Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The ‘Altar’ for a ‘Stage’?

“Only you are holy, only you are worthy, only you are wonderful, for there’s no one else like you, who is faithful ever true, all my love, my heart, my life is a testimony.” As I lifted my hands in worship, mouth opened in the rendition of this amazing song by Donnie McClurkin. I could see worshippers face flat on the floor, some on their knees while others stood there crying as the beautiful music escaped my lips.
The song must have come through with great emotional honesty. But as I led the church in the worship session that beautiful Sunday morning, an overwhelming sadness came upon me. The change I cause in these gathering of worshippers is evidently lacking in my life.
I am Jolaoluwa Akinyemi popularly known called JSings and without much talk you should know why that is. I have been singing since I was five. My mother made me join the junior choir in church and as I grew older it became a must to be in the church choir. It didn’t come with much stress because I was an amazing singer. While other children were shouted at, I was made the reference point. Who doesn’t love praises? Especially when it was given publicly.
Everywhere I went, I was a sensation. If you have it, flaunt it right? Singing was my own unique selling point. From secondary school through to my university level, I sang my way through. One thing I realised was that in this world there is nothing compared to the love people have for someone who can sing and I mean really sing.
I had that kind of voice – pure, natural and sweet. It always had an effect and because I knew how powerful my voice was, I always made sure everyone knew as well. I remember that my voice had won me my first relationship during my university days. Femi never failed to mention at every opportunity that it was my powerful rendition of “Waging War” by Cece Winans that attracted me to him. I agree totally because I remember that singspiration Night on campus in my 200l, I was on fire. At the end of that night if I had wanted to have a relationship with ten guys it would have happened. Not ordinary guys o, tongue speaking, born again guys of God.
Many years down the line here I was infront of a large congregation leading people in worship yet not truly worshipping. Don’t get me wrong I have always been a church girl, at every stage of my life, I was always close to the altar. The problem is if it was for the love of singing or for the love of God.
Everytime I stepped into a new church, I only had to speak to the choir leader and pastor, I automatically became the star. In few weeks, I would be leading the congregation in praise and worship sessions. It was instant, more like my voice always made the way and little emphasis was placed on workers in training, altar call and stuff like that. Infact if they had asked me to rededicate my life I wouldn’t have, I felt so big and I took pride in how the world viewed my spiritual status. I would like to come across as strong and deeply rooted in Christ. How awkward it would feel if I have to walk through members and workers and say that I am responding to altar call, hmmmmmmmmm, very degrading. My voice was good enough to make me a grounded Christian. This was the trend for me and once I climbed the altar, ready or not, the move was powerful for all but hardly for me.
I remember the first day I walked into Day Life Christian Ministries, I had just moved to Lagos after my youth service and I was looking for a church to attend. I was taking a stroll one Saturday evening when I saw the big banner advertising the church. I walked into the street and started to look around for it. I didn’t walk far into the street before sighting the church. It was big and beautiful, seeing the physical structure I was already drawn. It was nothing compared to the small unpainted churches I had seen earlier, this was by far better and definitely worth trying.
As I walked into the compound, I heard singing voices and as I moved closer, I could hear clearly, it was Marvin Sapps’ “He saw the best in me…” how I love that song. I was now standing at the entrance of the church, I could see the choir members preparing for Sunday’s ministration. As I made my way inside, a young man walked towards me and asked if he could help with anything. I introduced myself and told him I was looking around for a church and I was drawn by the sound of their voices. He told me he was the choir leader and went ahead to sell the church to me. We exchanged numbers and he encouraged me to join them in service tomorrow. I watched him leave as he made his way back to the others and then decided to sit through their choir rehearsal. I found a comfortable seat at the back, I listened and I judged.
‘That’s not too bad’, ‘wow that’s lovely’, ‘she needs to sing from her stomach more’, ‘how did this one make his way to the choir stand?’ These and more were the thoughts going through my head as I listened to them rehearse. They had a really good choir, I was impressed and then I made up my mind to join the choir there and then. The rehearsal came to an end at exactly 8:00pm and I could not believe that I had waited till the end.
‘You stayed for our rehearsals?’ The voice came from behind and I knew it was Sam, the young man who had introduced himself as the choir leader. I turned back and told him I couldn’t resist the sound of good music. We both had a god laugh and he offered to drop me at home, I told him that I would love to join the choir and he put me to a test. I could see his jaw drop as I sang Sinach’s ‘Jesus is alive’. That’s one of my favourite songs. I remember that he had parked the car and listened to me sing the whole song. When I finished he just kept smiling and said I definitely had to be in church the next day and also wait for choir rehearsals after service.
