Posted in Uncategorized

IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS; ON NIGERIA AND HER DOLDRUMS.

DR NKULU:  What is it that makes our country so bad? I often wonder you see – these questions keep revisiting my subconscious with a consistency like that of the menstrual offing. I find myself sauntering into deep thoughts often, contemplating why we have become professional wailers in a country so blessed and in a land stuffed with limitless potentials. Much as I have reasoned, I find myself often bereft of any particular and certain explanation for our seeming proclivity for underwhelming mediocrity. I find this reverie of mine most tedious an enterprise, and yet so necessary a penance, so I think and think; its all I do!

GURU (Stroking his beard); I share your sufferings my good man. I too have severally  applied myself to thought; hoping to understand why we waste away with such finesse. Our largesse of political gaffes and our economic woes, often striking a fine halo of ignominy over my balding head whenever I think about our domicile. To tell you the truth, too many persons have proffered reasons why we fail as a country and too many suppositions have been submitted like mountainous propitiations at my feet. Yet, i am still at loss. I can not find one thread that ties the pack; the reasons person give often do not coincide with my preferred perspective. Most person blame some abstract like corruption, greed, poverty, over-abundance, ethnicity, nepotism and the rest as reason for our failings. But in all this, as much as I concede that these items are immediately affective of our situation as a country, I think them more as branches on the tree of our ever so wretched malaise than as the root cause of our problem. What say you Nkulu?

DR. NKULU; By all mean I agree with you great sage. These things person mention are the immediate causes of our suffering and underachievement as a country. But are they so much as their own roots? I think them not to be! If corruption is our major problem; how did it become so? If greed is our human frailty manifest as our bogeyman, why only us? The westerners are greedy too. To be human is to be flawed. How did our own flaws become so magnitudinal? If ethnicity is the reason behind our recurrent slumps, why so? Did we not learn in school that the Balkans of Western Europe was made up of Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovinia and a host dof other nations? We are not the only ethnically divergent state for christ’s sake. Before the fall of the Ottman, she encomopassed as many as a century of diverse people. Yet, the Ottman that fell in 1918, was perhaps more developed than our country in 2017. It is one wondorous confusion chirping in my brain!

GURU: Now that you mention it, I am reminded of the argument of one of my aquinances, MR DUIE, who recently, made bold to asseverate that our country is young and cannot be expected to be developed or as developed as other countries. I found his argument as bereft of any wisdom, as his scalp was bereft of the succor of fiber. If the age of a country was anything to go by, then the United States would not be the ace of the world. If a country which became independent in 1776 can be the major world power, then even sentiments should not allow any proper thinking person, with a total embracement of their wits, aver that a country at 50 should have nothing to offer to her citizenry, talk less about the Razzmattaz of the international camaraderie.

DR. NKULU: (smiles) Ah! America, the land of civilization. One begins to wonder, if we would ever become as developed as that country. 

GURU: We could be, only they would have far out bettered their current standard by the time; perhaps in a millennia, that we eventually heave all the way onto their current pedestal.  Intresting, it is how fast and how generously the United States developed…

DR. NKULU: It is actually attributable to her foundation as a state. You see, the United States was raised on the cornerstone of knowledge and the pursuit of development. Her founding fathers, created a standard of intellectualism and pragmatic knowledgebility, which came to become the very nationalistic food substaining the country. The U.S was built on the tenets of dedication, hardwork and nationalism. The Country’s foundations was forged with the blood of the many who died for her independence. He very first leader’s iunitated a culture of sacrifice, selflessness, development and true, unadulterated proactiveness.

GURU: So what you are saying is that the foundation of any state determines its subsequence? And that the U.S had perhaps the best of the lot in this regards?

DR. NKULU: Yes and no. Yes because the foundation of a country is imperative. No because, the abscense of a proper foundation does not constitute a latent death knell. 

GURU: If I were to relate to your reasoning, I think I may have found an answer to my nagging questions about our country’s woes.

DR. NKULU: Do share!

GURU: Our problem is rooted in our foundation, just like the U.S has her successes rooted in her foundation. Ours was a country built on greed, corruption, enthincity and the a grave list of malaises. We were inculcuated with the worse of vices from our very onset by very malevolent leaders. Our first instances as a counrty was characterized by double-speaks and schemings. But like you said, the foundation of a country is only imperative and not inexcusable. The genesis of our problems might be in our faulty foundation, but the exodus of our woes is in our reluctance to change. We have refused to discard the shackles which our fathers mounted on us by implication; and thus we waste. 

DR. NKULU: Of course! But then again, it is not as much about our reluctance to improve, as it is about our satisfaction with the status quo. Our leaders are conformtable in high places; they are the leech to our loss of blood and apparently, the lot of us are satisfied with the promises of heaven or paradise or of a better future somehow or someway, and will not move to alter this most callous orthodox of debauchery and wickedness. We live on promises celestial or earthly; we are comfortable in hopes. Alas, when hope becomes an odious opium.

GURU: True. We must rise above our comfort, and attack this madness that is quick replacing our definitions of sanity.

