Saturday 29 May 2010

Yerima and his Child Bride

I dont know if you guys have heared of the story of yerima and his 13 year old egyptian bride. If you dont know you can see the story on 234Next. He just married the daughter of his egyptian driver.

When I was in Nigeria it was all over the news and I heard it from my dad who was so pissed off at the issue. He is claiming that he is a muslim and because the Prophet(SAW) married his wife at 13, he also has the right to do so under islamic law. The human rights council is trying to bring a case against him which could see him face a jail time of up to 5 years(errr yea right).

I have been following this story closely since I was home, mostly because it gets everyone talking. Kai I wish such things did not get me so upset. Left to me this pervert should be locked up with other peadophiles like him and they should throw away the key. Sick disgusting bastard. Hissssss. He already has like 4 wives, the last of whom he just married over a year ago is just over 20 years old. I guess to him, I am an old cargo at 22!

Anyway the main issue is that can he really be prosecuted for this "crime"? The human rights activist in me wants to say yes but the lawyer in me knows that realistically it will be very hard to build a case against him.
Firstly, being a "big man" he is automatically above the law so jail term is defo not hapening for him.
But more importantly, he claims to have married the girl under islamic law, which does not have an age limit for marriage for both men and women. The legal process in Nigeria operates under 2 systems which makes the laws governing things like marriage confusing. The question is which law is supreme, "God's law" or the law of the land?

So when you get married in a church or mosque and then you sign the legal papers which law is the most important? Of course Nigerians being the hypocrites that we are will shout God's law, but in reality it is the civil system that governs all other aspects of the marriage. It covers how many wives you can marry, how to dissolve the marriage, how to distribute kids, money and property etc. But that is only if you are getting married in the civil way.

Yerima did no such thing, so TECHNICALLY and legally he has not done anything wrong. Even culturally men in Nigeria marry girls from the age of 10 and no one can arrest them for committing a crime. That is just the sad reality of it. Culture backed up by religion is the law that 90% of Nigerians abide by.
In the North especially, most people are illitrate and the only law they know, understand and follow are the ones from their culture and the religion. The ones they have been taught and brought up with from when they are children. If someone has followed this path all thier life, it will seem shocking to them when you suddenly try and impose civil law issues as precious as marriage.

This in no way excuses Yerima from being a peadophile. But it does show that there is a problem with the legal systems in Nigeria.

What I am happy about is the fact that a number of groups of Nigerians stood up and tried to make him accountable for his actions. Even the U.N have called for the matter to be investigated. It is actions like this that can make Nigeria move forward.

In all of this, I hope we dont forget the child who is being robbed of her innocence because of poverty. So sad!

And in the words of a Thisday journalist, Dora needs to have a word with Yerima and encourage him to "buy Nigeria", cause I am sure there are a number of 13yr old Nigerians he could have picked, why did he have to patronise imported goods?lool

Miss B

Wednesday 26 May 2010

How to Get a Grad Job........

Hiya blogsville,
I have not actually blogged in a while so I thought I should give you some updates on what is going on in my life.

I FINALLY got myself a graduate job. Alhamdullilahi, all the Glory goes to God for giving me the strength to persist.
It is HARD right now to be a graduate and there have been so many times I have gotten fraustrated to the point of tears, but luckily I have had a great network of supporters and cheerleaders, number one being my parents. So many times I was like men fuck this, I am going back to Naij, but I really want to get some valuable work experience here so I did not give up.
When I was finishing university I knew getting a job would be difficult but I never ever dreamed that it would be so treacherous. Maybe because I had known so many stories of people that came straight out of uni to jobs in Goldman etc I thought how hard can it be? I have two good degrees from reputable universities its only a matter of time.
Omo no b small something. The transition from the consistency of uni life to job seeking is the most shocking dose of reality that has ever hit me.

Technically I left uni in October but I was only eligible to work after my graduation in January so it has taken me 5months to get a job I want. Contrary to what I first thought, this is the average time it takes to get a grad job. And I have stats to prove this. Lemme give you some good examples:

A friend of mine from work did an undergrad in Law from Manchester uni, did her LPC and is a qualified lawyer, but before she got the job where we work now, she worked in Morrisons(the supermarket) for 2 years. Yeap I said 2 years. Oh and did I mention that she is British, cause as a Nigerian we always think that this works to our disadvantage.
Another colleague of mine did an undergrad in I.T management and Bussiness from Birmingham university and worked in his dad's chip shop for over 2 years before he got this job.
This Ghanian guy has 2 masters in business related degrees and has been working here for over a year now still trying to get a management job.
There is a girl with an MBA that works in my office oh, doing basic Fraud investigations with the rest of us mere mortals. I dont even know what is wrong with that Barclays sef, they just like to pack overqualified graduates to do their mundane jobs that any A level student can be trained to do.

But unfortunately that is the job market that we find ourself in. Having a degree is nothing, being smart is not good enough, you have to be outstanding, cut throat, persistent but most importantly Lucky (or prayerful whatever you believe in).

I have to admit that sometimes people tend to settle and just manage their roles without keeping at it to get a better role. Its because applications are tedious, time consuming, repetitive and dull. But most of all, rejections are so goddamn Painful.

Damn, the amount of rejections I have gotten has definately knocked my confidence in myself and my abilities. When you get that email that reads:

"Thank you for applying to...... and thank you for your interest in our company.
UNFORTUNATELY......bla bla bla bla aka fuck off we dont want you.....
We wish you good luck in your search......bla bla bla aka carry your wahala go somewhere else....."

But as a Nigerian men, you just have to be like Aaliyah, and pick yourself up and try again. It might take a while though, because there have times that I was just like Arghhhhhhhh I am never doing another application in my life again, awon Oloshi kmt!

But when you calculate the amount of school fees etc that has been paid, it gives you that push to get your act together. And for me, when I see that new Audi CC 2010 convertable pass by, the ginger comes back mennn, cause that ride is my portion oh! Amen! LOL!

I am truly grateful because most of my friends are still searching and I have been lucky to work in 3 different multi-national companies this year. My friend says I am always jumping from job to job like an ashewo lol but in the words of Jay Z "on to the next one"! LOL

So here are my tips for first time job-seeking graduates like myself:

1)Apply Apply Apply! Dont stop, keep going , keep keeping on, whichever expression gets the message across. The law of averages works in your favour, so the more places you apply for, the greater your chances are. Always apply for graduate or entry level roles or lower. Never try any of those jobs requiring experience cause you will never get it. Use sites that are dedicated to graduate recruitment and not general job sites like Total Jobs or Monster. I will always recommend At a point it was almost my homepage!