He dropped me off and I thanked him. As I entered into the house I received a text from none other than my future choir leader ‘you have an amazingly beautiful voice, can’t wait to work with you.’ I simply replied ‘thanks’. But that was the beginning of a lot of work and not just voice work if you know what I mean. There’s usually this first time craze that comes with meeting an amazing singer. Well maybe not all the time but for me that craze is always present.
I did go to the church on Sunday and as expected I waited for the choir rehearsals. He introduced me to the others and just like that I became a member of the choir. Sam also became my church driver, he would insist on dropping me at home everytime I was in church. I had not started working so I was available during mid-week services. Sam would sometimes ask me to help lead the praise and worship session during the mid-week services. Which I did gladly.
One evening I was on my way back from service when Sam said he was infront of my house, told him I was on my way back and he offered to wait. When I got home I aksed him to come in. I had rented a one bedroom apartment when I arrived Lagos. He sat comfortably on the single sofa I had and then said he thought to check me on his from work. I jokingly said but we chatted all day and saw on Sunday, he then replied that it wasn’t enough. He asked how the service went and I told him all about it. We had a long talk and even shared personal experiences. Soon it was time for him to leave and I was all alone in my room again. It actually felt nice having a friend around. I was just settling well into Lagos and making new friends.
Myself and Sam became very close and we would talk throughout the day. One Wednesday I was unable to go to church for the mid service because I was very ill, and to my surprise I got a call from Tope, a member of the choir that he was outside my house, I was amazed. I didn’t really talk to him except for our short greetings at rehearsals, so it came as a surprise to have him at my doorstep. He explained to me that he had gotten my address from the choir register and decided to pay a visit on his way home since it was very unusual for me to be absent during midweek. He stayed a while and he was very nice to me, he spoke softly and was full of encouragement. As he was about to leave he asked if I was studying any part of scripture at the moment, I didn’t want to come across as an unserious Christian so I said yes and gently prayed that he wouldn’t ask for the details. Thankfully he didn’t, he only smiled and then took his leave.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had opened my bible or had a quiet time at home except for during mid-week and Sunday services. I was more of the church relevant person, my days at home were spent chatting, eating, browsing, and the likes. Funny thing is time just flies, I sit and stand and sleep and before I know it the day is over. But as long as I was leading people well in church, it didn’t really matter.
I kept communicating with Sam and Tope. It all seemed really harmless though I never mentioned to either of the two that I was in close communication, it just went on. I dint feel the need though, after all we were all just choir members.
One Friday evening, Sam came over, and we had our long talks as usual. At around 10 he announced that he was leaving, I walked him to the door and he gave me a tight hug and instead of stepping back a little, we both devoured each other like hungry lions. It was like we had been waiting to fulfil every lustful passion.
In few minutes the raging passion was gone and it was replaced with unexplainable guilt. Sam dressed up in a rush and ran out of my house without saying a word. I sat there naked and ashamed. It wouldn’t have been worse, if Sam had made contact with me, the whole night he didn’t say a word, infact the next day he didn’t say a word. Our next meeting was at choir rehearsals. When he saw me, he looked in another direction and he avoided me all through the rehearsal. It was hard to miss, I’m sure people knew something was wrong but no one said anything. There was hardly any rehearsal Sam didn’t tease me, so this new style was a bit unusual.
After rehearsal I waited to see if he would offer to drop me at home, but he didn’t, he left without saying a word. Tope walked towards me and asked what was going on between Sam and I, I told him there was nothing. He asked why I didn’t take his call all day as he had something important to tell me. I told him we could discuss later as I had somethings to attend to at home.
When I got home, to my surprise, Sam was waiting at the door. We got into the house, he didn’t say a word and next thing he ripped my clothes apart, yet again we were in the same guilt boat. It became an obsession, we hardly spoke to each other anymore, all we were doing was sex and more sex.
When we got to church, we would put up the holy act, lift up hands and lead people into Gods presence but indoors we became unrepentant sex addicts. As long as no one could see us, we were good, we could be anything in our closets and be the worship leaders on Sunday.
Tope and I kept our phone communication intact. He was truly a sweet person, he took the word of God seriously and would take time each morning to share things he learnt from his devotion, half of these things I never read. He liked me and wanted a relationship, but I was blinded by lust. Tope always talked about keeping oneself until marriage and the type of woman he wanted. He saw me as that type of woman because he only judged me from what he saw in church. I was not quarter the woman he thought.
It was all becoming too much to take in, still I was in this growing sex groove with my choir leader. It was disturbing how we could be involved like that and still go to church without any form of remorse and lead people who sought a holy God with unclean hands and hearts.