DR. NKULU: But who will take the first step? We are used to a culture of inertia. Perhaps, if someone was to move, we will be affted to brace up and join them.
GURU: I for one, am too old to take any such steps.

DR. NKULU: (Looking away, apparently loosing interest in the tete a tete) I am on the other hand, too young to affect such a grave and antique malady that has eaten into every crevice of our polity.

GURU:(scoffs) And that my friend, is why we remain afflicted by our ailment. The inertia of the visionaries and the diligence of verdants. Come Nkulu, I must tell you the story of the wise hare and the old lion. Perhaps when I am done, you will understand the nature of the conundrum facing our country.  

     

                                                                                                                                        Der_Vinci authored this mind blowing work of art.

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Posted in poetry

DESTINY’S BELL

Dear sis, are you as calm as you appear?

Speak please, I am attentive.

How come you ever glow despite everyday’s blows?

You do not stop smiling; I have taken to observing.

I see you live pretty small with your man, but how do you keep the joy?

Your marriage prayers got answered; just see how he looks into your eyes!

Verily you proved everyone wrong.

Thank God! I hear you have discovered your purpose.

Poco-a-poco, you are increasing

So tough is this your Faith.


But sister —
Any possibility I face more adversities?

I am positive I am hurting

My mind weeps; it reflects as contusion on my skin.

There is nothing new under the sun. I know.

But my swarthy soul tells I have known duskiness all my life

Before me is a labyrinth!

Is it bad I am not scared of my future?

I envy you, you know.

At least self-pity is not your better half.

I will fight anyway

It is either I am dispatched, or the growing mist

And shadows be given their quietus.
©OKOCHA OBED

Posted in non fiction

SHOCK

Stale tale it has become to hear that mentally unsound persons walk the earth – I mean, who does not appreciate the common knowledge? The shabby looks of men wearing torn skirts, with their brown teeth ever on display. So many times we just see these persons sitting in a sticky mud with a train of empty rusty milk cans around their body – giving a feel of the label hung around the Miss Universe contestants just with manifest hilarity. How we must have laughed at the hard-packed earth imprinted on the hairy buttocks of these persons as they walk like purposeful fugitives on barefoot. In real terms, you are to liken a mad man to a dog infected with rabies or a zombie with a crocodile pretence who strikes the jugular of a sane individual when blood thirsty – their bites are feared, and this makes people weary of having a close contact with them. This is not about mad man discrimination or schema rather it is a drowning of my conscience after a spit throw distance with a man on dirty dreads and torn sleeves.

The exams had drawn nigh, and it was a matter of familiarity with various texts in order to escape failure. I had packed books in my strapped bag and went somewhere distant to aid my dicta memorization by rote. I remember that day not because I had purchased sausage rolls, biscuits, and juice, like it were some camping, but because as I read that faithful evening, there was a man lying on a bad bench at my rear. He kept soliloquizing but with a total colouring of aggressiveness that one wonders what had troubled such a man with smudgy dada. I was distracted; and for a second, fear crept in – what if this mad man touched my shirt? What if he bites me? – I remained my cool that my ghost does not jump out of my skin. This soliloquist had left the bad bench now, and had started a lazy walk inside the class meant for the sound; I could see him clearly, I could read no clearly. He had his hair to be dull brown – it was the lowest version of Bob Marley’s – and he had his left hand constantly pulling his hair like he knew his head should be wearing something less hideous. His sleeve was supposed to be black but giving the unrepentant stain to characterize a troll’s garment; it could be confused for a local brown robe worn by the persecuted Dalit of the Hindu class. He had come very close to me picking the fourth nylon on the ground – the hope in his eyes gave his brownish eye some fierce, and it gave me some compunction when his eyes punctured at the emptiness of the food pack and other empty items trash-worthy.

He did not stop talking to himself that very day. I had laboured to make sense out of the gibberish he seemed to be telling an abstract friend, but did not succeed in the venture. He was a very disturbed man and lucidly hungry. I had stopped reading for minutes, and I had channelled my solo queries from why is this man in the school? How did he gain access into a class students’ use, this hot afternoon? To is he partially insane because of the crises he forbears? My heart was sore. I could not do anything about his twist of fate or unbecoming sorrowful end – I must have thought so. My eyes began to gather cloud and were pregnant for a salty rain; I packed my books into my bag and left for my room to tell a friend my experience – from fear or disgust, to a feeling of brokenness seeing his predicament.

I have watched myself grow the habit of travelling in order to suck in experiences every state’s milieu could advertise. I had enjoyed the long ride on a bus to Lagos, Abuja, Rivers state, and so on, and who forgets the number of times one gets to delightfully bless the earth with urine after each necessary stop on the Abuja sojourn – if it was an open space, there was need for the men to give the wee launcher a handful protection to deprive the prying eyes of passers-by in Kogi state. But there are experiences you wish you never saw first-hand. I remember very well how she looked when I climbed four long step-sections to her room; she had given me that steady gaze that left my eyes lost and unable to match the coldness of hers. She had all the support from that created by the doctors to aid movement, to her family who reminded her that it was not yet her time to leave the world. There was so much wealth oozing from the home her kicking husband had set up as one of several landed properties. I watched her talk with so much pain; I listened to her call herself a sinner praying she be forgiven; I listened to her say I put her in prayers. She had been medically declared a stroke victim – she could not do anything by herself, she was drying up by the second. I saw the garri slip out of her left shaky hand, she looked at her then stained wrapper and said we check back on her on some dealings if she was still alive. I left her home with so much pain and affection. I left her home with no words for her but nodded – her situation was one that really got me thinking.

