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Please what should I say to her? Rape 2

She looked at me puzzled. I stared back in shocked surprise. Elegantly dressed, a lawyer and very incisive in her comments.
‘When you look at me, you assume I have got the best of both worlds right?’
I nodded wondering what was coming and unprepared for her next sentence
‘I wish I have the nerve to kill myself, that is after I have killed him’
I asked her softly why she wanted to kill anybody in the first place including herself
Then she talked.
At nine years old, she was not sure she was going to get an education at all. Her mother was one of three wives and her father had declared that the wives were to look after the girls they had given birth to.
‘He called us apprentice witches who had taken after our mothers’
The women did the best they could either appealing to their own siblings, eking out something from their petty trade. According to Yemi, there wasn’t much to expect from her mum so her uncle was called to help.

‘ the First day on the farm, he asked me to come to the pepper patch I understood what he did then as some form of sexual assault. He had not progressed to actual rape. He said he liked me and if I kept my head, he would ensure I had a fair deal in his house. I was too awed by his big frame and his armpits smelled awful. I slept badly that night.
Next morning, he took me off to the local authority school and registered me in kindergarten one. I was almost 10 years old. The teachers taught I was a joke. Most of my classmates in a kindergarten class could speak better than me. I was the class giraffe, the fool, the errand idiot. They laughed but I was silent. I was finally in school. My mum was over the moon and she thanked her brother over and over again.
‘Two weeks of school, Uncle got drunk and I got my first rape’. Yemi went on talking in a matter of fact voice as if she was giving the facts and potentials of the case she was about to defend in court.
My heart sank as I listened, what was I going to do? Nothing much I realized as I listened to a woman who had learned to keep her own counsel and had in some fashion maybe come to some peace.
As she got older, she was able to run away and come to the city. Yemi read privately as an external student to do her WAEC. She got a job as a cleaner in one of the banks and gradually went for more courses and was able to pay her way to read the law.

She never told her mum about the pepper patch rapes. She said she did not see what good that would serve. It was payment for the opportunity to be able to read and write.
Her mother passed away when she was in 300 level in the university. When she met Bayo, she went through the motions of an excited bride and was relieved when she got pregnant. But still had nightmares of the rapes
She had a perfect excuse to keep the physical side of their relationship to the barest minimum. She had also learned to control her rages
‘I did not like all that romance stuff he was into, did not like undressing, did not want any male looking at my body so I was happy being a born-again wife. However I had developed a crazy mannerism, I would bathe at every opportunity and would perfume my body all over. If Bayo touched me I would go stiff as a board and freak out. At first, Bayo found it amusing and thought I was just shy’
‘You never told him about your uncle’?
‘Are you mad? First, he will not believe me, then that look will come into his eyes and he will watch you every minute, or he will start asking you every tiny detail wondering or teasing that you probably enjoyed even a tiny bit of the rape’.

So what do you want to do? I asked when the silence was beginning to stretch
‘Bayo wants to visit my uncle to thank him for the education, If I lay eyes on that uncle, I will have to kill him and then kill myself to stop the torture of years and misery. Will you get someone to stand for my child?’
Please, what should I say to her?

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Chants in my dreams

You can now purchase Chants in my dreams from my website biolaephesus.com
It is an ebook of my first publishedcollection in 1997. Most people who know me are aware of my love for poetry.
Let me share a few of the collections to see if I can interest you.
I WISH I CAN FLY
I wish I can fly
so that I might try
to learn to understand
from that height; my stand

I wish I can walk
so that all my talk
will thence be my progress
towards all I might profess

I wish I can pray
that I might not fall prey
to all that tries to trap
even as I evade their grab.

I wish I can trust
that all that are human,
actually carry gifts of man,
exercising all that is just.

I wish all these wishes
that even all the witches
have a hectic time fulfilling
all these impossible pinnings

THE LIBERIAN WAR
The war in Liberia
came one day to stay
at our breakfast table
father picked his gun
with shinning eyes we
heard mama tell of
father’s show of valour
to bring to brothers unknown
the gift of a doubtful peace.

The war in Liberia
blessed our hope with
the arrival of Lollita
the war-front soon changed
our shinning faces dimmed
for the cracking guns
and the cannon roar
of the ricocheting words
of the battle fierce
between Father and Mother
pitched us as losers all.