All of these played back as I sang “Only you are holy, only you are worthy, only you are wonderful, for there’s no one else like you, who is faithful ever true, all my love, my heart, my life is a testimony.” That beautiful Sunday morning as great sadness came upon me, first because of my sins that played in my head and second because of people who truly came to worship and seek God
I am a totally different person from what the church sees. I am an actress, wherever I was, I was acting, it was a case of wherever the stage meets me, if the stage met me in my room I was the fornicator, if the stage met me in church, I was the worship leader, if the stage met me with Tobi, I was the liar, it was all about who was watching me act. People would see me and think ‘wow, she must be so in tune with God, her life must be perfect, she’s headed straight to heaven.’ But that’s a lie. I was a performer with well scripted lines, I knew all my songs well and I could sing anytime the need arises. To me the altar is just another stage. I didn’t have a personal relationship with God
I really don’t know how this story will end, but as of last week I still had unprotected, devouring sex episode with Sam. What Sam and I are doing can destroy the altar of worship. I am still lying to Tope and I still unrepentantly lead people in worship but truth is I’m trying to make amends, I have resolved to leave the church and start afresh, I didn’t go to the church to serve God, I went in to show off, I didn’t go there for the altar, I went for a stage. The altar is a place of consecration, humility and sanctification, a stage is a place of pride, show off and impression. I was constantly trading God’s altar for a stage. But I am done, I am answering that altar call this minute. Because both the altar and the stage need an inspiration to get on it. If God isn’t your inspiration stay away from the altar.
Stop acting spiritual, it is a dangerous place to be. Go to your personal space and work things out. Stop trading God’s altar for a performance stage. You may fool the congregation with lifted hands but you can never fool God, you may fool the congregation with bended knees but you can never fool God, and guess what in the end it is God’s altar not the congregations’, it is God’s judgement not the congregations’. Pastors, Teachers, Choristers, Quit the acting on the altar it is not a stage.
John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Monday, 17 October 2016

License to wed.

It all began on the eve of Christmas in the year 2012. I had come to Lagos from Ibadan to spend the Christmas holiday with my older cousin. She is a Lagos big girl, works in one of the oil companies, has a six digit salary and lives alone. What joy beats a house with space void of a mother’s constant nagging, a father’s sound of disapproval and the unbearable sound of fussy children?
 It was indeed a great pleasure and delight when my cousin, Aunty Diana asked me to come around for Christmas. She made the call through to my mum sometime in November and since that call came through I had counted the days. I was excited because I had been at home for two years waiting endlessly for admission and in those two years I was the official maid of the house. The only thing my mother wouldn’t allow me do is cook for her husband and by cooking I mean she pouring the ingredients in the pot to cook because all the pre cooking work would have been done by Motara.
If my mother had plans of cooking Iresi Alasepo (Concotion Rice - I had to write that in capital letter because it is not just a food, it is a life, a proper ever present Life saver, always constant. If we had nothing to fall back on Iresi Alasepo was always there, so respect to the queen of fast food. I think till date I still make the best Irsei Alasepo and this is a title earned by experience, skill and constant practice), she would ask me to bring out all the ingredients and lay then nicely on the table. I would wash the rice, slice the onions and pepper, even remove the maggi from its wrapper, all my mother had to do was to concoct, pour all my preparation into water and the meal is ready.
For me the past two years had just been a drag and honestly I needed the breath of fresh air away from everything. I remember when I wrote my last WAEC paper in 2010, I was full of hope and a lot of prospect, I had my plans and I was sure that by 2015 I would be done with university but here I was without admission and with an aging WEAC result at the age of 20. So you should be able to imagine my excitement when Aunty Diana asked me to come around. Apart from having to stay away from home for a while, I was also hopeful that my visit to Lagos would yield a lot of benefit for me, hopefully Aunty Diana would be able to do something about my jobless state and just maybe I would get lucky and Lagos would be my permanent base. Ehnnn iyen maa ti lo nice ju (that would be really nice)
On Friday, December 7, 2012 I arrived the busy city of Lagos. Even the air could sense my excitement and relief. I remember that I had woken up extra early that morning as my mother had all sorts of chores planned for me, if it were up to her, my leg would not near garage not to talk of landing Lagos. She made me do laundry, wash dishes and clean the whole house but you know that joy you feel when you know that the end is near, even the worse punishment would feel like a dream job. I did all she asked with pure joy, singing and dancing. At exactly 2pm that day, I left our Ibadan home for Lagos. I arrived Lagos at 6pm and my Aunty Diana was already waiting at Ojota to pick me up.
When I saw Aunty Diana, I was like is this how Lagos is? She was so fine and fresh. She was wearing a red dress that brought out all her curves, she could pass for a celebrity anytime anyday and I Motara will forever worship the ground she walks on and if she could just by one little chance get me to stay in Lagos patapata then she had my life to direct.  