In the end of it all, some peoples’ problems reduce the relevance you once attached to your situation. The rich and the hungry class definitely are not stratified when it comes to unrelenting health challenges. I wept because despite her riches, she was in a trying situation – even the old people do not want to leave earth with killing infirmities. But I remember she said pray for me – I could have done a miracle like Christ or His Disciples but I was of the view that I could not pull it off. All situations need a spoken word, and the gift of healing is not reserved for the pastors – forgive me Father, I could not take the chance. Self identification was needed to know my strengths, self realization was needed for the mad man’s relief and the old woman. But lost in the deep became a blossom friend to my frail carnal frame. Why are we God’s people when we cannot show an example or a trace? All that matters is that we take up the mantle and recognize that we are gods ably stuffed with the power of bringing to existence anything from speech and faith. But what is speech without studying to show oneself approved? The evil man has ever put us to shame, maybe it is about time we shock him.
OKOCHA OBED
 

Posted in controversial

THE LAST LEAF OF MY BLACK BRAIN BOX

The cruelty that has now come to stay is probably worse than what was before now, imagined or suffered; from cruelty of the heart, to a manifestation of desires by works or action. Evangelists in the western, eastern, and southern parts of Nigeria no longer go from door to door to share the word of God with the heathens as frequently as before – the North is a no go area as the evangelists are merely God’s servants and not miracle workers skilled at converting machine gun bullets to the harmonious vamping from a grand piano. This could have easily taken the form of “the trial of the black church” but there is no way we can say the churches have come with clean hands – they are not being tested, they have chosen to be tempted. Rev Samuel, I am nursing a heavy heart with a contagious riotous veneer somewhere patched in my black brain box. I have been writing every night – and like the scribes of old, I have been keeping records. Please I am here on my knees, Your Grace, not because I want you to pray for me – this intercessory prayer and daily communion has never been more banal and futile an exercise after all. I just want to pour out my confusions on your graveyard silence and hope that this therapy heals my fractured and tortured internal recess. I think there is a lot of foolishness in the world and I have found those responsible for this common sickness – it is not taking the form of “bullets in the sentinel” because the more a sentinel exposes the objectionable behaviour of the crime overlords, a journalist is buried – so I bring my last scroll to your confessional in the form of “the last leaf” because my confessions may be sinful, despite its complexities, but must be said to ease my brain from the tall suffering; this is because I hope I miraculously get struck with Alzheimer after airing the crucible my tongue, weathers.

I find it quite gauche to tell people that one of the things that make me vomit and retch, is the sight of people who are not just natural and original. Rev Samuel, do you not think that the sickness and sadness in Lana Del Rey’s voice or the cracking stretch marks on an average buttock, fulfils your belief that we were never made perfect? Maybe you do not share same examples because if you had your chance, you will do a lip tightening to have your lower lip finally relieve your jaw as is common in your country, The States. But as regards character, I suppose you hold that the old whites in Dallas are persons who enjoy minding their own businesses and serving their God with less doctrinal conflicts. I will not suffer your ears with further mysteries – the blacks no longer seek the Jesus you described as The Saviour of the world. The black priests here have imposed God’s calling on themselves, and they had to so do because the black people only love the prophet with a healing balm. They criticize you and your missionaries because you only teach the bible and break bread. Forgive me, Your Grace, if I am rendering tittle-tattle, but it has become necessary I let you know that I was starting to buy their thoughts that you are not the man called by God until Rev King was convicted in a Nigerian court. The news gets scarier that some big denominations here have in their foundation, human beings – black souls for a black magic under a black Jesus. I fear to pray as you taught, as I am made to savvy that you come from a country with little witches not open to herbs and dependable juju. But I do not still understand why it is spreading that I have to speak in unknown tongues before my prayers reach heaven, or that I have to be threatened with scriptures that I should better give God my entire earning if I want to have my migraine fizzled out. Your kinds have found it quite burdensome to appreciate the black nature of my skin, and I have found it equally burdensome to adjust to the cultureless society you were conceived into – I appreciated your wisdom that these are part of imperfections, years ago, but I fear the black people are no longer original – they seem towing the line of a yoking with people of your colour and this makes me scared for the morsel of culture, like respect for elders, not yet contaminated by your kind via the teenage love affair on channels on my Dstv. Jumbo, my friend’s cousin, came back from The States with a whole lot of niggotry escaping his mouth and hanging carelessly in the air – he ends every word with a curse and throws a staid laughter in between his teeth. Rev Samuel, there are too many conflicts in this world and pointers are now suggestive that your race is the dickens guised as a deacon with white robes. But I fail to believe that your race contributed to the penitence of Jumbo because it is almost ineluctable to live in a white land for three months and lose your mother tongue – this is not to say, however, that your race is without a blemish. I have been making lazy scratches on my black thigh for three nights now; I have been doing this unconsciously, while I quiz my existence as a black man. 