TRUE BEAUTY OF MAN
A man’s true beauty
is not outward alone,
skin-deep beauty
may mask an ugly mien
that unveiled stuns and repels.

True beauty of the soul
lives and lingers
like a fragrant rose
Welcoming and satisfying.

A man’s first breath
is his first contract
with Good and Evil
to decide for himself
the exercise of which
he might use all his life.

Compassion of the spirit
is like a golden nugget
like a running brook
through the rivers of life
a kaleidoscope of his
fortunes and losses
gain or lose he
makes an investment on the
quality of his life.

A selfless man
is like a rare bird
that flits through life
touching everything with
his healing touch.

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Numen!

The old man, or rather first king, stepped out and there was such a thunderous salute from those who were witness, one could be forgiven for thinking that all the dead had risen to bid him homage. He raised his hands. “I have a story to tell you, but I will first give grace to the first Creator that created man and also to the first created One. When we overcame the wolf-men, close to the smoking islet, it was to find our own kingdom and be masters of our own destiny. The first Created gave us the divining beads and said we would never get lost nor be vanquished by the wolf-men if we listened to the divining beads of Ifa. You all carry within you the story so I will not bore you.

“Through perfidy, jealousy, lust and silliness, we lost a prince. I made a vow not to create a seat for me with the ancestors because I am the first ancestor and a prince was lost. I pleaded that I may be permitted to search for the lost prince until he returns to his rightful inheritance since I am responsible for bringing about what happened.

“Ifa told me of his journeys.
“That night the lion kept him warm with his body until Numen came and took care of him. She handed him over to a farmer and his wife with instructions never to ask how the boy came about. However the boy had a habit of following the lion everywhere and the lion allowed it. It learned to imitate the sounds of the lion and knew no fear. Numen explained to the farmer’s wife that he would always be identified by his ability to roar like a lion or growl like one. He was almost twelve, time to enter the grove and pick his spear in the initiation rites. Numen brought him to me and allowed me to know him. He was told nothing of his real nature. He learnt herb-lore and became a very good farmer.
“One day the farmer went to the next village and was captured by some strange men. I could not trace him again. I was inconsolable but had to take heart knowing that his line was still intact. Then came the drama of the wives and since I was not sure of how many wives were lying in wait I asked Numen to help me. She explained that the prince would not be king in my lifetime. When I asked why, she said he was to come when the village needed him to stand in protection. She assured me she would be around then too, so I might be given permission to close the cycle in whatever form Olodumare might decide.”

Babatunde poured more of the powdery substance into the flames and briefly the flames illuminated the old man’s face. He looked very tired except for his eyes, which glowed.
“I am not physically here, but in my wanderings I have been given permission to attend this invocation, and I do not have much time. I gave the lost prince the symbol of kingship. Let the one who has it now stand up and present it so all may know and greet him.”

There was dead silence as everyone looked round wondering who that could be. The old man growled deeply and Babatunde stood up slowly to his full height as he roared in response.
And then….

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Prodigal son? Blood Contract

Ken stood silhouetted against the setting sun. He was alone in the boat as the lagoon took on the color of the red sun, making the waters look almost metallic. He was contemplating paying his father a visit and suddenly he had become unsure. Questions needed to be answered. He could not hold back anymore and the one person who could give him some of the answers was a few meters away. His hands shook as he tried to calm his nerves.
There was a small sardonic smile playing across his lips. It was time to take a look at the wounds, time to come face to face with his ghosts and why he had left. Why he had promised himself he was never coming back. He needed to make peace with his father if not with himself. He remembered the bitter arguments, his sense of not being good enough for his father. He remembered Douglas and he felt some pain that no one had ever made any attempt to reach out to him.

It was a tough place to have dreams. He had wanted to further his education and he knew his father was not going to be able to cope with the payments. He had been grateful for the secondary education he got. He was not about to just sit down in the place, getting married, have babies, and be a fisherman. His whole soul had rebelled against such a future.
It was not therefore too surprising when he followed the boys to do some small oil bunkering. The first time he got paid he was stunned at making such easy money. He had instinctively kept that business from his father. But being a young man he could not resist buying a few things that was more than his income as a fisherman could fetch him.
His father had asked probing questions and he thought he had succeeded in deceiving him until one evening he came home to find his father in his room, a cold implacable look on his face, and his wad of currency in his hand. There was nothing left to do than to confess what he had been doing. He expected anger but not the blistering rage of the old man.