I ran towards my celebrity aunty and gave her a very tight hug, she was happy to see me, picked my bags and led me to her car. Hmmmmmmm na jeep my aunty dey drive o. I knew she was big I just didn’t know how big but as they say seeing is believing. As we made our way home she had soft music playing in the background and then she engaged me in a conversation. We talked all the way home and I used the opportunity to share my frustrations with her. I was very sure that my Aunty Diana would have no worries at all except for the fact that she isn’t married, and that shouldn’t even be any problem for a woman who has everything going for her. So her priority should be making me happy at least for now.
She said something about doing a part-time job while I await admission but she said there was no rush and we still had time to discuss at length. When we got to her house, it was something else, to me the beauty was indescribable, it wasn’t super big but you would certainly feel big in it, it was beauty to the eyes, polished floors I could almost see my face in them, the choice of paint was classy, the decoration was out of this world. Entering that house I knew I was home already, this is my final destination, no going back this is where I will make it, here in this house. The inspiration oozing out of it is too great to be denied, you cannot live in that house and not make it, it is almost impossible.
My first night was amazing, we had fried rice and chicken, of course not homemade, my celebrity aunty bought it on her way to pick me. I had a room to myself that alone was comforting. I had everything at my disposal and that was how my big Lagos life started.
After few days in Lagos, Aunty Diana had spoken with her stylist about me and because she was a loyal and big customer, she agreed to have me as an apprentice in her salon. That way when Aunty Diana left for work I also had a place to go, she would then pick me on her way back from work. When this plan was finally cooked, Aunty Diana called my mum to tell her about the development and my mum wasn’t very happy, she said does that mean I would have to be in Lagos longer than expected. My aunty found a way to convince her and also told her it was a lot better than me staying at home and doing nothing. Finally my mother agreed. I was over the moon.
I started working at Madam Happy’s salon and thank goodness everyone was super nice to me. I was learning really fast and I was more than grateful for the opportunity. This was way better than my house girl job with no benefit in Ibadan. Everything in my life was going perfectly well, in fact too well until December 24, 2015, when this young man walked into our salon.
It was a very busy day at the salon as customers where coming and going. Many wanted to have their hair fixed before Christmas. Madam Happy had told Aunty Diana to expect me late. I was outside washing a customer’s hair when he walked in. he greeted me and asked to see Madam Happy, for some reason I just stared with my mouth open, a tap on my shoulder brought me back and I had asked him to go inside. Once I was done with the customer I went into the salon and watched as this young man discussed with Madam Happy. Please this is not about being handsome o because the guy wasn’t all that, dressing nko, not so much he wore a jeans and a fitted top so I wasn’t exactly sure what the attraction was. Could it have been love at first sight? I would never know.
Soon as I saw that he was about to leave, I ran outside and walked into the street. Few minutes later he came out and he must have recognised me from the salon, he approached me introduced himself as Niyi, we chatted a little and then exchanged numbers. I couldn’t have been happier, it was more than I had hoped for, speaking to him alone would have been nice but getting his number was a dream come through.
I didn’t even know why I was so attracted to him, I just loved his appearance and somehow I wanted to be close to him. That night he called me and we started talking, we spoke for long until he ran out of credit. I was using a small Nokia phone so I couldn’t chat with him either on BBM or Whatsapp. The first time I had one of these android phones, it almost gave my mother a heart attack and great was her delight when the screen broke some months back. I was still hoping to get it fixed or get a new one.
On Christmas day my aunty gave me a brand new Iphone 4s as a Christmas gift, I was super delighted, it was as though she knew what I needed. She did all the setting up for me and soon I was rocking my new phone. I immediately sent my BB Pin to Niyi and we got chatting. Niyi lived close by with a friend of his, he owned a barbers shop not far from Madam Happy’s salon. Later that afternoon I asked him to come by the house, Aunty Diana was hardly around on weekends, weekdays for work, weekends for play. She would go and come back at almost midnight sometimes, which gave me a lot of alone time on weekends especially the weekends when I didn’t have to go to the salon.
Niyi came by the house and we talked a lot, spoke like friends who had known each other for long. When he was about to leave, he gave me a really tight hug and as we separated his lips were somehow brushing against mine, if he wasn’t careful in an attempt to kiss me, my heart would just pop in his mouth. My heart was beating so fast and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a kiss or not but I liked him too much to deny him of anything. Luckily for me, he didn’t kiss me, he gently pulled away and then left. The second he was out of the gate, we resumed chatting again, he was a really sweet guy.
All these continued without the knowledge of my aunty, he would visit me when she wasn’t around and I would sometimes hang out with him anytime I got the chance. On Sunday, February 10, 2013, Niyi came visiting. I wasn’t sure what we were, he never asked me out as such, but we were really close and we could pass for an unofficial couple though I longed for the day he would ask me to be his girlfriend.