I remember your preaching, Your Grace, that sunny afternoon. You had just started talking about the need for unity and love to fill our soul. It was a rich sermon which had put the necessary fear in my mind that Jesus comes quickly and judgement was inevitable. You read from the second epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians that the antichrist will come with deception to pollute the weak, partial, and some supposed strong Christians; but when I read preceding verses, I saw that God declared He will cause deception to fill the minds of them that never believed when the good news was preached – I was clogged in my heart hoping you explain this to me once you detach yourself from your vestment and cassock after the recessional hymn. But in the course of waiting for you, I was trapped in my mind; I allowed my mind take me kilometres where I could see Adam and Eve in their white skinned nakedness. I wondered how I came to know blackness as though there was a creation from God the Holy Book left out, or my origin was from the apes named by Adam. I considered my forefathers were the descendants of Ham cursed by Noah, his father, for seeing his nakedness and instead of covering it, went to make it a discussion with Shem and Japheth. I felt the ache in my stomach when the names, Ham and Canaan were connected with the word “slavery” – the profusion of sweats in my pants was fast approaching as I swiped past different articles in my brain of slavery of the Blacks in America in 1619; the Portuguese had had their share in 1441; the up-to-date use of the enslaved Mauritanians are used as bonded labour though the act was earlier criminalised in August 2007; the second Sudanese civil war had humans, grabbed like tickets, walk into serfdom from 1983-2005; the scary truth of slavery’s ugly head in Senegambia; the 90 years of bondage of the Malians; the slavery of Kanem and the people of Nigeria, Ghana, to mention a few. But I could not suck the Ham hypothesis any further because it was highly unlikely that mutation could have a white man from Adam know the darkness of Steven Appiah of Ghana that you suspect his sweats could stain a white paper – if today there are white men in Kenya doing businesses, why has mutation not sucked the juice of his skin to the point of eclipse? Rev Samuel, I also resolved that I would regurgitate this question the moment you finished your vestry meeting. Almost immediately, my muse had segued into another possibility. I feared that the dolour and unthinkable throes the slaves with my skin colour faced, forced them to cling to hope, and from hope to an abstract helper called God, and to an embrace of faith and assurance that their rescue shall so come and His mighty clincher shall wipe out the White race. I know you advised me one evening when we had a biblical tete a tete, that it was good to know your roots so that one does not live a life without a map or destination – I did not forget your inserted reservation that in all my quest and quizzing, I avoid sinning against a God that is still drawn and designed by artists to having different skin tones. I had to leave the cathedral when I saw the face worn by the second white priest the moment I told him the tale my mind unwrapped with a suspecting hornswoggle – he had his nose lifted as though I smelt of shit, or there was so much sin fired up from my mouth causing an untold stench around his geneva gown and preaching scarf. I felt sorry for making him uncomfortable but felt bruised at the possibility he suffered negrophobia. May be I resolved that the blacks were unique; it’s been a year now, so I am not certain as to my take that very day.

It is very difficult these days to show care for a fellow black without it being called a political strategy even when you are honestly pained by the level of starvation and deaths of the black race. It is pretty much the fault of the erstwhile president of Nigeria who gave make-believes in his speech during manifesto days that now gives every appearance of kindness, a raised brow. I remember the prevarication spewed from the gob of Chris Okotie that God had called him to intervene in the crises in Nigeria by becoming the president – he lost like a toddler chasing Gareth Bale in the famous field event, football. But Rev Samuel, I know it is called hustle. Despite the blacks’ inadequacies especially in parliamentary sittings, it is to my mind that the first caitiff is your race, particularly your country – The United States of America. I have been reading some books in my chalky library, and I was convinced that your kind are the anti-culture and anti-independent race rapid to have signed anti-progress pact with the devil so long as you do not go back to being second in the world rank you even influence – the whole supremacy and questionable consistency like the parody of the billboard. I saw the published material by Walter Rodney and Chinweizu behind the pew on the last row of the cathedral. I read the contents and got convinced deep down that your race stands as one key element behind the folly on the blacks’ territory – using the blacks for slavery with a mirror exchange, such odd gesture. How your race so whipped the back of the blacks on a black soil put me in tears and an impulsive vigour to apply my sharp fangs on their white faces to give it a touch of red. Behind the civil war was the role of the British giving posh explosives to the brainwashed Northerners that they may be comfortable at re-defining Biafra – the why question is the oil answer. When I pondered on the reason why your race kept mistaken us for bread on good occasions or spoilt rice pilaf on bad moments, I forced the ugly answer that I was born to be inferior down my trachea, and with hope that it escaped from my anus. The too much trumping by the extant president of your country has extended further as he has chosen to stop being an emergency donor to the crisis-prone black community; the affected countries happen to be my country, Nigeria, as well as Somalia and South Sudan. I was indeed gobsmacked when the pleaders of his conscience reminded him that his decision could have the affected black countries join the Moslem nations, especially South Sudan with over 2.9 indigenes coping with kwashiorkor or less because of food-crisis, in bringing armed attack on the citizens of America. I was sore in my heart and it was not due to the cheap plonk I had just emptied while in my pen desk. The thought of the whites gave an itch in saved hairs in my pubic regions; the annoyance that dwelt in my heart after the death of Christopher Allen, an American Journalist, was that the names of the blacks never get mentioned except with a racial smirk with subtle sarcastic intents – fine, I considered my emotions having a better part of me that night so chose to retire my eyes from the BBC news to a smudgy legal article centred on international rules. Your state really has the whole world in trouble as they extended their peculiar supremacy theory to Nicaragua over weapons not theirs, and the uncalled-for attack on Iraq, to mention a few – they must see the world as some toasted bread they give a gradual gnaw at with enough lies to justify their actions in the political market they structured. This is a pointer to your government as a primary traducer and participant in the common sickness of the world. 