2)Be realistic. If you dont have certain qualities and certain grades, don't waste your time applying to certain types of jobs, especially the 35k-45k city jobs that everyone craves, You will just be wasting your time. Look at thier graduate profiles and ask yourself can you honestly compare yourself to them, if the answer is no, then on to the next one. For example I would love to work for the prestigious city law firms such as White and Case, Clifford Chance or Allen and Overy. But realistically, its not going to happen. Because they are the best, they get their pick of the best so it'll just be a frustrating and fruitless process. For e.g a friend of mine from undergrad got a job with Allen and Overy with some ridic starting salary but she had done a law undergrad from Canada, worked for a couple of years there and done a legal placement in Afghanistan. Plus she got a 1st class honours with some amazing grades. You have to recognise levels men....

3)Be Patient. Like I said it takes time and more importantly persistence. Always keep yourself busy but never take your eyes of the ball. For some people you have to start from the bottom and work yourself up. One of of my real good friends who has a Distinction in her masters and is a qualified barrister had to work for 6 months from when we graduated in October without any pay. It was a placement in a barristers chambers and she was not paid anything for doing all the work that a normal paralegal would do and get mad pay. But it looks great on the c.v and its paid off cause she has now got an amazing job offer from one of the biggest oil companies in the world. Like I said eyes on the prize......

4 Research companies. In my search for a job, I have come across so many companies that I had never heard of as I am not a business minded person, but who are massive and great employers, for example I had never heard of Reckitt Benckidser, Deutsche Bank, Sahara Oil, Whitbread and even Procter and Gamble. But you just have find out what's out there.

5 C.V and Covering Letter. Aka The document that summarises your whole life in one page hisssssss. Always try and get these looked over by the careers service in university. Then adapt this as you grow and to the company and role that you are applying for. Lemme not act like am one expert on this, but it always helps to get people look over it and give you some corrections as they will always spot something that you cannot.

6 Network. Or like we say in Naija, "connections". Even though as Nigerians here, our connections are limited but you never know. I got my placement in a Law firm last year through networking so its quite possible.

7 Pray. And Fast. And cast and bind. Overnight vigils, sacrifice a virgin or two. Babalawo even. LoL But yea I never underestimate the power of prayer. Always remember that God's time is the best. If you have hustled to get a job like so many of us have, you realise that its not beans and you are less likely to fuck up when you finally get it.

I am not exactly a careers advisor but I just thought I should share my experience with my loyal fans....;-))

Miss B

Monday 24 May 2010

The Northern Prince Part 8b

Amaka Nwafor rifled through her wardrobe. She was out of outfits, date type outfits to be specific. This was her first actual date with Ikenna. Not a quick lunch in her office as per the usual routine. He was coming over. Amaka blinked through the recollection of the last time Ikenna was in her house. She had never seen Nabila like that, and the thought that Jamal could even say such things left her in a daze. That night Amaka contemplated the charming character she knew to be Jay and decided that you never really know a person. Listening to Nabsy get up every 20minutes to pee; Amaka could no longer remain impartial. Jamal was going to get a piece of her mind and very soon too. One minute he’s ready for a child, the next he’s crushing his wife like a dry twig. Clearing her thoughts Amaka refocused on her work/full time mother wardrobe. The only dresses she owned belonged in the Femi era. Just more stuff she kept around to remind her of prodigal husband. It was a pity that now she had use for them, they no longer fit.

Pick one already. Amaka sized up her slim pickings and decided on the red. He liked her in red.

Ikenna Nwosu whistled when he came to pick her up.

“You are very obedient”
“I stick with what works” Amaka said
“Oh it works” he nodded appreciatively. His eyes undressed her. “It is not polite to stare” she resisted the urge to fold her rams across her chest.
“When they see you in that dress, they’ll understand”
Amaka’s phone rang and her face dropped, flipping it shut she delivered bad news
“Sorry that was Amina”
“Your neighbour”
“Yes, the twins are running a temperature. I’m sorry. I can’t leave”
“Of course”
“I’m sorry”
“Stop saying that. Go pick them up”
With Amaka her children came first, without a doubt. But she couldn’t help but notice that once again this was a date that was not finished and Ikenna did not look too happy about that.
“Thank you for driving all this way” Amaka walked briskly towards Amina’s front door.

Within seconds of bringing the children back home, her heels were off, her hair in a plait down her back and she was cuddling and kissing sweaty foreheads. The door bell rang just as she convinced Chiamaka the brown liquid on the spoon would not be bitter; with her daughter in her arms she opened the door to Ikenna.
“You didn’t let me finish. I was going to offer to help” Ikenna said, jacketless. He pointed to his now parked car.
“It’s alright. I got it.”

Amaka stepped aside and he entered. He tickled Chiamaka’s chin
“Uncle Ikenna” she croaked sleepily. Of course she remembered him, Amaka rolled her eyes. He drowned the twins in presents the first time he met them in her office.
“Maka J” he coined that nickname within minutes “Mommy says you’re sick”
“Yes” she opened her arms and Ikenna carried her, holding her head to his chest. “That’s why you need to take your medicine” he gently chided, and they both disappeared into the living room. Amaka ignored the lurch in her heart at the sight of Ikenna carrying her child.

“I don’t know how you would have done this without me” Ikenna said when he dropped to the sofa three hours later. His sleeves were pulled up to his elbows and he was half-lying down from sheer exhaustion. He stretched his feet- shoes had been discarded by the first hour- and stifled a yawn
“Yes” Amaka said patting him on the back “You are a life saver”
They both fixed their gaze on the sleeping children
“I want one” Ikenna confessed
“Take your pick and leave the money on the table”
Ikenna laughed quietly. He was serious. But instead he said “Can I have some of that?” he stole her mug and sipped the coffee. Amaka slapped her forehead, he was hungry, and they never made it to the restaurant.
“Stay here” she ordered. Walking to the kitchen, she banged a pot on the stove and got to work.

“My mother said now is the best time to ask a man for a favour” Amaka remarked as Ikenna wolfed down her pepper stew and Ofada rice.
He nodded; too busy dismembering a chicken leg. “It’s about your ex-wife” Amaka paused tentatively, expecting a resounding no
Ikenna took a gulp of his ice water, wiped his mouth with a napkin. He avoided Amaka’s gaze, this worried her, was he a wife beater, no probably a drug addict. Jesus Christ it was crystal meth wasn’t it.

“I wasn’t a very good husband” he said regrettably

“I find that hard to believe” her voice was hoarse

“I never had any time for my wife. Always working you see” He clinked the ice cubes in his glass. “It wasn’t such a problem in the beginning; she knew who I was when she met me. But my late nights got longer, we stopped talking as much. Eventually...”
Amaka saw it, he strayed. Probably with his secretary or personal assistant
“It was so cliché. Sleeping with her ex”

“What?” Amaka spluttered.
“I came home and there they were, in our bed rolling around...,” Ikenna stared at his plate like it was a window to that Swiss winter two years ago. The heavy smell of cigars in the air, she told him she had quit. The electric fire, her blond hair splayed across the sheets, her laugh, and her voice......

