In the wake of 2020

Two evils on the rampage
Non lesser
Same might
Same will
One is about colour
About your unapologetic melanin
about just being human

The other is blue
An irony
a parody of the law
Its triggers are
A uniform,
Bullets
A gun
Some authority
To pull you to
The other side
Where its still
Damp
And smells of earth

Two devils against humanity
Two devils on the rampage
Two devils we shoved under the carpet too long
To come back haunting

Zinniewrites©20

WhatsApp in the time of Covid19

Its the year 2020, WhatsApp has become a platform for discoveries, a haven for researchers, theorists,Journalists, challenges and sleazy cyber scammers.

Surprisingly, my mum just earned a PhD from the academy of WhatsApp, the forwarded blazing hot broadcast messages make me realize how Covid19 could be cured by mere bitter kola and garlic and how hot water ;an active antidote could be used to flush down the virus out of one’s system and prolly out of this world.

I never knew Tola my lowkey introverted friend possessed so much verbal prowess until 2020. Same with the weave selling sistah hitting my DM with splash sales of affordable hair. Soon everyone is a theorist with statuses of evil vaccines,Infected masks,corona causing radiations flooding my account. The Apocalypse I learned is here.

Slay queens and Bob daddies too aren’t left out with the cool dance challenges rolling out on TikTok. As whatsaap flows with the trends, the slick yahoo boy down the lane smiles to the bank with the Scam “work from home” links and Covid19 relief funds where life savings of unsuspecting individuals are drained.

World economies,family bonds, relationships,livelihoods and personal freedom are being choked by Covid19 and WhatsApp at its own end continues to assist in subtle ways: Panic stricken statuses, rumours,speculations, conspiracies, bigoted opinions and schemes.

Its still 2020, you’re indoors with an overdose of Netflix,probably getting fat,tired of the four walls, sick of isolating and wondering if things will return to normal: The good old days when the paychecks were assured, when personal freedom and human connections were golden.

IT USED TO BE DARK

It used to be dark, your skin the shade of night with a million stars.Your head was once crowned with kinky locks and your lips full with Nubian thickness. You’re the lady next-door, slender and adorned with break neck curves. Carefree and high-spirited you walk, with heads turning for a glimpse of a charm that has soon given in to fade
If you did not come home looking like a stray cat with distorted words spilling from your guts,I would least not care, none of my business if I might add.If I wasn’t tormented by the sound of your wailing during the past nights, I wouldn’t sit wide awake lost in thought of what makes a morning-glory wither away in seconds. Nnenna open up the door, even if you scream “go away” till the end of the world, I’m the least you should expect obeying your orders.
It’s midnight and the whole flat is awake,whispers are running back and forth the spiral stairs,doors are ajar,windows sliding open for the latest gossip.Your gossip, they want your story as bad as the world needs peace. Ms Nana stopped by my flat the other day, she wants to know just like the rest, why things are going down the bend, she even sneers that it could be the “search for a husband” that is running you wild. Mama Tega and her cronies down the hallway, have equally been slamming their speculations in your face, “e be like say dem don do this one for village abi, fine girl like this na here she wan come show wéré they say with contempt. David, your neighbour has approached me on my way to the store,” your friend can be cured ” he says, I try to ignore him, till he explodes, “your friend is possessed by marine powers, I can tell, I know a prophet who…..”
Nnenna, open up the door, I am always here to help. I certainly am, remember the old days, remember how reluctant I was in having anything to do with you. I used to wonder how God would bless someone so much with the goodness of life and leave others with nothing, I detested you at the slightest but you pulled me out of this shell and made embrace all that life has to offer. A zillion times, I realised how a glitter of hope could shatter the looming walls of darkness.We used to sit in the moonlight, under the guava tree talking and joking about how life was having its way, how moments could turn into years and how years could crumble in seconds.If anythings slips into memory’s drain, it shouldn’t be your smile; the ends of your lips stretching into rays of light. We would talk about our challenges, our fears, our wants and the darkest secrets the outside world would never dream of knowing and most of all we bury all within us, in the dim recesses of our mind.
Slowly we drifted apart, our bond crashed into oblivion,without nothing much of a trace, Like a dream you transformed into a you my senses fail to accept , you suddenly sold out the melanin about you, for a shade close to the colour of Boleé(roasted plantains),you traded what makes you you; the Afro curls atop your head for Barbie’s golden locks.Your quest for perfection grew strong in this little space of time, perfection crashed the thing called ego. Perfection I must confess has crumbled many, leaving them with nothing left of the imperfection they once possessed. If it is completeness you want, you are indeed complete, perfect like the arch of a rainbow on a rainy day.
It’s past midnight and the chilly air of the night has sent everyone in,balconies are empty and doors shut with a quietude that professes rest. Halfway into bliss and you are at my door with a smile, the size of a crescent moon. Peculiar as it may seem, I have you seated on the sofa close to me, while I stroke your weary head with ease. You are out of breath, I can tell from the words you hold back, the dark circles beneath your eyes and the colour draining from your face. when I recount the past and how much we’ve grown apart, you say nothing and ramble on about how life has crumbled you into dust, how empty your world has become, the days are scarier you say and the nights no exception.I feign anger when you chide me for not caring enough, I actually do care but emotions I must say have blinded you. We have been on the same boat in the past and you saw me through it all and since we dwell in the present,I can confidently say that seeing you sail through this storm with your head held up high in victory is all that matters.
Your words melt my stance, they mingle with my emotions and leave me suspended in mid-air, where I am left without words. Am I beautiful you ask? don’t I deserve to be happy? why won’t I get me a soul mate? Months are turning into years and everyone keeps asking when I will walk down the aisle? Mother won’t let me be, she certainly won’t.