He still felt disbelief at the blazing words, stating that no son of his was going to be a coward and refuse to stand and fight.
“I can’t see much of any fight with you Papa,” he had taunted back. “No money, no food and I try to do business and you call me a thief.”
There had been the silence.
“Bravery has nothing to do with stealing oil from the creeks. A thief is a thief no matter in what clothes you dress it.”
He had yelled back in his own pain, “I have not stolen anything, just taken what belongs to me.”
“Who allocated stealing to you, Kenawari?”
“Papa!”
“Get out; you have a smell I don’t want around here.”
He had yelled back that he was getting out and was never coming back, that he would make good and his father was going to regret calling him a thief. That was when he made contact with Elias and left the village a few days later. Papa never spoke to him from that night. He never went back to the business, for it had served the purpose he wanted. He never called home.

Ken had not seen Ebijor either or connected with her until the night of his return. He had kept her in his mind for years, knowing he needed to explain his abrupt departure. Knowing the culture of his people, he knew she would have been married off after a time. He wondered if she had resisted or simply accepted his apparent desertion and shrugged her shoulders and settled down to married bliss. He had wondered if she understood about love. He could not sleep at nights as he imagined her in someone’s arms and he was racked by jealousy. A dangerous jealousy he knew, for she belonged to another man. Someone the rest of the community would defend if he tried anything funny. He had also not known about Douglas. He had assumed the silence had been in obedience to their father. He needed time to take a look at that piece of information.

Ken had stalked the markets hoping to catch a glimpse of Ebijor, but she seemed to have suddenly voluntarily imprisoned herself. He was not about to ask anyone questions. Tonbra too had become invisible. He understood, believing she was remorseful about her big mouth and was keeping out of his way with respect. He sighed and started walking along the single plank walkway.

Ken walked past his father’s home deliberately and chose to stop at a point two houses away, because he had not being prepared to find his father sitting outside on an easy rocking chair. He was sure his father had seen him. Ken suddenly lost his nerve. He felt lonely too. That is my father, damn it! You don’t just walk back to fifteen years at the drop of a hat do you? You don’t just wipe out fifteen years of longing, pain, anger and confused thoughts do you? The fact that his father had never enquired after him still hurt, he acknowledged to himself.

Interested readers in Nigeria can now buy copies of BLOOD CONTRACT from thefollowing book retailers:
1.Sunshine booksellers
University of Ibadan
2. The Booksellers(Mosuro Books)
Ring road, Ibadan
3.The Kids Centre
Akure Mall, Akure
4.Toyin Bookshop
Akure
5.Arowolo Bookshop
Akure
6,Seyem Bookshop
Akure
We will update youas more book retailers are added on

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How much is your child worth?

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How much for your child?

Sounds like a daft question? But seriously, what type of parent are you? Remember when we talked about our tendency to rate everything in the commercial returns we are likely to have over our children?
Has modernity, civilization and our infernal craze for wealth pushed us over the rim to such a level as for us to see our children as merchandise?

Our esteemed author ,Lola Babalola made this comment and her comment brought about this post.
CHILDREN AND MATERIALISM
“Children acquire a materialistic attitude usually from one or both parents who have a worldview that says “Money makes the world go round” (it doesn’t!) or due to a deprived childhood. Money is a tool with which we can acquire some comforts on our life’s journey but it is hardly a life pursuit as many ‘poor’ rich folk will tell you. If we get the relationship with money right, so will our children”.

Hmmm, food for thought for our parents. Is money our ultimate value system?Why are young men and woman in the fore front of being scammers.They have names, mugu, maga etc? Is it grinding poverty materially or grinding moral poverty?
Maybe, it might guide us into understanding ourselves and ask maybe we have placed the signposts wrongly
Read in the news recently about some higher institution undergraduates were picked up for defrauding some people from their hard earned cash. The amount ran into millions according to reports. These young men were still in the university and had jeeps, expensive flats, and money to burn.

One particular case struck me as infinitely cruel on the part of the young man. He went to his parents moaning he needed money, the father went borrowing and the mother had to appeal to her church to help. They stood in shock when they learned what the young man had in his bank account as the parents stared bemused at the jeep
Where did the parents go wrong? That will be tempting to sweep your hands at the sky and say, the parents were blameless. I would hesitate to blame anyone following the injunction that we were never given the mandate to judge a fellow human being.