“I’m sorry Ikenna it wasn’t my place to ask”
Ikenna had never told anyone that. Not his family and definitely not his friends. They drifted apart was his story. He stared at his hands “I have never told anyone that”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. This was wonderful” he said changing the subject. Amaka was all too ready to comply; she stood to take his plate to the kitchen. He held her hand stopping her “Your turn” he said
Amaka wanted to refuse, but she opened the flood gates. Ikenna noted her expression “as much as I want to know how anyone could ever leave you, if you don’t feel comfortable”
“I don’t feel comfortable”
“Ok. I was just curious because Maka J and Buzo kept asking to be told daddy’s story. I am sorry I brought it up”
“I started it.” She glanced at her kids on the floor “I was really looking forward to going to Kano. A whole weekend of pampering in the Balarabe estate” she sighed dreamily.
“You never know you might still be able to make it.”
“Can you believe Rabi is getting married? Time really flies. Last time she was in a relationship, the twins could barely walk”
Ikenna was watching her “You are a great mother Amaka and you deserve a vacation. If the twins are feeling better before the weekend, you will drop them off with their grandparents and come away to Kano with me”
“Come away with you? You make it sound like we’re eloping when we both have invites”
Ikenna smiled “Come on Maka, can’t you see it now. Red dust and sand dunes, horses, ladies in half-tops selling milk in calabashes” Amaka laughed
“Good night Ikenna” she kissed his cheek and retreated to her bedroom.

Ikenna Nwosu opened his eyes to see Maka J and Buzo standing over him in their pyjamas, they began to tickle him. It was the best start to a morning he had in a long time. Amaka walked into the living room, Ikenna and the twins were drinking cereal from identical green bowls and watching cartoons. They looked so cute, all three, sitting cross-legged on the floor, shoulder to shoulder, that she didn’t reprimand them for being too close to the TV.
Ikenna saw her and offered her a spoon. She sat and joined in his Coco Pops, that lurch was in her heart again.
“See Uncle. He uses his wristwatch to fight aliens” her son explained
“I still say Wolverine is better”
“Uncle that’s silly” Chiamaka said
“Hey” Amaka started to scold her
“That’s okay” Ikenna interceded “What does she know, she’s just a girl.” Chiamaka attacked him with tickles, probing his ribs with her fingers. “Girls are better than boys.” She insisted. Chibuzo fell on the floor laughing. Ikenna struggled to breathe “Mommy help me” he said, Amaka’s heart lurched.

Ikenna was released, “serves me right” he gasped. “Amaka are you alright you seem...distracted”
“You are so good with them”
“Practice. I have nieces and nephews”
“You must be the favourite unc...”
“I love your braids” he played with her hair. “Thank you” Amaka breathed. Those eyes never left hers. It’s like he could see her naked; physically and emotionally. He saw that she wanted a family, that she was incapable of being casual. What he wanted from her, what she thought she needed to move on, would not work. She just wasn’t wired that way.
“I won’t hurt you Maka. I swear”
“I can’t do this.” Amaka got up and walked into the kitchen. Ikenna walked behind her and placed his hands on her waist, turning her around slowly.
“I want to give us a try”
“Us? We haven’t even had a proper date. How do you know this is what you want?”
“Date? Amaka we are past that now. We eat lunch together in your office nearly every day. This is not the first time I have slept on your couch. Be it because your best friend breaks down or because your children are sick.”
Ikenna placed his hands on her shoulders, “why would I stay if I didn’t care about you?”
“You are not ready for all of this.” Amaka gestured to her kitchen, the living room
“I am ready to feel like I have a reason to be here. If these are the Saturday mornings I have to look forward to...” Ikenna did not finish
“It’s frustrating when you do that. Leave sentences unfinished”
Ikenna held her neck, “This is what I mean” he said right before he pressed his lips to hers. Amaka stayed still as Ikenna kissed her closed mouth. It had been so long...she was used to men running for the hills once they learnt about the kids, complaining about her emotional baggage but never giving her a reason to leave it behind. To meet someone that insisted on staying because he loved the children, because he wanted her to know that second chances were possible. Someone who held her like this, so close their bodies meshed. She kissed him back. The way she remembered to, she had after all only kissed one person in her life.

Ikenna pulled back, stared at her face, “I dream of you every night,” he said whispering
“This is so much better. Your lips are so soft.” He kissed her some more, very gently till she felt confident enough to twine her arms around his neck and kick it up a notch. She stood on her toes and bit his lips causing him to hold her tighter, it hurt.
“I’m sorry” Ikenna apologised breaking away
“No no, don’t be sorry.” Amaka shook her head pulling him back to her.
The phone rang in the distance, whoever it was could wait. She and Ikenna kissed, expressing unfinished sentences with tight embraces and dancing tongues. He kissed her mouth, like one who thirsted for it long before now. His arms imprinted themselves into her waist, when it seemed she could take no more, he would hold her tighter, say something low in his throat and her desire would be re-fuelled. The landline still rang, but it would take strength Amaka did not possess to drag her away from Ikenna’s lips

“You are perfect” he whispered. He kissed her to show it
Amaka could only muster a giggle, when she got her breath back
“From the moment I saw you, I knew I wanted this” Ikenna said as he nibbled her ear lobe. Her heart lurched non-stop now, and she liked it
Her mobile phone began to ring; it vibrated against the wood of the dining table
“Mommy” Chiamaka called
Amaka and Ikenna jumped apart, their faces hidden in shame. Chiamaka giggled, she delivered the message “Big Mommy is on the phone,” the Motorola handset in her little hand

“I’ll call her back”

Amaka figured it was probably to finalise the twins’ arrangement for next weekend. The children would be with the Cokers’ as she was now most definitely going to Kano.
Chiamaka went back to watch cartoons and Ikenna pulled Amaka back to him. His lips took up where they left off, on her neck, drawing those letters with his tongue and making her toes curl with delight

“I should make breakfast” Amaka sighed
“Absolutely” his hands caressed her cheeks, stroked her hair, and traced eyebrows. He bent to kiss her
“You’re not listening to me”
The door bell rang. Loud and shrill, it did so twice more till the twins annoyed at the constant interruption to their viewing peeked through the window. It was no one they recognised and Mommy said to never open the door to strangers
“Mommy” they chorused
Amaka pulled away from Ikenna “I have to get that”
“Sure” he said still kissing her
“Let me go” she giggled as he kissed that spot behind her ear
“I can’t” he said holding on, wrapping his arms around her frame. Amaka began to sway with the sense of it all, when the doorbell went off once more, a long deliberate sound of impatience.
“I really have to go”
Ikenna would let her walk a few steps then pull her back for a kiss, flicking her bottom lip with his tongue then tugging on it gently, before giving in for something soft and deep; this went on for three successions. Amaka put her foot down, after she stole one last long kiss

“Come back soon” Ikenna said with a naughty smile

Amaka skipped her way to the door; her maroon kaftan hung one shoulder low, displaying her bra strap for all to see. Her hair was messed up; the expert fingers of Ikenna stroked it to perfection. She was ready to greet whoever was at the door, her face happy and joyous and satisfied.

“Maka baby, I’m all yours” a familiar gruff voice. A familiar face. The prodigal husband returned.

