Davido up.

“DJ, track 2,” Davido said and as soon as the soundtrack started, he began to mime.

Baba Risi got up and shouted. “Wetin be this? This one na performance? Abeg, abeg, abeg, Cripple, off that beat. I wan hear this boy sing.”

“But…” Davido protested.

Wizkid started laughing derisively. Fuming, Davido said into the mic, “leggo!”

“All the girls dem dey dance galala…” he began.

Baba Risi jumped up and shouted for the second time in two minutes. “Off the mic! Off the mic! Abajo wey you been dey mime. Wetin you dey drink? Haba, why your voice crack like this now? Na so 9ice own start o, now we no fit hear am. Abeg make we hear Wiski jare.”

Davido was livid. He began shouting “What you saying old nigga? Nobody, I repeat nobody stops my performance. You know how many awards I’ve won this year? You know…”

“Who be nigga? I go turn you to real turtle now if you no sharrap and pass the mic”

Muna stood up in the crowd and shouted “pass the mic!” as if she had been waiting for the opportunity all day and the crowd took up the chant. Holding his head down, Davido handed the microphone over to Wizkid.

Wizkid screamed into the mic “Yaga!” and the crowd responded.

Then he started singing.

“Ogbeni, is it a must that you repeat every word like 5 times ni?” Baba Risi cut in after a few lines of booty Bombay and the likes.

“That’s the hook man, you know, the hook!” Wizkid responded.

“Hook ko, fishing rod ni. If you no get lyrics, talk jare, no dey lie on top hook. Wait now, you go see music. Rosco, you don call am?”

“Sure baba, he don land,” Rosco said as he pushed his way outside to fetch the guest. Both Wizkid and Davido waiting to see who this great musician Baba Risi had brought would be. All of a sudden, they heard over the public address.

“Suprissssssse Paso!”

The crowd responded “Paso Surpriso!”

The call came again from the voice they could now tell was Pasuma’s “Paso Surpriso!”

The crowd erupted “Surprisssssssse Paso”

Then, Pasuma raced to the front and DJ Cripple started a strong fuji beat.

Over the noise, Baba Risi asked Rosco “hope say you video everything? My friend for Alaba don dey ready to buy am and release for DVD by weekend o.”

“Sure baba, you know say I no dey miss that kain thing,” Rosco responded with a toothy smile.

As the crowd gyrated, Baba Risi watched the two young pop singers quietly slip away. He smiled and counted how much he had made from them mentally.

Behind The Headlines

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Haven’t posted fiction in a while here as I’ve been working to get Guardians of the Seals ready. But had to write this. Behind the headlines that overwhelm us daily, are people. And they hurt.

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KADUNA, NIGERIA.

Cora Pam clutched her phone in a tight grip, as if it would also up and go away from her. She fought the tears, and chastised herself for thinking the thoughts that ran riot through mind. But try as she did, she could not help it. Her husband, Yakubu, had been away for over a year in Borno State, fighting Boko Haram. Initially, she had been strong. They spoke daily over the phone and she did not miss him so. But after the telecommunications blackout on Borno was announced, the calls had become few and far between. Each time her phone rang and it was her husband’s number, she felt a mix of joy and trepidation. He risked his life for each of those calls. But he said he had to make them; they made his hardship bearable. And, even if she would not like to admit it, it filled a gnawing ache in her. “Mama, they are here,” a male voice that had just discarded the last vestiges of puberty announced. She smiled at her last child. He had his father’s eyes and easy smile. She gathered herself together to go and meet her soon-to-be in-laws, alone again. Forget the needs of the Nigerian state, Cora needed her husband more.

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One Month Later

Major Yakubu Pam was unable to sleep. His first daughter would be getting married in a week and his boss was yet to approve his leave of absence.

“Yak,” Colonel Adamu “Sherman” Shelleng had responded when he put what was is third request, “you are a senior member of this team. You know we need you now more than ever, for the morale of the men.” If Shelleng meant that to be jocular, it sounded hollow to Yakubu.

“Yes, but my family also needs me. This is my first daughter’s wedding, and I should be the one giving her away. When I’m not dead, how can someone else be giving my daughter away?”

The Colonel changed his tone. “Chief, you are an officer and you know what you signed up for. I will bring this up with the commander, but I know what his response will be already”

“Thank you sir,” Yakubu had responded and then left, seething. How could he be asking for something that was his right and be treated like this? He stood up and began to do pushups. The physical activity always calmed him down.

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Two days later, the response Yakubu had been waiting for came. “Why did you let yourself hope, foolish Yakubu!” he said to himself angrily. But as if to add insult to his injury, he had been ordered to go and perform a mop-up operation in the border town of Bama after news filtered that Boko Haram had struck in the area, killing at least 200 villagers. It irked him that they always seemed to get “intelligence” of Boko Haram attacks after the fact, whereas Boko Haram had ambushed them severally, pointing to the insurgents having prior knowledge of the army movements. It also irked him that whilst they did not have network connection to make phone calls, the Boko Haram leader was able to find enough to upload his videos on the internet. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became.

“At least you can phone them at the border today,” his deputy tried to comfort him as they moved out.

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News Headlines The Next Day

Boko Haram Insurgents Ambush Troops In Bama, Borno State, Killing 50.

Mutiny! Soldiers in Maimilari Barracks, Angered After Seeing The Bodies Of Their Comrades Returned, Shoot At Their Commander

Bomb blast kills 30 Muslims in Kaduna North

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Yakubu arrived in Kaduna in the early hours of the dusty Saturday morning. He had driven himself all the way. After the unrest in the barracks, precipitated by the disaster that their Bama mission had turned out to be, his leave had finally been approved expressly. Before the ambush on their return trip to Maiduguri, he had called his family to tell them he would not be coming for the wedding. He imagined the delightful surprise his appearance in full traditional attire would be for his wife and daughter. He went to a hotel thirty minutes from the church, and took a short nap.

He woke up like clockwork an hour later, feeling refreshed. For the first time in over a year, he took a long, hot bath, allowing the water to seep into every pore. Initially, he rushed to put his clothes on.

“You are not at the front, Yakubu. Calm down man,” he said to himself, laughing. Thirty minutes later, the Major was transformed to the agbada wearing Ngas man.

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The months at the front had heightened Yakubu’s senses. And as he approached the church now, he knew something was wrong. It was too quiet. The gates were wide open. He quickly jumped out of the car and raced up to the door as fast as his agbada would allow him. His worst nightmare lay in front of the altar.

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News Headlines The Next Day

Boko Haram Kidnaps 200girls in Chibok

Bloody Wedding: Muslim Youths Murder Guests in Kaduna Wedding

Children’s Day Rat Race Reading

On Children’s Day, the good people at Patabah Books, Shoprite, Surulere hosted me and a group of lively children to a reading of my illustrated book, Rat Race. We had truckloads of fun and I believe one or two fell in love with reading and writing that day. Here are some pictures from the event. Enjoy…

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My Fave Picture by Far from that day. The look on his face is priceless

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The Pictures were taken by BCC. You can reach him on 08038086824

My friends are having this fabulous stage play on Sunday. You should plan to attend.

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