I did not see this moment coming, or perhaps I was told it was coming, but I ignored the signs and the warnings. Daniel and I met when I was four years out of university; I was a late bloomer in the love department. I had been running away from marriage. I did not understand the construct and why it was so important. I was accused of withholding my mother’s joy, ‘Ijo Ayo’ she called it. Then Daniel happened, and all hell broke loose. (more…)

When I was younger, I was told to be bold and unafraid. I was taught courage at my family altar, yet I had often lived in fear. Over the past year, my life has been defined by minutes and seconds, not hours. There have been several moments that have been milestones, and turning points. I have had several opportunities to make decisions some based on courage, others based on fear, but they were all my decisions, foolish, wise and reckless. These are the minutes;

10:02 Arnold happened. I was blindsided and ever since then my life seems like someone else’s dream. Arnold was at a ‘young entrepreneurs’ event that I attended. I was trying to grow my natural hair business and needed advice on making wise investments. Enter Arnold, an investment banker, risk taker by nature, brave bold and courageous. Almost like Joshua but lacking the anointing. He was always honest with me. Straight to the point, he said he did not mix business with pleasure. He always put desire first.

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I have always loved life. I enjoy to travel and explore the unusual opportunities available in the natural world. When I was younger, my parents would bundle my sister Nkem and me in a taxi, and we would travel to Ojota motor park where we would join one of the buses going to the villages. As we grew older and my parents became wealthier, we went on luxurious buses and eventually by chauffeur driven cars.

I missed the days we went on the small buses packed like a tin of sardines. There was always a stench that filled the air. There was a mixture of sweat, food and at certain times, I was sure I smelled urine. On those journeys, we would put our hands out of the windows to feel the fresh air. We would beg mother for her last fifty Naira note so we could buy some roasted Ube Pears selling by the roadside. I was always more keen to eat fruits when trapped on those long journeys. However, when wealth came, the trips were never the same. We never travelled like locals, the mobile police that escorted the cars would never let us stop, but I could still take photos via the tinted mirrors. By the time, I completed my university degree; I had not travelled by road in years. ‘The roads are not safe’; father would lament.

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My mother thinks monitoring spirits from my father’s village have been set on me. My dad’s family don’t like my mom, she’s educated, calm and sophisticated, they are not. She thinks they are some wild villagers and have sent monitoring spirits to prevent my marriage. For this reason, this story must be narrated from the beginning, from before I was born.

My father always wanted a daughter to shower his love and his wealth upon. I’m his third daughter. I didn’t get much in the love department, however, neither did my sisters or brothers; known and unknown.

My mother tells the story of how her father and my dad met. She had taken him home to Ijebu Ode to meet her parents. Upon greeting family members, my grandfather said to my dad ‘Doctor ba wo ni?’ My grandfather was a professor of microbiology married to a physics teacher, they had two children. They were a family of academics and high flyers, and they were expecting a doctor of some sort; my dad is an accountant. They did not like his brain, and they didn’t trust members of his profession, they said it over and over, however, once mum and dad got married, they never mentioned it again. My mother might have paid attention if they did not nag so much. They assumed that mother would use her head to marry. Instead, she followed her heart. I don’t think she was in love, and I’m not even sure that she was in lust either. She hardly speaks of those days; she’d rather talk about her childhood.

My father’s family are of a different sort; the lack of education and poverty made them so. Daddy was the first male child of his mother and first son of his father. His father had five wives, I think he has about 20 siblings, I don’t know them all, I never bothered. (more…)

I’m an unapologetic church whore. I move from place to place like a merchant trading her goods. It’s the place to find good husbands, good friends, new clients. I seem to focus so much on the search for the good that I never become good myself. I was never supposed to wander into my current church, but I did so by accident, and I stayed out of curiosity. It was a family church. They had a vibrant youth ministry for teenagers, but beyond that there was nothing more. There was no singles fellowship, all the people in their twenties were newlyweds. As a 26-year-old unmarried female, I stood out like a sore thumb. They say curiosity killed the cat, but in my case, it wasted my time.

He was the first person to shake my hand upon arriving in church on my first day, sweet smile, strong hands, muscles visibly ripping out of his polo shirt and a tiny tattoo of the cross on the underside of his right wrist. He was, at least, six feet tall, dark skin, 75% cocoa solids and a teeny weeny Afro. Brown eyes, standard, a nicely trimmed beard, and a chiseled jaw that would make any girl swoon. I soon noticed that he was an usher, a minister, a youth leader and a drummer, he knew everything about the church and everyone in the church knew him.

I never wanted to be married to a minister; pastors always seem to have a secretive life behind the pulpit, and I was not ready for that. I’d only recently broken up with a prayer pastor, and let me tell you that his Holiness did not extend to the bedroom. But this guy knew a different kind of Jesus, and every time I saw him smile in my direction I knew I had to stay. So I kept going back to his church, and then I volunteered in the youth ministry, I needed to get noticed fast. I began to learn things about him as I hung around, none of these things attracted me, but I stayed regardless. His name was Damilola, strike one; I hate unisex names on men. He was planning to go into full-time ministry, strike two, I already said I’m no Pastor’s wife, I’ve been around a bit too much for that. He was saving his first kiss for marriage and wanted a girl who had done the same. Strike three, curiosity had prevented me from waiting for anything worthwhile in life. (more…)