Saturday 22 May 2010

The Northern Prince Part 8a

Norther Prince Part 7 can be found below HERE

Rabi Bello stirred in her sleep as the mai-guard recited the adhan for Fajr prayers. Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! It was how she awoke every day. Trekking to the family mosque she cut through the gardens dewy from last night’s rain with the scent of carnations released in the air.
Kneeling on the soft carpet she greeted Mama and looking ahead, spied Baba through the wooden barriers that separated men from the women. Rabi sulked at the fact that after prayers she would not be going back to bed.
Morning shifts in the hospital were always the most difficult because it took a while to get her energy levels up. With no time to spare, Rabi had Oda make her a hefty turkey and scrambled egg baguette, poured strong coffee in a flask and rushed to her car. As always she was already late.

That night she lay in bed and forcibly visualised her life as Hajia Tukur. She imagined when he- Gidado - will surely mount her and perform his husbandly rights. Within this waking dream she imagined that he moved atop her, hairy and sweaty, grunting with age and effort. Rabi made herself walk through these scenarios, as a test run.
Because what she was doing was just. It was noble. Marrying this man so Nabila could have a chance at a happy home was her sacrificial act. Self inflicted punishment for the untold pain she must have put her sister through.

For insisting to Nabila, she had not heard from him, even as she stared at Jamal across the table in their restaurant. For long languorous lunches they shared. For listening to Nabila pour out her heart then kissing her cheeks with lips that still tasted of her husband. For the times she threw herself at Jamal with careless abandon, unzipped his trousers and took what was to be reserved only for his wife. For sexy text messages, foot massages, exchanged gifts, the last room on the 14th floor, outpourings of love and lust, undiluted happiness... For all of it. Wishing to turn back the hands of time and undo her wrongs sounds like the appropriate emotion to feel, but it is not what her heart sings. She will never love that child Nabila is carrying but she-Rabi Bello- will make sure to be unhappy all the days of her life. One day, her sister may forgive her.

She was at home, sitting in her room thinking, when Mama informed her Jamal and Nabila would be coming for dinner to congratulate her.
“What? Why?” she shrieked. The awful thought of all three of them at a table, her mind could not harbour the thought. It had only been a month, she wasn’t ready. Mama’s expression became worried so she turned down the air conditioning, Rabi had not realised she was shivering.

Nabila Mujahid took a deep breath as the black metal gates of her home opened up and Jamal eased the car in, up the swooping driveway and round the back to park at the garage. He looked at Nabila as she slowly unbuckled her seatbelt and placed a hand on her shoulder, she jumped. When she turned to face him there was fear in her eyes. Jamal did not bother to try to put her at ease, he did not want to be here and neither did she; at least not with his new found volatile temper in tow. He could not believe he was here after the ruckus he made when Nabila first suggested they come greet her parents and inform them of the grandchild on the way. Lucky for her then that his father-in-law summoned a family gathering; he would be stupid to refuse. Jamal and his wife sat in the car rehearsing their facial expressions before meeting her family.

“Why are we here?” he asked her

“I don’t know” Nabila answered. She was lying.

Did she report him? Jamal wondered. No, she wouldn’t dare. He was certain. Nabila loved him too much to bring him to disrepute in front of her family like this. She would sit and take his anger quietly, cowering in a corner, till it dissipated. Jamal liked the fear that muffled her once witty mouth. A sudden movement from him and she startled. It served her right. She wanted to play games ko? Well he would show her

“Nabsy” Mama shrieked
“Ina wuni Mama- Good afternoon Mama” the couple chorused with wide smiles getting out of the car
“Barka da zuwa- You’re welcome” Mama embraced them both. She blushed as Jamal complimented her outfit, his sweet tongue working his magic.
“Rommon kunne- flattery” she responded in her usual jibe for her son-in-law. “Your words are sweet like ear broth” she said to him, she pinched Nabila as if to say ‘you are a lucky woman.’

Nabila could feel her smile wavering so she gravitated to her father who had appeared without a word, and rushed to hug him. Baba, long and lanky chuckled in his soft voice and rested his head on hers. Her petite figure completely concealed against his frame, Nabila relaxed and leaned into the familiar smell of him, of home, she forgot her large billowy kaftan could only conceal so much. Baba felt her bump and retreated so he could look at her face. His medical degree had nothing to do with his observation; he simply knew his daughter was different. Her rounded cheeks swelled with the new portions she consumed, her neck was no longer scrawny, her hair shined with added gloss and her chest heaved with extra weight.

He pulled her back to him “Alhamdulillah” he whispered.

They proceeded to the garden where a table had been set under a parasol. The wicker chairs were adorned with bright cushions and the rattan oval table was laden with tuwo shinkafa da miyan kubewa (tuwo and okro), faten doya (yam porridge), couscous, danwake and masa. Jugs of zobo, skewers of suya on large trays, bowls filled with slices of chilled mangoes and melons. Nabila breathed in Oda’s cooking, the scent of wild flowers in the evening air and in spite of her troubles she smiled.
Rabi finally made an appearance, Nabila was the first to run and hug her.
“Forget everything I said about Alhaji Tukur, I will support you” Nabila reassured her
“I love you” Nabila said to her ear, squeezing tightly. If Rabi felt her baby bump she certainly did not act surprised.
“Jamal told you didn’t he?”Annoyed her surprise had been ruined. Rabi managed a nod.
“Banza- bastard” Nabila said with a little too much feeling. She smiled to soften it. “Baba already knows but I won’t say anything to Mama till we’re about to leave. This is your dinner.” Rabi had given up on listening.
“See I’m not a thunder thief unlike someone I know” Nabila carried on. Rabi did not laugh, or smile. Her chest did not move almost like she was holding her breath, literally. Nabila released her sister from their embrace and followed her gaze to the roof. There was nothing remarkable there. Wedding nerves were obviously getting the better of Rabi.

“A ci abinci lafiya- enjoy your meal” Mama announced

Servants shooed away from serving. It was late evening and those who did not reside in the vast compound began to make their way home. Paper lanterns strung on the branches of the trees were switched on, bathing the dinner table in pastel colours. Mama could contain her excitement no more and announced the good news, with dramatic effect. Nabila applauded and reached for her sister’s hand, Rabi would not give it, she did not look up from her plate.

“What is the matter?” Baba asked
“Nothing” Jamal responded staring at the stain on his shirt. His fork lay on the floor; it had slipped from his fingers. Refilling his glass, he gulped down kunu, and calmly refilled it again. “Nothing at all” he said with regained composure
“Alhaji Tukur is a lucky man wallahi” Mama continued. Nabila noticed how with Jamal she was the lucky one but in Rabi’s case it was different.
“That is true” Jamal said with a scratchy throat “Allah Ya ba su zaman lafiya- Allah will let you live together happily”
There was a chorus of “Amin”
Mama talked wedding concepts all through the meal. Kaka- their grandmother, must be informed in person. So a trip to Kano was first on the agenda. They had not been in a while, might as well make it a family occasion by throwing an engagement weekend galore. An informal gathering to celebrate her beautiful daughter’s wedding. Before the ‘main’ ceremony of course, as that will take months to plan.
“Baba what do you think?” she asked when she stopped for air
“As long as it is what Rabi wants” was his reply
“It is what you want right?” Baba fixed his stare on her.
“Yes” Rabi nodded her head; it was her most animated behaviour of the night.