On this visit, we decided to see a movie. Halfway into the movie all I remember was that I felt his hands all over me and by the time I regained consciousness I was naked wrapped in his arms on the sitting room floor. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t drug me, I practically moved into a don’t act zone because I enjoyed every bit of it. I liked him a lot, I didn’t know what our relationship was but I had hoped that sealing it with my virginity as a gift will automatically make me his. The sound of my phone jolted me to life, It was Aunty Diana and I was sure she wanted me to open the gate, What was she doing home at this time? Quickly I stood up, asked Niyi to get dressed as my aunty was at the gate. I didn’t think losing my virginity would have been so easy, it didn’t hurt much and it only left a little blood stain. I don’t know if the excitement minimised the pain but it wasn’t as bad as people described.
I ran inside for a change of clothes and went to the gate to welcome my aunty. When she came in she met Niyi in the living room, she wasn’t upset that I had a friend over in fact she had no issues with it at all. She said she wasn’t feeling so well and she had to come home to rest. Niyi left almost immediately and I made something for my aunty to eat so she could rest.
Not until later that night did I feel remorse for my actions, I laid on the bed and started to think of my actions. I think I had lost my virginity so quickly because I didn’t even know why I kept it in the first place, it was just a case of the sex will come when it came. But somehow I missed being intact and untouched. I felt empty and just wasn’t sure what to do anymore. That night Niyi called and said he didn’t know I was a virgin, and that made him excited, he made so many promises and said we would be together forever. That came as consolation and relief but I was still shaken about loosing my virginity. I remembered how my mother would say ‘that is your pride, loose it and loose all’ I would just smile because I didn’t give count to it.
My relationship with Niyi blossomed and it seemed like we were in love. We didn’t get intimate after the movie day though we would share passionate kisses every now and then, my aunty soon got to find out that we were in a relationship. She encouraged me to thread softly, not to sell myself cheap to any man and wait till the time was right. If only she knew, but truth is I was now determined to wait, that was the first and last time until I finally got married to Niyi just like he promised.
About two months after our intimate session as I would like to call it, I fell very ill, it was so bad my aunty had to take me to the hospital. I was admitted and the doctor ran some tests. Cut the long story short, that first and last time was equals to big big bouncing baby. I was devastated, what was going to happen to my world, my mother would die for me, how was I going to tell Niyi, it was happening too fast. I cried and cried and cried. Aunty Diana took me home and immediately told my mum that we were coming to see her in Ibadan, but my mother told her not to worry as she already planned a visit to Lagos by the weekend.
I went to visit Niyi and I told him about the pregnancy, to my amazement, he asked me to go for an abortion. See this murderer o, Abo what? Never ever, I wouldn’t loose my virginity and then die over it. I told him I would never do that and that it is too late because my aunty knows. He was silent for a while and then said he was really sorry he thought of abortion, he wasn’t thinking straight. He promised to stand by me till the baby was born and asked that we move on with our lives.
When my mother arrived Lagos and heard the news, she just burst into tears. She was so devastated, ‘I knew this Lagos trip was all trouble, when you were in Ibadan you didn’t even know the way to a boy’s house, if you will graduate as a result of Lagos influence wouldn’t you start with knowing boys, no you moved quickly to get pregnant, Omotara has killed me’ she cried bitterly. When she was calmer, she called my father and they spoke at length. When she finished on the phone, she called my aunty and told her that she and daddy had decided that I would have the baby and we must start marriage plans immediately because the child will not be born outside wedlock. I tried to say something but my mother shut me out immediately. She dragged me by the hands and told me to lead her to Niyi’s house.
When we got there, she started shouting and saying all sorts. Niyi explained to her that he would take full responsibility of the pregnancy. ‘before, before nko, you will take responsibility of not just baby but mother too and that will only be done under the institution of marriage, my daughter will not have this baby outside wedlock. Since you are so capable, start planning a wedding.’
All plea fell on deaf ears and that’s how true to her words my mum started planning a small family wedding. Niyi is an orphan, but he got his siblings informed and they gave their support. I just couldn’t believe this was my life playing out infront of me, it felt like a dream. I just wasn’t ready for it, I wanted to live, I had plans, and marriage was the least of it. This big big bouncing baby was my license to wed.
June, 9, 2013, here I was a pregnant bride getting married to the man I love but not at the time I had hoped. It was a small gathering and everything went as my mother planned. The smile I had was forced all day, I just wasn’t ready, Niyi encouraged me through it and was as supportive as he could be. I knew he wasn’t happy about the decision but he was willing to take the chance because he loved me. The ceremony came to an end and everywhere was quiet once again. I was left alone in my thoughts with a baby in the belly and a husband to care for.