To be candid, I was at the brink of another resolution – a decision to suppress Sister Macbeth by stupefying means in order to beat the spirit off her skeletons when she called me Negro with a repugnant glance during a bible-study rehearsal – but I changed my mind because she was really apologetic when I went all ice cold immediately. It got me thinking, was there need to call the white indigenes the second problem to the world’s malady? Having asterisked the American government as the number one unwanted plant on earth’s vegetation – to remember the shooting of Terence Crutcher by the white Officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last year, never stops giving me the phobia to settle in the your country. But I decided to call the indigenes in your community the second destructive element anytime I got pop-up notifications from one of my role models in Charlottesville. He styles his messages that the letters appear ready to shed tears; he wrote me often how he assisted bullied Negroes in the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. I concluded I was not incorrect but the racial discrimination had to be given a dim view if the white indigenes be asterisked as the next tinge to the crisis of the globe. It is globally accepted that blacks cannot be racist; it is shocking how the South Africans char the skins of Nigerians like their dark skin is peculiar thus becoming a sweet smelling savour to whatever spirit in a Hindu festival. When I remember Balotelli being called a monkey because of his charcoal skin, I am forced not to be compassionate since he will rather play for Italy than trace his origin to his black tribe. The love for the black man has remained a natural instinct all my life but I must have thought too broadly that the feeling was mutual – even the Money Mayweather went on air to stress that he cannot use his money to support a black cause as no black man helped him. I saw in my third eye, certain commonalities that most blacks shared in unison – the discovery amused me and that was a relief to my stagnant melancholia. Out of the conflicts in my mind, I did not asterisk the indigenes of your country as the second problem. With a sip of hot milk the following night, I groped expectantly for a paper I suspected had fallen right behind my book shelf. It was a paper that had the details of what I considered to be the next element.

Too many things are fictional and it nauseates me sometimes, amuses me sometimes, and if it is some artificial boob job, it may distract me. Rev Samuel, I wonder how you cope with all the lovely voluptuous girls blessed with roundish outspoken gluteus maximus that rush to your rectory for one physical, emotional, or spiritual concern. It is this your righteous deed that really forced me to restrain my eyes from giving Uju’s rear end a proper valuation like it were some priceless jewels. Do not be disappointed for too long, Father, because I have stopped coming for the bible study programme. I noticed a growing reality in the black churches I read about in a detailed paper I found in my study earlier and it caused some seizures in my chest region. Rev Samuel, I do not know if you are aware that there are lot of evil practices prevalent in the black churches outside our location, Ojota. I developed cold feet at your bible teachings every Tuesday because they seemed ethereal or too utopian – I quizzed the thick darkness those times when I struggled how best not to call Proverbs 29:2 a fictional message like a robot with a human heart and emotions. The thing is, the righteous will never rule the black land but you seem to believe they will rule someday. I have been in utter confusion whenever you talk of the perilous times we are facing – which we have been facing before my birth, your birth, and for how long? Who knows? – But yet you teach us the fruits of a man with righteous deed and the good thing that will happen if we be righteous. If we are to know rapture soon with all the cues of the end gaining muscle like the flood in Texas, why become evasive with the reality that the world can know no more good? It should not be because of the young ones who remain doli incapax, that the congregation do not be in the know as far as the word entire denotes. Just away from Ojota was the shocker in Port Harcourt where a pastor was nabbed pounding a baby; the Royal Command Ministry in Cross Rivers had their underpants thrown into the public as it was discovered that a human heart was used to set up their altar – the others are too grievous that I cannot vouch for a sleep without nightmares if I mention them. Even Serwaa, my Ghanaian friend, is troubled by what rocks the boat of the black church – the offerings are endless with the whole focus on building a vicarage, a big church with extended branches, and even schools to university level that the General Overseer is the direct opposite of his disciples like a tiki taka possession game against a team from Sheffield. The black church was thus asterisked as one of the sacral strumpet that plagued the community – it sought the least thing in God’s kingdom, Rev Samuel.