Rabi Bello leaned on the American style fridge in the kitchen, stealing a couple of gasps before she had to go back outside. She could not breathe with Nabila there, constant hugs and body contact, Mama’s enthusiasm.

“You bitch” Jamal stood at the door. He had an empty ice bucket in his hand. Bathed only by the dim glow of the outside lights, he was a mask of shadows.

“You fucking bitch” he growled. “After everything I’ve done for you”

“What have you done for me?” Rabi asked his shadow

“How dare you”

“You don’t own me. I will do as I see fit, Ba rin gaya maka- let me tell you”

He threw the ice bucket to the floor and it made a loud clattering noise. Rabi did not flinch, she stared down his shadow. In the darkness, it seemed to float to her.
Jamal tried to press his lips to hers but Rabi elbowed him in the stomach. Staggering back Jamal raised his hand and Rabi covered her face to hear it slam into the fridge. Jamal punched the walls and threw the dishes on the floor.
Each one sounded louder than the rest, echoing its destruction like a cry of help. He retreated into the dark and all Rabi could hear was the sound of his fist against metal, his voice was loathsome. Loathsome of her, and her decision,
“Fuck you”, he cursed again and again. The screen doors opened and the light was switched on. Nabila stood with a spare ice bucket and screamed at the sight of Jamal’s bloodied fist. She rushed to him and tried to stem the bleeding with both her palms. She was sobbing “no, no, no,” in her mind the blood was everywhere, seeping through her fingers, pooling on the floor.

“Help me Rabi” she begged. Rabi pressed a cloth napkin to his knuckles and ordered Nabila to get the First Aid kit from the store room. Nabila’s eyes were transfixed on her husband

“Nabila!” Rabi screamed
Nabila scurried away to the store room as Jamal held Rabi’s hand. “I will rather die...”
“Shut up. It is just a deep cut” Rabi rolled her eyes
“Rabi I can’t live without you. I will bleed everyday till you come back to me”
“I am going to get married Jamal.”
“I beg you. If you love me, if you love Nabila. I can’t make her happy. I need y-”
“You must” Rabi said sternly
“Don’t do this, please. I can’t...without you...”
“Ssssh. Nabila is coming back”
With the arrival of the first aid kit, came her parents. Mama gasped at the sight while Baba calmly bent down and took the lead. He stitched Jamal while Oda tried unsuccessfully to get Nabila to stand up from her husband’s feet where she had taken residence.
“He is okay.”
“I saw all that blood and I thought...”
“It is okay my dear. Get up now; there is so much broken glass around you”
“If anything had happened to him” Nabila stared at her husband with such worship
“Nothing happened” Oda hoisted her to her feet.

Emergency over, everyone, including Nabila who was now weeping with relief, retreated to the living room, leaving Oda to deal with the mess. Mama cursed whoever left the floor damp which according to Jamal was what caused him to ‘slip.’ The broken china, merely the dish rack he grabbed on to, to break his fall. Nobody spoke of the dent in the fridge; amidst all the drama no one noticed it. Rabi did not think it was possible to feel anymore guilty but she had been proven wrong. Oda stood at the cupboards separating the good china from what was damaged. Her hunch an indication of her age, how long she had served them. Rabi practiced her light hearted ‘Don’t mind Mama. Jamal is just clumsy’, but when Oda turned to face her, she knew it would be of no use.

“I fell asleep on the bench outside” Oda said staring at Rabi

The bench was adjacent to the kitchen door. How could Jamal not have seen her?

By S.B

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Nigerian Wives LOL!;-)

Why I fired my secretary
Last week was my birthday
and I didn't feel very well
waking up on that morning.

I went downstairs for breakfast
hoping my wife would be pleasant
and say, "Happy Birthday!", and
possibly have a small present for me

As it turned out,
she barely said good morning,
let alone "Happy Birthday."

I thought...
Well, that's marriage for you,
but the kids....
They will remember.

My kids came bounding down stairs to
breakfast and didn't say a word.
So when I left for the office,
I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.

As I walked into my office,
my secretary Jane said,
"Good Morning Boss,
and by the way Happy Birthday! "
It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

I worked until one o'clock,
when Jane knocked on my door
and said, "You know,
It's such a beautiful day outside,
and it is your Birthday,
what do you say we go out to lunch,
just you and me."
I said, "Thanks, Jane,
that's the greatest thing
I've heard all day.
Let's go!"

We went to lunch.
But we didn't go
where we normally would go.
She chose instead a quiet bistro
with a private table.
We had two martinis each
and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.
On the way back to the office,
Jane said, "You know,
It's such a beautiful day...
We don't need to go straight back to the office, Do We ?"

I responded,
"I guess not. What do you have in mind?"
She said, "Let's drop by my apartment,
it's just around the corner."

After arriving at her apartment,
Jane turned to me and said,
" Boss, if you don't mind,
I'm going to step into the bedroom
for just a moment.
I'll be right back."
"Ok," I nervously replied.

She went into the bedroom and,
after a couple of minutes,
she came out carrying a huge birthday cake .
Followed by my wife, my kids,
and dozens of my friends and co-workers, all singing "Happy

And I just sat there...

On the couch...


You have to click the image to enlarge it.
Me i want to be a hausa wife biko!Hahahaha!
Miss B!

Thursday 13 May 2010

My Trip to Naija

Hey blogsville,
I have been mia for a bit because I went to naij for 10 days. It was fun cause I got to see my friends and family etc but it was also stressful. I was in Abuja, my hometown Kaduna, Lagos, Ogun and Benin Republic. So although I was technically on holiday, I was up and down like crazy and feel like I need another holiday already!

There are several things I noticed:

1)There is no money circulating like crazy in Naij the way it was like 2 or 3 years ago. Things are tight for every1 and people are having to tighten their belts. This is because there is no govt money flowing everywhere esp in the north where I stay which is all they spend. It is good in alot of ways because it teaches people responsible living and avoids "lau lau spending"! But it is also because the economic downturn has really hit hard with people loosing their jobs and share prices plummeting.

2)Nigeria is NEVER going to move forward if the problem of electricity is not solved. In Kd now we have to use the gen everyday which is a stark difference from when I left 5 years ago when we could go for 2weeks and not use the gen. The situation in Lagos is unbearable, and when I went to see my gmother in Lagos Island they had not had light for 3months!!!! Yes I said 3months, they had not had power for even a second for that long! The lady that sells this amazing moi-moi next door had a gen, so did every little one room face you I face you. The heat, noise and pollution that the gens are causing is a topic for another post.