Your questions are like a leash on my neck, how many times do I have to tell you that you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, how many times do I tell you how lucky you are to be you , how many times do I tell you that happiness doesn’t come from the influence of pressure. A man can’t give you joy if you there’s no seed of joy planted within, completeness doesn’t come from having the other person, it certainly comes from within.

Your voice is up again in tears, cry all you want and ease the pain emanating from your insides if it means so. “You see my hair”, you say while holding on to my hands which begin to caress the already dry tears on your cheeks, “my new skin tone, my new self, it all came as a result of someone who I thought could make me happy,I gave in and here I am sapped of all vigour and above all of every reason to live, can you help me, can you take the pain away “? Yes I whisper into your ears, a lie that sends you leaning into me for comfort.We go on talking till the night is spent and just when tranquility takes charge of the night, you floor me with the most puzzling of questions. Am I going mad? E mego m nkopu? (Have I gone wild?). Who made you think so, who? Then you point out to me that I just mentioned the fact that the whole flat thinks you are berserk. While I search for the right words to convey my apology, you let out a laughter, sinister in its way and in that minute you rush at me with your fists but I duck right in time and soon we are falling back on the sofa in hysterics, our bodies touching, hearts beating and when I reach out for you, you recoil with eyes full of questions and I unsure of what to say stare into the dark. In the stillness of the night, you are complain of how fatigued and lack- lustre you have become, your head throbbing, your mind sailing through series of thoughts, sleep I know will soothe you just fine, here’s my bed and myself to sing you to sleep. Still not convinced, you shuffle towards the shelf, rummaging for your so-called solution. Will it ease my ache? You ask.Sure,just two tablets will do the magic, come sleep here on the bed while I have the sofa. The visitor they say is king but this night you are queen, my queen. After downing the dose of Aspirin, we settle into the night sleeping like we just ran cross-country. Truth, we just ran the race of emotions and desperation while picking up all we could from the quicksand that depression tries to sink us in.
While you snore into sleep, I sit up and watch the peace in your face, the peace that you used to have, this peace I am certain will return. Dawn finally sets in with the buzz of the alarm clock, my eyes already heavy from last night suddenly slip open and at this moment I realise that you are no where in sight, all I can see is the space where you slept, the crease of the bedspread in different directions, the warmth of your body escaping with the morning air and your smell of cucumber oil ushering in the day.
Dawn grows into dusk and you are still not in sight, the neighbours say they saw you not, and I too have grown panicky. Your line rings to no end and you have failed to reply any of my texts. After much speculations, I am forced to do the most stirring of things. The police have I called and they are out looking for you, where have you been? They say, who saw you last? They interrogate. Everyone knows it is I, they know the bond between us, they say it is isn’t the normal, love they think it is. As the night progresses,I am made to realise how hurting it feels to hear the truth and how heavy it is to bear the truth but all have I done and here am I trying to figure out why you slipped away without telling. Why you slipped out of my life,why you never told me there was more.Nnenna you came, saw it all and left me in this consuming state of mind; emptiness there is. I thought we could work this out, I thought we could glue the shards together, I thought we could re-write the times. I still wonder why you brought me out of this shell, only for you run back in. Just like you never opened up your door to me even when I did, you still did not open up your mind to me. You held back the depression that soon swallowed you up. You held back your infirmity from the world, you held back a secret too long from me. Your diagnostic test lies at bottom of the septic tank, I flushed the secret hidden at the bottom of your drawers down the drain. This the outside world will never know. A pact that will always remain between us. The world thinks you died of heartache and depression, they think your downing the whole contents of the Aspirin bottle was a means of escape from the jaws of depression, but you and I know that your fears of being positive with the immunity virus made you grow wild with thoughts. The fear made you bid me farewell in the strangest of ways.Your farewell still haunts me till date, it grapples me to the point where living feels surreal,nothing seems real except your memory, a stamp upon my heart. The guava tree since your demise has ceased to be bear fruits, it now stands waning into a shadow of itself, I think it misses you dear, even the moon has ceased to glow during the night. Stop exaggerating, it’s definitely mother nature, your voice resounds jolting me from my revelry. My eyes swing into action, searching fruitlessly for you and no sooner does your absence drill the obvious in me. Move on, it screams.
It’s Friday and I have packed all my belongings, for an abode where I hope to find sanity. On my way out, I am forced to pass by your now empty flat and all I can hear is your voice, a quaking laughter that stirs my memory. Guilt sits back and prods me at each end, it chimes the bells of the early Friday morning, the Friday I let you have the bottle of Aspirin that spirited you to the other side,where it’s cold,dank and smells of earth.
Zinniewrites(c)17