I may need narcotics to take me back to the first day I saw the world with my mother’s colostrum welcoming me into the feel of breast milk, but I do remember the good culture as it then was. Just like Ghana, we had diverse ethnic groups with their unique customs and traditions – the native food, manner of dressing, mode of greeting and welcoming visitors, and the language. My grandfather then had read the history of Ghana and looked for any ear in the parlour that was in search for such knowledge. He had talked about the Ashanti and Fanti people having an interesting cultural variation from Moshi-Dagbani, Ewe, and Ga, because affiliation within the clan was through women – he gave a supplemental that mothers had a higher status as their point of view, people got blood from mothers in the two mentioned clans. Many other things that displayed etiquette were similar largely. He had said. The good morning greetings made blessings come from every elderly person, and it was enough to make you smile when you were called by your native pet names. But there is a whole but now especially as the children of God on barefoot, or those without piercings, or the tongue magicians, or those with skirts short-for-Christ as He is understood to look to intent rather than the physiognomy, or those that still wear sack clothes on Easter Sunday and Christmas, have missed the purpose. They carried upon their hands more of their family values or morality and interpreted the bible to include both – to question them is to argue like roadside harlots exchanging competence-on-bed slurs – that you wonder how they can effectively obey the difficult commandments of God and still attach addendums. They never pass the test. The average black man is a judge of whoever walks past his hood; he his either calling Tasha Cobbs a new intake in illuminanti for walking into the studio with Nicki Minaj, or he calling Rihanna a whore for grinding on Drake, and allegedly kissing a girl – the kissing is yucky if such acts were not already practised in the complaining black countries. Sadly, it is a norm. Rev Samuel, I was not complaining overtly with the additional rules by the common black man, but the fact that the blacks travel to your country bearing English names show they embrace your cultureless society where children are not beaten when they do some evil. Your culture is fast swallowing mine that I fear my identity is at the verge of being prehistoric like the Mammoths. The Nollywood and Ghallywood movies are now giving horny girls a shot to flash their nudities and performances as against the morals the early black men had so taught. The black hood is verily another factor behind the malady. The niggotry syndrome had shot the black man’s neocortex and given him the spirit of hate – you never try to prank 50 Cent and not have him flash his revolver, and you often see Kendrick Lamar drop diss rap songs as though he is insecure, or warding off unborn rap attack from other rappers, or he be fighting the dybbuk or a succubus. But there are just too much to drop on this particular point – I just tire of the lot. I left the other findings of the black man’s in a fire after reading it to Eke Martins who kept encouraging me in the black typical language saying write it before you die. Rev Samuel, the government is the last vomit I must point out briefly as my mouth is bereft of water and much saliva. 

The black government is probably the pith of my concerns. The thieves are in the government houses. Deziani needed just six years to show how determined she was to save money to earn her long trip to hell fire. From Mugabe to Buhari reflects the insatiable desire of man to so quest for a position healthy for a lesser age. The black governments stand accused of corruption – example is the emotional trial of Jacob Zuma – that it is now called by even the government to be the problem of the country in total; till today, the government is still looking for the corruption blue pen to call us liberated. But how will there be liberation from a person who threatened heads will roll if he does not become president in the early years of this century, Rev Samuel? I am not surprised that the government jobs are gotten by the well connected, but I was touched in my heart when I listened to a supposed educated Nigerian in Kogi state say that he feels God is angry with his people because the strange sickness was said to have killed over fifty indigenes of a rural area – God or the Devil is not responsible for the sleeping disease of the State Governor and his fratz to bringing medical experts from the capital or popular urban health centres to arrest the issue; they leave the community to a belief that they are cursed by the supreme being. I had to turn off my television, Father, when Obasanjo was asked what could be the way forward for Nigerians. He said Nigerians should cleanse their heart and relief it from filth and corrupt footings – same man that interestingly championed the birth of corruption now talks about cleansing with the intrepid mannerism like the light of God had shone upon him on his way to his money-farm. No I am tired, this is a sickening trend, because the government is surprisingly decaying the retrograding educational system by owing the association responsible for developing the public universities; the government have made a move they may even call heroic having reduced the cut-off mark of jamb to 120. The government has now made the jobless flee to your country to sweep the streets downtown in Skid Row area, Los Angeles, to grab some greenback to purchase an omelette with cheap juice in the Chipotle Mexican Grill, Compton. They are forced to become slaves there because their Government performed far less than yours.

I am here to tell you that these confusions will not follow me to Brazil. I have been advised to go over there to see the Latinos display dexterity in swerving waists like Beckham’s bender if my worry must know a pause. I will go start a new life there, find new hobbies other than writing manuscripts portraying the black community as it gives me endless headaches; who knows, I may take to photography and have the feel of paparazzi; I will always keep in touch so long as my credit cards are no worries; I must relieve my sight from the Nigerians who forward false messages of 666 on Obama’s head, or wear sack clothes whenever they hear from deceiving anti-Christ that Jesus will come after 30 days – their hypocrisy is amazingly unknown to them especially when they resume their jewelleries and human  hair. Finding my source of origin has proved abortive so I leave this last leaf with you, Rev Samuel, to free my mind. I will travel by canoe, do not bother advising I stay to save for a flight ticket. We are all living dead here, after all. If I perish, I perish.

OKOCHA OBED

Posted in poetry

HELP ME

I am nude!

My pants are down for your crotch

You great four men on me is good

Do not question what I be, just touch.