My friend's company spends N3million a month on diesel alone and has 3 standby gens. Businesses are crippling everyday all over because of this issue. It can never be cost effective to run a business on gen. My aunty runs an ice-cream store in Kd and this nepa thing is starting to make her loose it. Everywhere you turn, there are stories of how nepa is destroying lives.

On Sunday evening when I was coming back, there was power outage at the airport for several hours which crashed the computer systems completely. This meant that we could not check-in and had to sit at the airport for over 2 hours in the heat. My flight that was supposed to depart at 11pm did not take off till 3am in the morning. It was a complete and utter chaos and such a disgrace. If it happened anywhere else in the world, Nigerians will be shouting that they want compensation and their human rights are being violated(I have witnessed this as well when out Virgin flight was delayed at Heathrow) but when it happens in Naij we all just sit down and accept our fate.

3)And there is NEVER going to be constant electricity if we do not privatise NEPA, and that is the bottom line. When I say this most people are like in no other country is their electricity private, because it makes it unaffordable to the people that need it the most. But with the way Nigeria is, that is the only way it is going to work. If we sell NEPA to some Chinese, Indian or Middle Eastern power company today, I can gurantee that we will have constant electricity in 5 years. It will be expensive, but it will cost much less than what it is costing our economy on a daily basis. Obsanjo invested about 120bn on electricity before he left and it has only gotten worse. If that amount of money cannot make a difference, no amount pumped by the government can ever make a difference.
What GSM has shown is that Nigerians are willing to pay for a service if it works. In Cotonou, there is constant electricity even though it is very expensive. But everyone has access to it, you just have to use it to the extent that you can afford. If this is implimented in Nigeria, we will adapt. At this point, most Nigerians are desperate for any improvement.

4)While we are at it, we should privatise Water, FAAN, Universitys,Roads and as much as we can. That is the only way that people will get their act together and things will work. The only thing that should not be privatised is healthcare for obvious reasons.

5)The government needs to implement some very strict family planning mechanisms. People are just giving birth left, right and centre without any thought of the welfare of the children or the consequences of their actions. I mean my driver has about 10 kids, the 1st of whom had a kid at 15, and his wife is pregnant again. And there are millions of people like him all over Nigeria, just populating the world for no reason. My parents and I were debating the various ways that the government can do this, and I am not too sure, but something drastic needs to be done to educate people that the point of having children is NOT so you can have more people help you in the farm or people to take care of you. It all boils down to education anyway but since that is not happening, we might need to make some Chine type moves soon!

6)Promiscity- There is no nice way of saying this, but Nigerians are promiscuous. Both men and women. Especially in the cities. This is the reason why we still need religion to some extent because we seem to have no morals without it. One of my little cousin is HIV+ because his mum got it from his dad who sleeps around. She passed away last year, and now he has to deal with his not just his mums death but this extra burden. One of my family friends also died of AIDS last year and so did one of our drivers. It is spreading like wildfire because Nigerians are still not having safe sex. There needs to be serious awareness raised if we do not want to end up like South Africa.

7)Religious Extremism- This is actually the most urgent problem in Nigeria at the moment. For both muslims and Christians. For Christians its the extravant churches the size of towns, private jet and Bentley driving pastors and the general shininess of this new age casting and binding Christianity. It is just getting over the top.
For muslims, there is a real danger of extremism and terrorism. This is because in the North, Islam is very politicised and the leaders use it to fuel their selfish agendas. It also boils down to the extreme poverty, lack of education, unemployment and a very high population of young idle people with nothing to live for. The religious leaders need to guide their people away from the path of destruction that they are clearly heading.

Naija has alot of problems. But its still home sha! Gotta love it. Here are some pics I took with my bb. Enjoy!

Miss B

Nkowbi at the beer palour, my hometown of Badagry, and the corrupt immigration officers at the lagos/cotonou border, useless criminals hisss!

Monday 10 May 2010

The Northern Prince Part 7

The Northern Prince Part 6 can be found below HERE

Nabila Mujahid was scared to tell her husband the truth. He was the father of a baby he had no recollection of creating. Secretly she had hoped he would figure it out and confront her; that way she could play the defensive. Annoyingly he did the exact opposite and blindingly ignored the obvious. Jamal patted her back when she vomited, remarked on her heaped plate at breakfast, shook his head when she cried at the end of Fear Factor and just lacked the follow through to string it all together. At this point Nabila was sure the cook knew, the florist at botanical gardens knew, Yemi her beautician knew...everybody else bloody knew.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. When Nabila first hatched the plan to conceive she looked forward to rubbing his nose in it. Screaming at him “you thought I was good for nothing? Well I am pregnant.” Rehearsed her glare in a mirror even, she wanted it to be delivered perfectly. That would teach the asshole to make her life miserable.
Once the child was delivered he would take one look at it and love her again. All would be forgiven. They would be a family. The problem now, was that Jamal was no longer an asshole. Granted he was far removed from the man she married but he was also no longer the tyrant from the past 12 months. He stopped hurting her. Just like that. Gone were the late nights, the put downs, the look of utter despair, when she spoke he seemed to listen and he openly complimented her garden. They were acquaintances of sort, and this baby news would shatter any hope of one day getting back ‘there’. It would surely send her husband back into the night and away from her. So here Nabila was, pregnant, and afraid to execute the very scene she had been looking forward to.

“Have some toast with your butter” Jamal said
Nabila looked down at the thick layer of butter she had spread on her toast; it resembled a slab of yellow brick. She put it down, she couldn’t eat again
“What are your plans today?” she asked instead
“Work. Squash. Home. Ke fa- You?”
“Need to go to the garden centre. Buy some herbs” she answered distractedly, the toast was very appetising now. Lifting it gingerly she ate the whole thing in eight seconds smacking her lips. As she licked melted butter off her fingers, she noticed Jamal staring at her, “Okay” he nodded in surprise.

She began to lay knobs of creamy butter on another slice, when she felt her tummy heave. The morning sickness was due any moment soon, hurriedly pushing her chair back Nabila ran into the downstairs toilet just in time. Up and out came the toast and tea she just had. She could no longer pretend.
“Jamal” she called. He was already behind her
She looked up at him “I am pregnant”
“Jamal” she called again. He just stood at the door jamb frozen like he was in another time zone. Like the information was taking longer to reach him.
“Ka na jin na kuwa- Are you listening to me at all?” She asked his statue
But Nabila saw it. The joining of the dots in his head, she even knew the exact point he replayed the doctor visit. “Don’t worry its good news” the man said smiling. “Take good care of her” he advised on their way out.
Jamal levelled his gaze with hers. His knuckles pushed through the fist his hands formed.

“It’s not possible” he whispered
“Yes it is”
“ long...since wh-?
“One month” Nabila answered. She could not believe she was doing this crouched over the toilet, in the middle of morning sickness
“’s no way”
Nabila didn’t have time for this; another wave of nausea was on its way
“You didn’t know what was happening. I made you unconscious. I gave you an erection...”
“It didn’t happen! Stop saying it did”
“Remember the headache. Remember saying Be-” Nabila dunked her head in the toilet and threw up, twice. When she looked up Jamal was gone.