Prior to the wedding, Niyi had rented a one room apartment where we were managing. He had promised me that we would only spend a year in the house and hopefully in the second year things would be better and we would be in a bigger apartment. On our wedding night, we couldn’t do much, the weight of pregnancy was telling on me and I was already tired. Niyi cuddled me nicely till I fell asleep in his arms.
Few weeks after the wedding, we had already run out of funds and the family who pressured us so much into getting married were nowhere to be found. We had been spending the little money we got from the wedding and now we had exhausted it. I wasn’t working at the salon anymore because of the distance. Business wasn’t moving so well for Niyi and we had to manage. I decided to call Aunty Diana for help. She sent some money into my account and that was pure saving grace. That kept us on for a while and saved us from the shame of begging around.
Things were hard, and I knew soon we would have to find a way to survive. A new dawn of regret came into our home in August. We were broke and we could barely feed. Need I remind you that with the growing baby in my stomach I was always hungry, sometimes I would just cry myself to sleep and dream away the hunger.
One night, Niyi came home, I welcomed him and told him that I was really hungry. In seconds, Niyis eyes were red and he was fuming, he presented me with a deadly slap on my face and asked me to leave his presence. I started crying, I was shocked at his behaviour. His behaviour hurt me more than the slap. ‘You mean to tell me that there is nothing I can eat, I have gone out since morning in search of money, you sit here doing nothing. What do you want me to do? We didn’t have to get married, now we are here alone, no help, nothing. Life is always better when you are single, people will easily help and flow with you, but get married, then you will see how lonely the world truly is.’ He kept shouting and cursing. I moved closer to him just to apologise and calm him down. That was the worse decision of the night. He picked me and gave me the beating of my life. He beat me so much I couldn’t stand up. I was on that spot all through the night, slept and woke up on the same spot.
The morning after, Niyi wasn’t remorseful at all, he walked past me like nothing happened and didn’t utter a word. This became the trend for the coming weeks. Niyi found solace in drinking and womanising. You ask how he had money to drink and womanise, he didn’t do the spending, no, the women did all the spending. He would come home late at night smelling and wasted, he hardly looked at me. My life took a new turn, I was sad and all alone. Who would I tell? Where would I run to? My mother had not forgiven me for the shame I brought on her, she hardly even spoke to me. I was suffering, most times I am at the mercy of my neighbour who brings me food.
My only consolation was the baby. That was the only bond left between Niyi and I. I could no longer understand his behaviour. It is true that when a man lacked money he would misbehave in a lot of ways.
These few months of pain felt like an eternity of pain. I was young, misguided and unprepared. My life was crashing, nothing prepared me for this disaster. I was ready to end it all, I wanted to go back to my parents and have the child there. I couldn’t possible have my baby in this hate filled house. At first I had thought of going to Aunty Diana but I didn’t know what she would say and I didn’t want to bother her anymore. My last resort was to go back to Ibadan. I had planned it all, when Niyi returned that night, I would speak to him not that he would listen but I would do my part and leave Lagos back to my rejected stone, Ibadan.
That night I sat on the floor weeping patiently waiting for the arrival of my husband. As he walked into the house my heart broke, he was in company of a beautiful lady. ‘In this small house?’ I guess the location does not matter as long as the sex is good for it. He ran towards me and my heart leaped for joy, maybe things were about to change. ‘Motara, what is the matter, why are you crying?’ as I tried to speak, he turned to the lady and said ‘this is my cousin, the one I told you about, let me take you to the room and then come back to attend to her’. I knew it was the end. Niyi stormed back into the sitting room and dragged me outside by the hand, I told him about my decision and he couldn’t care less. He started hitting me again and pushed me to the ground.
Love was painful, I was hurting deeply. Niyi went inside leaving me alone outside. Suddenly I started feeling pains all over, unbearable pains, I couldn’t stand up I crawled like a baby to my neighbours window to ask for help. She came out with her husband and started asking questions but her husband stopped her. They rushed me to the hospital that night. I was in pain, I felt bruised, I felt used, I didn’t know what was happening to my body, I was in great distress. I asked my neighbour to please call Aunty Diana.
Then I knew it was happening, I was having my baby. The gift to end my worries was finally arriving. They rushed me in. It must have taken several hours, as I opened my eyes, I felt empty as I laid on one of the hospital beds. There she was, my aunty Diana holding my hands and watching over her little cousin. As I opened my eyes she smiled and I said ‘Aunty what of my baby’ her next words hurt so deep ‘Motara dear you have to be strong, we lost her’
My license had expired. The reason I bore the pain was all gone by morning. I closed my eyes in grief and when I opened them in the morning I was ushered into another era of grief.