I cry!
My eyes are soaked seeing the fallen star

And to what my nipples numb, don’t pretend to inquire

Can’t clean the riotous blotch, I surrender.


I am the pieces!

My members are fast decaying

The chief physician himself needs stitches

So to you I turn to, stop delaying.


Help me!

No! Use me to help you

My clogged nose and dried lips call upon thee

Give me a lesser death, my neck does not refuse you.


I am blind!

With me are memories of my past

Till today I be to fall, my stick too hard to find

Whip my black skin; it is for me, sex, while I last.


Take me!

Mop my blood on the earth, but leave my corpus

I choose to be your harlot, only my weeping cannon should you see

But you will betray; to my prided members will you show your cockles.


I am aware!

Help me is better said lest you force me

I can’t help me from my nightmare.


© OKOCHA OBED

Posted in poetry

YOUR SMILE, MY VERSE

Light skinned mistress with a class of royalty. Who forgets the gown of hers in the freshman year? She refused a dance then with the cute brother; her shyness was worth tripping for as it showed her pupil run around in gentility; if it was a mere ineptitude at dancing, it was golden – the blush on her face as her cheeks went separate ways with a touch of red, was a sight hard to come by and slow to leave mind. 

Light skinned mistress with descending brows you never fail to see coming from edges of her face. A swagger of a child that abstained from chocolates when his friends needed the dentist was the sparkling teeth of hers you drop your best jokes to see. She throws her hair around in your imagination anytime the uneasy wind gives her hair a shake, you watch from a distance nodding your blanked mind like you are memorising a case law. But brother could not tell her he be tripping for that smile – he felt she had been told a million times to call one more compliment, a broken record. You never tell the colour of her pupil because pretty Stephanie was bespectacled during lectures – and when she is not wearing the glasses, her beauty becomes too piercing and distracting that you are not afforded enough time to scour the eye region. There was need to ask her if it was black, and to that colour she confirmed; to that confirmation was the jam-packed ideas of gold, green, or brown eyes halted.

Light skinned mistress clocks a year older today. She fears she is becoming old, I fear she is growing into a graceful queen to the detriment of ladies with garish cheapness of Mary Kay who must now be weary of the fall of their man upon her hello. I do not tell her my thoughts; I tell her I fear I may be too poetic. She laughs. It had come on a Sunday, so my wishes will be taken to the closest Anglican Church. Happy birthday sweetie, it is your God-given right to thrill the world with your smile; it is your right to aplenty; it is your time to shine brighter than the diamond – do not be bothered about possible casualties; we know how to take care of weeping emotions. I may not fling at the temple the wish that God grants you the man with husky voice, eight abs, as described by Nora Roberts, but I will still wish you that in my closet. One judgement from those photos is that you are still breathtaking with your eyes closed. Enjoy.
OKOCHA OBED

Posted in Uncategorized

ASHES

What is the worst thing in life if not to drown in waters of great depth? What is the most satisfying desire of the excessively distracted, if not death? Why is it difficult to give one’s life a proper shaping? There is only one truth, and too many philosophies suiting different consciences. I am distracted. It is an habit that if it were to be a good thing, my teeth will be on quick display while my right hand swings carelessly like a prize should come to me for having such a permanent cuss. My mind wanders so much that I thought I was a superhero at some point. But the comic was not real, the mimic of Professor Charles Xavier was too absurd at adulthood – the dreams took turns like spinning stars above my head, and it keeps spinning like a lottery. But maybe the whole idea behind superheroes is the selfless nature they possess. They want to put you first without you furnishing a consideration. I thought I was being selfless in those years of joining excited hands in renderings kicks and blows on some wrongdoers; it was like a gathering of the justice league suppressing a public enemy. I felt the impact would be just as good as a church deliverance as the blows were for cleansing for the betterment of my nation – exactly what I forced my conscience to believe whenever it pushes the guilt card. Similar situations arose, and my butts remained on the lower bunk; there was no cheering or vituperation from my lips, there was just awe at the way belts were lashed at the back of the popular pilferer.  My conscience proved its point; the scene became as scary as the Nigerian horror movies of old just without the shedding of blood. Years passed, and a similar situation surfaced. I wept in my soul at the excitement of the mob set for the lynching. A boy had stolen, but he did not have his fortuitous boots on. He could be killed if he was not saved came my thoughts; he should be killed if to quell the harm pilferers have brought to the soil – so I judged them as hypocrites, I judged them as heartless people with all available legal peanuts I could chew albeit in the midst of less incited observers. Were we not both erring? Can a hypocrite call another hypocrite? This is gauche. But this gauche was the path I threaded with uninviting sweats and a commentators splitting saliva that hot evening. Judging them was not a duty I enjoyed, it was God’s. These were persons that had the part of me my conscience arrested, the act was wrong but I was not different from them. If it hurts me like a broken knee when given counsel, why do I think it nonsensical that the mob would dent my face till I sing the savagery anthem if I choose to admonish them?