INSOMNIA

Going to bed feels like a horror tale
Thinking of a shuteye gives me creeps
Sleep is dead
And I’ve known no stranger
Stranger than my pillow
Night have mercy
And draw no nearer
As you mock my crave
Back and forth do I pace
I toss and turn till I’m dazed
Lucidity versus insanity
Whether I’m at the pills
Or nature taking its course
I see no end to this torture
As I’m up
A perforated soul
Witnessing the break of dawn.
zinniewrites(c)2015
photo credit: (c)shutterstock.com

IF DEBT IS A NOOSE

There was not a day that I never thought of running away. I could run in search of respite, to an abode bursting with peace,free of anxiety and most especially free of every face I know.

Some talk of monsters creeping around,some others of nightmares haunting through sleep but none can be compared to you. Day in and out, you never fail to slide into my sleep, a plot of gruesome dreams, and at sundown you charge up with your horns at me, savouring my flight into zilch, where today is nothing but a fragment of yesterday’s illusions.

zinniewrites(c)2018

picture Credit:Shutterstock

 

 

 

CITIZEN JOURNALISM

I may have posted this late due to some reasons but the main thing is that I can confidently call myself a certified citizen journalist as YALA citizen journalism program came at an opportune time. Throughout the course of this insightful program, I gained a lot, met new people from diverse backgrounds,became more open-minded than I have ever been, learned and acquired peace building skills plus I have found out ways through which I can contribute to causes I care about. Life I will say becomes a lot easier when we sought out ways to improve not just our inner man but individuals around us and most especially our community and the society at large.

Commonwealth youth council

Although I wasn’t shortlisted, my effort did not go in vain during the awareness campaign initiated by the commonwealth youth council for young people living with disabilities. Enclosed is my certificate of participation and equally the poem I shared for the awareness campaign. #mydisabilitydoesnotdefineme #diasbiltyisnotinability