MY LESSON: Pregnancy is never a license to wed. If you made a mistake, you can’t correct it by making another mistake in such a hurry, there are so many ways to make better choices even after you have broken your vow. When you miss a step retrace, calm down and have a rethink. Don’t build blocks on the missing step, it may come crumbling. If the foundation be destroyed you can pray and find a new beginning, don’t destroy a tomorrow that can be amended because of a badly handled mistake.
God hears us, don’t let the devil keep you trapped for your mistakes, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us. God can repair the past and give us directions on how to live the present. Don’t give up, don’t ‘remistake’ a mistake. You get?

Friday, 14 October 2016


I am not someone with a lot of friends but as you would expect I have met a lot of people in my few years on earth. Many have gone as quickly as they arrived, many knew they would leave but decided to take their time while a few have stayed through the years.
In meeting and knowing people I have come to realise that one of the most important thing that keeps the bond is the LIPS. It could be the first peck, the last kiss or the parting of the lips for the release of memorable words. I would pick the lips as a release of words and share some my monthly experiences of how the lips can be unjust.
INJUSTICE 1: LET ME LIE ABOUT HER LOOKS. Sometime in January I ran into a friend at the supermarket, I wasn’t looking my best I knew it, I had no make-up on, my hair was shabby thanks to my stylist who had refused to come take it out, my eyes were swollen as I had just woken up and oh my outfit, I was clad in my old Jalamia the one a friend had bought for me on one of her regular visits to Italy. As soon as I saw this friend make her way into the supermarket I tried to hide but before I could find a spot, she had called out excitedly ‘Tee, is that you?’ did I mention my name is Tobi but friends prefer to call me Tee. If you knew Sinmisola Smith, then you don’t need to be told what she she looked like on this visit to the supermarket. Sinmisola was a confirmed big girl. A miss I don’t fart, I don’t eat, I can’t walk on ground, not literarily I mean but you should understand prim and proper, if it were possible to walk in the car through the sections of the supermarket Sinmisola was the one to start that trend. Of course I had to move closer to greet my ‘when we see’ friend. She didn’t extend her body for a hug, she didn’t extend her hand for a shake, neither did see stretch out her lips for a friendly peck but yet her lips managed to pour out the words ‘You don’t look bad’. Pardon me it is not the idea of not looking bad that amazes me, it is the emotions and actions that totally disagree with the spoken words. My thoughts were ‘did she have to say anything about my physical appearance’ but then again it is what people care about the most they choose to talk about.
INJUSTICE 2: LET ME LIE I DON’T CARE IF IT HURTS. In February I met Johnson. Johnson was a fine, tall pimples free bloke. I had no idea how he got my number but he called me up. At first I was forming, ‘Where did you get my number? How may I help you?’ But as we got talking all that didn’t matter anymore because His voice melted my worries and answers just didn’t matter. We went on as phone friends and we spoke every day, I don’t know if it was the voice I fell for but I just didn’t know what was turning my head, but from where I was standing he was my man. I didn’t tell anyone about my secret relationship because I know how people can be, internet love haaa! Haaa! We met one day and he was even finer than pictures. In this world that we are in who is ever finer than their photo shopped, camera 360 pictures, ehn answer me now, who? But the God we serve is a good God He will not allow me to fall. Though I had fallen once o, God wasn’t going to allow me fall deep, I was still at the edge. To cut the long story short, oga had gotten my number from my friend’s phone and the twisted thing was that he was in constant communication with my friend, I mean love things. So I’m wondering, did he have to call me? Did he have to get my number and steal my heart? Did his lips have to offer all those deceit? He already had a phone mate, why find another?
INJUSTICE 3: LET ME LIE TO GET WHAT I WANT. Sometime in March I was giving a task to do at work. The task was really important and the company depended on it for a huge financial return. I didn’t beg for this task, my boss gave it to me, he came with the story of how much he trusted me and believes I am the one who can help us attain the great height. Fast forward till the next day he was back in my office telling me how he was happy to inform me that a professional just flew in from the states and he would like me to pass every detail of the task to him as he trusts him better. E gba mi ke where did all the trust he had in me the day before fly to? Did he have to sweet tongue me to get a job done? Did he even have to talk? He was my boss he could have just commanded and not stir up my emotions into thinking he had any trust or value for me whatsoever.
INJUSTICE 4: LET ME LIE TO LOOK HOLY. The Sundays in April were particularly lovely for me. The theme was flee adultery and I particularly enjoyed how our pastor handled the topic, he used pictures, music and what have you. Every Sunday when I drove back home in the car with my neighbour and his wife, he would always kick against adultery shouting and declaring that judgement was awaiting adulterers. He was really passionate about the topic and I thought in my heart this man must loath adultery. In my mind I was saying if anyone would ever catch someone committing adultery it should never be this man. Last Sunday in April the day that our fine pastor put a nice icing on the cake of flee adultery I caught my neighbour red-handed in the act… please I am not judging but did my neighbour have to talk about adultery at all on our rides home? Did he have to justify anything, no one asked him.