So she walked past with her buttocks noticeably of big frame and tenderly. It was tender from its easy destinations to eight bus-stops repeatedly with her short skirts being her only commuter. It disgusted me. But was the disgust borne out of the fact that she walked with the men notorious for extravagance? I remember telling myself that she needed Jesus – my face all rough like I heard my mum call me to run errands. I cannot forget her private message on instagram after I liked a picture of her displaying her cleavages although with moderation for the first time – other times she would have her tatas struggle with a cloth I felt was her youngest sister’s due to the provoking impression it left on her like rotten fries or a mouth in dire need of a wash. But I was not queasy that the lady I felt needed divine encounter found me some hello from nowhere. I remembered Galatians 5, but I gave it a brotherly interpretation – I said the loggerheads between the flesh and spirit can be resolved by understanding why the flesh is not with the spirit. So it was about some talks that were fleshy-friendly, the atmosphere was conducive for such, the harmattan could accommodate talks that could send the legs clasping and doing a rub against each other after a chat beep. I drowned with so much pleasure but continued convincing my conscience that I was a smooth criminal aiming to grab this sinner by the jugular when she least expected to hear the spelling of Christ on my dry lips – the conviction waned due to the nudities my eyes drank like one eye drop too many. Then it became certain that there was so much vexation in my soul just because I had possessed every feature of a perfect gentleman to have deserved too many hi pals; I was never against an elongated conversation to the potter of the wheel, her mass, and her advances. At some point I was but when she winked my opinions zapped into the trash can – I got distracted.

There are times we beat our chest and say we are proud to have been among the class of smart persons. The feeling of being important; the expression of unnecessary impressions to ladies in order to see what to grope under desks; or to brainstorm on which blockheaded ginormous nates would be date-worthy before examinations. The abuse it had been when a bad-mouthed gang and I descended mightily on someone we would remember to call raca even if we were brain-wiped. It was the ritual – give that dude some insults for his lack of knowledge, there was nothing he could give as a counter as he had appreciated his limitations and did nothing about his crashing grade points. The fun was so unthinkable; I sensed the self-love feeling of eating goat meat with a big mug of tequila whenever a tear accompanied the concerned face of the sufferer of insults we had called fool by words or conduct. But there was a day I joined my gang in calling my classmate something of similar semblance to being foolish. I knew the boy was right so my participation was not loud. I defended him speaking coolly thinking the intellectuals will remember I am one to have proudly joined the class. They had me as brunch instead, that I began to hope what I held in my head as right was indeed correct. I was to feel like a fool and indeed I felt exactly that. It was not a good position, it could really destroy a bloke, and it may erase the chances of goal-getting of low self-esteemed victims of my gab. So foolish I had been to have defined knowledge to be acquiring facts for personal consumption without adding the need to impart and not distract those that find things a bit tough to grasp. They realised I was right eventually, but the action was not forgotten though forgiven. If they are still in the practice, I will be foolish to say they are foolish because a wise man is one who is able to open mind to another man’s view. I try to but I am most times distracted whenever my ears hear my voice dominate on poetic lines. If this is foolish, then I am not to call theirs foolish. But is it possible to work close to perfection that hypocrisy is not found under one’s armpit? I was not asking the behaviourist.

She loved me back then. I was there when she could not have shyness permit her to say she loves me, and I was there when she stepped up erotica by screaming tuck me in. They were all outbursts of emotions; she echoed my name to all and sundry. I was sure I had her mother’s blessing. She was everything good, but someone wanted to have more boats on the high sea. The walls leaked my flirtatious advances; my dirty linen had encountered the mud. She used to see me as her angel because I wore the apparel of perfectness – I was a paragon of gentlemanliness with the curse of a chameleon. She called it quits, I chased the other – the fishes did not want fresh air that season, my fishnet had suffered smudge. I hurt her but I am not sorry that there was a split. Something was always going to split us because my instability as to choice is the dickens I sucked with my mother’s colostrum nine months after my delivery. I am distracted; I should be more concerned with this issue.

Maybe we are our own problems. Is it ever possible we think about our vices? We have the fanatics with big bible high on Mosaic Law like they took a box-full of narcotics behind a kiosk. Everyone is a victim of something. Many persons have too much moth in their eyes; it is never possible to be filled with vices and accuse another of same. Maybe there is a solution to being a better person; maybe we just need to balance our virtues and vices so that we do not become belligerent in the sake of being virtuous, or stuck with the phobia of running a partnership venture because of the belief in trusting only your guts and wife’s delicacy.  Garba shehu was on air recently. He spoke the truth. He said PDP failed and embezzled. But did he not lie immediately to have said Pr. Buhari has ended corruption in Nigeria? Will I query the act and say he is a liar when I still tell lies that are not press worthy? In the end activism is not supposed to be politicized; these days we want to write an article that makes the Government we accuse of being filthy, give us big contracts. Who are we deceiving with the profusion of self-deception? In the end, we eat from the same saucer of distraction. A distracted mind is one that has not acquired the skill to convince his body and soul to walk just a path – but is there such a skill shop? It is about being better for ourselves individually if we must collectively contribute our quota to the world we live in. We could become superheroes if we act and do so timeously, but we are definitely ashes – we respire to expire beyond repair. If we must die, let it be heard that we encouraged someone, helped each other — I agree with Debbie, even doctors need doctors.

OKOCHA OBED