However the question is urgent in our souls, when Christ asked us “Seek ye first His Kingdom……..”
As parents, we dream, that our child should do better than us. We pray that he should buy better cars, bigger houses and mansions, we beam with pride that the child can travel round the world. These are legitimate dreams I agree, but why are we not insistent that above all material achievement, we pray to see a decent child as well. A child that has inherited our values.

This is my question: What is the real value of the child to you? As you close your eyes one day in earthly death, what value of your child have you bestowed on the world?
I really hope I will have answers. Meanwhile ,on behalf of the blog, I send my sincere thanks to Lola Balalola for allowing us to share her thoughts. From one parent to another, thank you.

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When Parents Dream…..

For me it was not going to happen, I knew it from the moment she started telling me how she loved their white clothes. My heart sank each time she started the subject. I had a rebellious streak. Father passed away in my last year in secondary school, being a nurse would have been the next best thing. However I was not buying into that. We stared at each other. I was close to tears but stubbornly refused to back down. I told her very firmly that I had not the slightest intention of going to a nursing school. In the first place I was not going to have any relative pay for my nursing fees or any fees for that matter. I wanted to be a surgeon and since my father had passed away I was reviewing my choices. There was pain in mother’s eyes as she had to painfully let go of her dream of seeing her daughter wear the nurse’s uniform.
Years later it set me thinking, do parents live their dream through their children. I met quite a lot of parents who tried to push their children to one profession or the other. Tope was one of them. He got admission to read medicine at one of the best universities in the country. His father swelled with pride each time he told us and we all assumed that Tope would one day don the short coat of a doctor, I even envied him as I had wanted to be a surgeon remember? Then Tope came to look for me and I saw his discomfort. After a lot of nervous coughing he blurted out that he would be graduating as an accountant and had secured the firm that he would do his articleship. The shock was that his father had assumed that Tope would be going for his clinicals and housemanship.
Tope stared at me, he asked me to break the news to his father. I gulped asking him why he had kept quiet about his change of course. He shrugged and said, there was no way that he could tell his father about such a change. He explained that in the second year, he had quietly changed to accountancy , kept his grades clean and maintained a decent CGPA he had not had any problems, he did not fancy cutting people up and would have made a terrible doctor he explained.
We sat in silence as I had picture of breaking the news to his father. I did not look forward to that assignment, and I remembered my mother and I sighed. When parents dream…Could I one day be guilty of this? In Nigeria of those days, children of the sciences were valued and I remembered that my principal had insisted that I was going to be a science student even the fact that I consistently failed physics and was indifferent to Mathematics. He had a faith in me that was agonizing for me? I was happy debating, acting, reciting poetry but was stuck in the science class.
I became a firm advocate of career counseling thereafter because the opportunity became clearer to allow the child to choose irrespective of the dreams of our parents.
I became a parent and I understood why parents dream. I caught myself telling my children that they should opt for professional courses. Something that they can be masters of when they leave school and have to fend for themselves in a world that had rapidly changed from what I knew of it.
As a parent, I had dreams of them becoming self -reliant, the government jobs were gone, factories and industries needed a different kind of worker. You no longer needed to have understanding of the general Rules of the civil service code anymore. Nobody wanted to be in service to a nameless person but children wanted to hold their survival firmly in their own hands.
There was now the age of technology and the world had shrunk to a village.The language was now different, abbreviated to a level that you needed a dictionary ….a new dictionary to understand new words. Can Parents still dream?
We need to look for new dreams and search through our hopes and prayers what should be the pattern of our new dreams.
Sometimes we look at our children, they are now children of a new age , a new vision, it is fast paced and the parents have become the children as they look on confused, grasping at their dreams. Time to take a look and see what you can safely dream about
The world still need love, decency, uprightness, justice and we may still dream of honesty in the blind rush for money.
I take a look round and still tell my children, there is still opportunity, to be decent, have a sense of justice and fairness, be upright, share love to another human being and be a creature of the Creator. Now maybe the colour of the dreams may change but these values like threads run through life.
Be a man in the cascading confusion of a new age
Now when parents dream…… they see hope of a new dawn for man