INJUSTICE 5: LET ME LIE BECAUSE WHAT IM DOING DOESN’T FEEL GOOD. May almost went without lip injustice but would that ever happen, I don’t think so. I went into the kitchen to find my sister eating something. As soon as I entered she hid whatever it was at her back. I said what are you eating? She said ‘nothing’. Haba. Funny thing is she was having a piece of cake, what she was doing wasn’t bad but just don’t know why she felt her lips needed to utter a lie.
INJUSTICE 6: LET ME LIE SO I DON’T FALL MY HAND: In June I did the lip injustice, yes you heard me, I did. So I went for a get together and I ran into my ex. Well thank goodness I was looking the best I could so no shaking, but of course even with all my looks the battle wasn’t won because my EX walked towards me with a lady and we exchanged pleasantries then he goes to say meet my fiancĂ© Ibiwunmi. In my mind yeah right you have come to rub in. so not wanting to be defeated I said ‘wow! When is the wedding?’ He goes January, then I picked his nose playfully and said ‘Omolayo you are sha following me I am also having a January weddin.’ The conversation went on with hearty congratulations. Brothers and sisters Moyo had not even said anything about marriage since we started seeing each other. But I had to save my face with an invented lie, no one will fall my hand.
INJUSTICE 7: LET ME LIE SO I DON’T LOOK LIKE THE CULPRIT: So in july, we were at a meeting when the room started smelling of strong fart, of course I knew it was the accountant beside me because I heard it well as much as he tried to squash the chair with constant butt squeezing. But as the question echoed ‘who did that? It’s so unprofessional’, oga beside me was the first to say ‘too bad.’ Help me o I knew he was the one I wasn’t even telling, he should have just been quiet though rather than speak.
INJUSCTICE 8: LET ME LIE TO MAKE HER FEEL BETTER: I was on the phone with my mechanic in August. ‘where are you now’ ‘haa aunty if you come out of your gate it is me you will be seeing o, traffic lo po’ when I stepped out of the gate, I saw people moving up and down but the one person I wanted to see was not in sight. Would he faint if he just says ‘aunty I am at Orile, but I will be there soon’ He had to make me feel better by saying he was close while infact he made me feel a lot worse.
INJUSTICE 9: LET ME LIE TO EAT MY CAKE AND HAVE IT: The worse happened in September. I started dating Moyo in March. The speed at which I got over Mr Johnson was beyond me. Myself and Moyo were deep in love, we loved the same things and got on just fine. Infact I had no doubts that by my next birthday in November he would be one bended knees begging moi to marry him, haa I have been too good to that man jare, even the economy can testify because it was not a barrier to our love. One day he put an inscription on His DM ‘F.L.O…. in my heart’. Of course that caught my eye and I asked what it meant, he was quick to say Forever Loving Oluwatobi. Haaaa this man just melted my heart. So you can imagine my frustration when he called me some weeks back and broke up with me. Yes sir he broke up with me and on his DP he had a picture of himself and a lady with DM reading Loving FLO since 2010. I went to see the DP again I didn’t see the lady’s face because she backed the camera but I saw her shirt and at the back was written FLORA. I couldn’t believe my MUGU state so all that F.L.O wash was for Flora. Mogbe o. did his lips have to utter lies to me?
There is the LET ME LIE TO LOOK WEALTHY, but I have not had an encounter, maybe in October. Little advice you better surrender before the economy humbles you. No one ever has it all, we are to support one another in truth not lies.
Why do we always feel the need to say things we do not mean?
Why do we always feel the need to pretend?
Why do we always do injustice to people with the words of our mouth?
How did it become increasingly difficult to tell people what really is in our heart?
Why do we think that people can’t handle the truth?
Why do we think it is only a lie that can make others feel better?
Why are we so afraid to just say the truth?
There is no law that says we have to talk. No law says we have to compliment. No law says we must make people feel good in a lie. No law says we must make people love a lie. The need to speak at all times, the need to control every situation, the need to never have our hands fall, the need to exploit people, the need to use people, is the reason why we constantly use our lips unjustly saying what we do not mean and having our actions far from what our lips utter.
Let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s be courageous, maybe if we used our lips better, we would have less people getting their hearts broken, less people wearing that not so nice dress, less people rushing into marriage, less people having untrue friends.  when people go through so much stress, problems and heartache, it wouldn’t hurt to comfort someone with the Sweet Truth from our lips. So next time you want to use your lips be sure it is for the truth.

Let’s stop the injustice.

Love is all that matters

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