Rabi Bello rushed to the waiting area in the hospital, the PA system said it was urgent that she report there at once. Knowing she would only get called out of rounds for an emergency; she proceeded to jog from one ward to the other till she got to the central building. She arrived panting, to see Jamal tapping his foot and running his hands repeatedly through his hair. He wanted to fool around now? Really? It was 8.00am.
“Jamal not a good time” Rabi said annoyed she got called away for this. She kept her voice low so the matron wouldn’t hear. Jamal stood up trembling
“I...didn’t know...I swear...thought...dreaming”
“Tricked me. I should have known...headaches”
“You have a headache? Ya Allah your hands are shaking”
“What? What has happened to her?” Rabi shook him “Say something”
“Pregnant” her hands dropped from his shoulders
“But you two don’t...have not for a lon-...You said you weren’t...”
“We are not, but”
“But what? It was an immaculate conception?”
“Ina barshi- I was sleeping. I thought it was you. Wait, I beg you, please wait, and let’s try to figure this...”
“We’re done.” She said firmly
“Congratulations” Rabi walked away

Nabila waited in the dark for her husband to return. Every time a car drove by her heart skipped a beat. The wait was killing her. She would subject herself to any paternity test he wanted, take a polygraph. He knew and she knew that it was for no other. She glanced at his briefcase, and the papers he left at the dining table. For the first time in her marriage, Nabila was scared Jamal would throw her out. The reality of living without him fostered fresh fear. Nabila could not survive without Jamal, even at their worst, her sheets still smelt of him and that was enough.

“I want you to leave” Jamal had come in. Nabila stood up on shaky legs, with cotton in her mouth. Her world had just collapsed
“Get out. “Ki koma gidan babanki- back to your parent’s house”
“What will you say I did?” He would have to drag her out by her hair
Jamal kept quiet. He hadn’t thought of that.
“When Baba asks you my crime, what will be your query? That I had the guts to carry your child?”
“Are you defending what you did?”
“I begged you Jamal. Asked time and time again, that we at least discuss the possibility”
“And I said no because I knew it was wrong to bring a child into the home we had”
“That would have been fine if we were working towards fixing it. But you weren’ hoped I would get frustrated and just leave so you made me unhappy”
“Making you happy is a full time job Nabila.”
“You married me”
“Because I hoped you would change”
“And I assumed you wouldn’t”
They were quiet. Their marriage lay before them illuminated in the darkened room, flaws and all. It was now or never, the fight or flight sequence
“I want us to work. I want to be married to you”
“No you don’t” he shook his head softly “You have what you wanted out of this marriage”
“Jamal I love you” Nabila exclaimed. It was clear for all to see her life was him. “You know this. You to give me meaning”
“I used to need to hear that. It made me feel safe, massaged my ego. Not anymore, because my feelings aren’t the same. I don’t love you Nabila, I never really did.”
Nabila slid to the sofa; hand over her mouth, trembling with truth serum
“I can’t divorce you now, not while you’re pregnant with a child that’s my responsibility”

Amaka Nwafor reviewed the application of the Igweze’s. They hoped to enrol their grandson, Nnamdi in September. Amaka flipped to the charity section of the file and hissed in annoyance at the unsubtle display of a newspaper clipping featuring her parents. They posed beside one another at a breast cancer awareness luncheon, Amaka rolled her eyes. If this couple thought her parents were a form of bribe they were sadly mistaken. A soft knock caught her attention and Ikenna strolled in holding a red heart and a white envelope to his chest. He placed them gently on her table and pulled out a chair
“I didn’t ask you to sit” Amaka said ignoring the box of chocolates
“I came to apologise”
“I gathered”
Ikenna remained on his feet and read out from the card himself, it was large and white with ‘Forgive Me’ written in swooping cursive against a bouquet of red roses. It was too over the top for her. You would have thought he ran over her dog. When he was done Amaka had already gone back to work
“I am trying to say sorry. You could at least hear me out”
“Yes why. Why should I listen to anything you have to say?”
“Amaka I did not know it was you. All I thought was here’s another one Mama has given my phone number to. If you said your name...”
“Oh that’s right. It’s my fault.”

Ikenna rubbed his head, it had been a while since he had to apologise to a woman. He was sure chocolates and grovelling were a failsafe formula to get the ball rolling. Amaka had barely glanced at them, she resumed her work. Wow, she was going to be tough. He excused himself and drove back to Central Bank; he stayed in his office till midnight. Who does she think she is anyway? Na woman he never knack before? Abeg jare; khaki no be leather. Still after a cold shower he lay in bed and thought about the outline of her breasts against her shirt and tiny braids falling inches above where her nipple should be. Braids and boobs. With sad eyes, strong shoulders and a giggle like a teenager. He already knew he was going back to her office tomorrow.
He missed her this time, that happens when you don’t call ahead. He dropped off his offering. A red card with ‘I’m Sorry’ in a large font and white chocolate with coconut fillings. She didn’t call to say she received it and he didn’t call to ask if she did. The next two days he was busy so when he did grab some free time, Ikenna drove up to the botanical gardens to buy flowers. Maybe they were the missing component.

“What do I buy so a woman will like me?”
The florist looked at him and smiled “she is a lucky woman” she said
Ikenna couldn’t be bothered to flirt “which one?” he asked staring at the array of colours and petals and stalks
“What could anyone be angry with you about?” florist lady batted her lashes
“You should get sunflowers” Nabila chipped in
Ikenna turned and gave her a brief hug “Ah my guardian angel”
As he paid for the dozen stems, Nabila shooed away the sullen florist and calmly settled herself behind the work station. It was obvious she came here often
“So what else have you tried?” she trimmed the ends and began to arrange the bouquet in a glass vase. Ikenna told her and Nabila visibly cringed
“Haba Ikenna. That is so sickly sweet”
“Isn’t the whole point to try harder?”
“No, it’s to try better. White chocolate and large cards are way too fancy for Amaka’s taste”

“I’m sort of getting to my last hurrah Nabsy”
Nabila completed her presentation with a few springs of green between petals, and looked at his lost expression.
“Amaka loves dark chocolate. The Ghanaian 75% cocoa, just one bar fa, something she can enjoy guilt free.” Nabila then proceeded to tell him what to write as a personal message on the card
“That’s what I meant” Ikenna said exasperated
“Then say it” Nabila handed him a pen

Amaka returned to her office from walking the kids to after school activities, she took off her peep toes replacing them with golf balls, rolling her feet along for a self-massage. There had been no more packages left on her desk, which was a shame seeing as she was becoming popular amongst her colleagues for having a full candy bowl. They ravaged it all- guests, clients, the twins, headmistress. All except her; it was a matter of principle, plus she hated those fancy, centre filled sugar cubes. Chocolate was most delicious in its purest form. Amaka startled when she heard the knock, Ikenna walked in and placed a chocolate bar on her desk gently. It was her favourite; this had Nabsy written all over it. She and Ikenna stared briefly
“I wouldn’t think less of you if you ate it” he said with those naughty eyes. Like he meant something different, something cheeky