UNSEEN

It’s not a curse

Neither a spell

But an endowment

Peculiar in its way

One soul, one mind, one heart

Similar to yours in every way

The height of my senses fascinates you

How I find my way through

This pitch dark world

How I can tell the various timbres of your voice

It is as old as conception

You see I can’t tell the time

I wasn’t me

Draw nearer

As I dust your scent off

The shelf of my memory

Let my fingers run

Through the contours of your face

And hold the words that proceed

From your mouth

The smile; a gift I will return

With a quench to all curiosity

Listen to the words

That choke me all day and night

Words which you must absorb

Listen; give your sympathy to the air

And let it float away from my perception

Because

I am able

CHILD ABUSE AT NO, 1 MMADU STREET

A distress call from a concerned citizen in far away Ajangbadi Lagos, brought us face to face with an abuser,a child beater,a man who in no way whatsoever is worthy to be called a father. The world is gradually loosing it, if people rather than facing the challenges of living resort to pouring their frustrations on harmless innocent children. A child being a free gift from the creator does not give anyone the right to take it for granted. In most homes, children receive the best care ,love and protection but the same cannot be said of the millions of kids who find themselves in very abusive homes.Often, these children become mentally dysfunctional or are tormented by the trauma of these events even if they make it to adulthood.
Free Africa Network for Women development is by design, an NGO geared towards women and the girl child development. Our scope of work mainly covers training and mentoring women and girls on skills and education that will give them a sound footing in life but more often, we are bombarded with distress calls and messages from concerned people, who like us can never look the other way when issues concerning distressed children are involved. When faced with situations like these ,we go all out to arrest it..
In the case of little Emeka and his two siblings, a distress call came from a good Samaritan living on the same street as Emeka. Going by his story, Emeka’s father (Uzoma Okpa), a widower, formed the habit of constantly beating his three children at any slightest provocation. According to the anonymous caller, Emeka who happens to be the first child receives the bulk of his father’s cruelties.The reports made by the caller were not immediately attended to by out team due to so many constraints at that time. Although we assured him that we would definitely attend to them but on the 31st of August, a call came in again through the same individual, this time around informing us that this same Mr Uzoma Okpa had beaten his son Emeka to death.
On the 1st of september we arrived the location very early in the morning. Locating No 1 Mmadu street,Jakande, Ajangbadi was not difficult as a guide helped us out.While in the neigbourhood, Neighbours took time to narrate how Mr Okpa fought and abused anyone who dared challenge him claiming he reserves the sole rights to correct the children when ever they erred.On that fateful day,he beat the boy to a pulp leading to unconsciousness, just because the little boy confessed to have tampered with a pot of soup prepared the previous day.As soon as Okpa saw his son slump,he took to his heels.It took the help of the community who caught up with him and mobbed him.The timely intervention of the community members and the doctor of a nearby hospital helped to stabilise the victim,an eight year old boy who at the time of our visit to the hospital was still battling for life at the intensive care unit of the hospital.It was a mixture of feelings beholding Emeka on the hospital bed,being very grateful that he made it despite his critical condition.Outside the hospital,we put a call across to the divisional police officer in charge of Ajangbadi police station, Ilemba Hausa division, whom on receiving our distress call promptly sent police officers from the Human Rights Desk of the station to come and meet us in order to get the situation report and possibly pick up Mr Okpa. The police arrived in no time and after listening to all concerned,the suspect was finally arrested after more than 10 hours seige. We have followed up little Emeka’s recovery and as at this morning 4th of september, there has been a phenomenal improvement.He managed to stand for this photo shoot.
His father has been taken into custody awaiting trial, we hope to take this children upon the discharge of Emeka to a foster home or back to a capable and responsible family member while keeping a close tab on their development.

N.B- we want to use this medium to express our heartfelt appreciation to the following individuals:
-The Anonymous caller who made spirited efforts to reach us
-The Police at Ajangbadi Ilemba Hausa station,Lagos Division,Especially the Human Right police Officers; Gladys Udegbe and her colleagues
-The residents of Mmadu street for your co-operation and support
-The chief medical director,Abanishe Hospital whose selfless efforts led to saving the life of little Emeka.
You have all restored our faith in Humanity

(free Africa Network For Women Development; is a non-governmental organisation based in Lagos, with a vision driven towards women empowerment and girl-child education)
contact/more info:Oneafrica231@yahoo.com
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Twitter: fanwd_11

I came across this little girl today, on my way to an event. As I observed closely, I noticed that all wasn’t well. So I walked up to her and asked why she was crying and running all over the place, at the ever busy Celle/Ijesha expressway. She began narrating, amidst sobs about how her mom made her stay with an aunty, who she claimed often maltreated her, and that having lived with this said aunty for the past two years, she wanted to go back to her mom. Lost on what to do next , i asked to be taken to see the aunty, since taking her to a nearby police station was rejected by the crowd that had gathered by now (trust Lagos onlookers)
Finally, I met with this aunty after walking some three streets from the expressway. Narrating her own part of the story, the aunty claimed the girl’s mother put her in her care, because haven remarried, her current husband forbade her from bringing her kids to live with them …..a precarious situation here. After much thought, weighing every option at our disposal, we concluded on returning the little girl back to her mother.
Meeting the girl’s mom in Bariga was a different ball game altogether, but thank goodness, after coun
seling ,the young girl was united with her mom .

On this platform, we strongly advise parents to birth only the number of children they can adequately cater for, and whenever issues arise in the Union, put the children above every other consideration. Throwing your kids away because of a new found love is a very terrible and inconsiderate decision. Take the pains now, and for go any pleasures that comes at the expense of that child.

facebook, Free Africa Network For Women Development

          culled from Free Africa Network For Women Development: An NGO that empowers women and girls through skills training and education based in Lagos,Nigeria.