Amaka tore open the wrapper and bit off a square, oh this was good. It hit the spot. Ikenna got up then and disappeared behind the door returning with a vase of sunflowers. They were beautiful and the vase wore a fluffy white ribbon like fancy neck tie. Amaka played with it while she chewed on the sweet and bitter creamy goodness
“The flowers were my idea” he said with a grin. Amaka read the card: ‘I was rude. I never meant to hurt you. I’m sorry. Please hear me out’.”
“Why didn’t you just say that?”
“I tried to” Ikenna rubbed his head, women!
Nabila made him promise to leave if everything was going well, which seemed to be the case, so with great difficulty, he got up
“Well I’ll leave you to it”
He made it out the door before she called him back “Do you want a Ribena?”
“I love Ribena” he rushed back in. Amaka raised an eyebrow
“I mean I like Ribena. I think about it a lot, usually at the office but mostly before I go to sleep at night. I would love to get to know Ribena better. It seems very straightforward and honest and kind. It’s also very pretty and looks good in red, I wonder if its lips taste like strawberry or red currant”
Amaka averted her gaze for a second “Ribena is made with blackcurrants”
“Ah that’s right” Ikenna sat back down pulling his chair up to Amaka’s desk.
Rabi Bello placed her pillow over her head and turned her phone face down, it was silent but the flashing light from Jamal’s call was pissing her off. She was pissed off a lot lately, at everything, everyone. She cancelled on Nabila; the thought of sitting next to her, knowing Jamal’s child was sleeping in her tummy was too much to bear. Why was she angry? How long could she and Jamal last anyway? Something had to give, someone had to walk away, and someone had to get hurt. The conversation they had been dreading was just resolved for them. She had an 8 week niece/nephew and Rabi hated feeling that she would never love it. Jamal as usual thought they could sort it out with magic fairy dust or something.

He now assaulted her at work of all places, saying nonsense. When she asked him, what else he proposed they do, he would only blink those eyes and say he needed her. Well she needed her sanity and right now even her lust could not justify her continued association with him. ‘Go home to your pregnant wife’ she said at the end, he would not. Rabi tried to explain to him, that he thought he loved her now, but once he held his child, it would be dwarfed in comparison, she was a doctor, she saw it all the time, men fell in love at the very end, in the delivery room. Rabi was not going to wait to be dumped and pitied, so she took the bold step and ended it first. Her extension rang
“Me ne ne- what is it?”
“Baba na neman ki- Baba is looking for you”
Rabi wasn’t aware her parents had returned from Dubai. She pulled an oversized t-shirt over her head and walked to the garden. She met Jamal waiting in the bushes and stared at the gardener as he pocketed the wad of naira notes before promptly walking away. He walked out the gates and bolted them behind him.
“Jamal ba ka jin magana- you don’t hear word”
“Rabi Dan Allah”
“What? What are you begging me for? What do you want me---what else is there to do?”
“Just wait till after she puts to bed. Then I’ll leave her”
“After you’ve held your baby, you’ll walk away”
“Wallahi” he swore
Rabi shook her head, no father was able to and she was not willing to wait 7 months while Jamal realised that.
“The marriage is dead, you know this” Jamal rubbed his sleep deprived eyes
“Marriages all over Abuja run on a lot less than mutual love for the children”
“I love you Rabi”
“No Jamal you love sex. That is the high you are used to, now you are going to have to find it elsewhere...”
“Because” she continued “even I can’t sink so low as to sleep with you while Nabila is pregnant”
“Rabi please...” Jamal saw the finality in her eyes
“May Allah forgive me for what I’ve done”
Rabi turned and walked away, in her room she blocked Jamal’s number and cried till she heard the call to morning prayers the following day.

Nabila Mujahid knocked heavily on the door, she banged with her fist till Amaka answered. Nabsy fell on her best friend and sobbed, she cried and cried and cried and could not be comforted. Somewhere in her ripped-to-shreds state she felt different hands on her shoulders, felt the lure of a pillow, the cold glass on her chapped lips. She resisted all, hanging on to Amaka for dear life and crying herself into a frenzy. Eventually she slept, with fingers tight on her friend’s satin blouse. When Nabila woke up, she had a pounding headache, the whisperings of voices. Shouldn’t the twins be sleeping? She thought; the tenor caught her attention. It was male, but it wasn’t Jamal. Nabila blinked through her migraine in time to see and hear Ikenna say “She’s waking up. Get the Panadol”

She tried to sit up; the splitting headache was too painful even with Ikenna assisting. Why did Amaka call him? This was so embarrassing.
Amaka came into her blurry view and fed her a glass of water, cooing and rubbing her back. Nabila painfully swallowed the tablets, only because she was too tired to protest. With great difficulty, she forced her eyes as wide as they would go, to take in the complete view of Amaka and Ikenna sitting side by side on the coffee table and staring at her like a pair of worried parents at a wayward teenager. They looked nice, Nabila thought. Too nice in fact. Ikenna was wearing a suit with the now loosened tie and Amaka a red satin blouse and black pencil skirt. Ya Allah. She had interrupted a date.
“I am so sorry”
“No” they both chorused
“I didn’t know”
“Don’t even say that” they hushed her every time
“Do you want to talk about it?” Amaka asked. Nabila nodded and by the time she sat upright, Ikenna had left the room.
“Jamal has been giving me a hard time since I told him about the baby. After telling me he never loved me, he promised to be around for the child but he hasn’t. I take care of all doctors’ appointments and go to them alone. He’s moved out to the guest room and I –I -I”
“It’s okay. Take your time”
“I just realised the toxic environment I’m would be bringing my child up in.
“I know sweetie” Amaka patted her knee, urging her to continue
“I’m three months today and I felt the baby kick for the first time. He wasn’t interested. I planned to tell my parents today as well, naively I thought by now Jamal would have come round to the idea, we could pretend to be civil but he told me to go find the baby’s real father to drag along for my circus act. He said I ruined his life. That I was an evil witch and my baby a spawn” Nabila began to cry again, she didn’t want to go back home. Not tonight.
“Stay here tonight” Amaka said hugging her “We’ll talk more”
“Thank you. Ikenna fa?”
“Don’t worry about him. He wasn’t getting any anyway”
Her phone vibrated causing her to break from Amaka’s soothing hug and back rub; it was the landline at her parents. She pressed ignore, only to see a previous 10 missed calls. She called back right away, mama answered
“Ba ki dokan waya kowa- you don’t answer anyone’s phone calls?”
“Mama I’m sor-”
“Haba mana”
“Mama I already sai-”
“Rabi has formally accepted Alhaji Tukur’s proposal. She ‘s getting married”

By S.B