Focus on your breathing or some shit 

And let the fact that the scab is now a scar convince you that you are healing

(though, not quick)

The pangs will not always echo as long or flow as deep

The earth quaking in your chest cavity when you weep

will eventually not exhaust you

And the dark you so strongly want to deplete will recede

through the fault lines of your lips

Memories seeping towards release

Whispers in the mist –


Breathe, breathe, breathe

Inspiration Prose et Poesie


And as I listened and I read and I thought… I thought

He will break my heart


And I will let him

To see what he does with the pieces.


If he will find the apex of his artistry in

The breaking.

Prose et Poesie

Ten Things I Know About Rape and/or Sexual Assault that You Should Too

In light of recent events, I’m taking a temporary hiatus from love, from pain, from human feeling, really. Instead I’ll talk about an act so heinous, it doesn’t really rate on the human spectrum – rape/sexual assault. It’s funny because I see animals and their sexual interactions and, even when I was much younger, I had a problem with how I could not tell if the female animals were really showing consent, really enjoying the acts as they stood complacently and were pounded from behind. Docile, pliant, but not quite passionate; just furthering their species. But humans aren’t that way, are we? We hardly engage in sexual acts to “be fruitful and multiply”. We express passion, hate, excitement, happiness, pleasure and love through that medium. 

Now, I spend a lot of time with love. I am trying to make a whole blog about it, for Gods sake. I am not an expert on it but I do know a bit about it. Not so with rape, not at all. I barely know anything about it since it consists of so many different experiences and the hurt and angst of so many different individuals with different reactions that I do not know. But here I am still writing a blog post about it (and here you are still reading). Well we’ve generalized about all I do not know about rape/sexual assault. Below is what I DO know about rape. 

Ten things I know about rape and/or sexual assault that you should too:

– Victim blaming is NOT okay. Blaming is used lightly here to describe victim doubting, victim indifference, victim shunning, victim hostile analysis, victim anything really. You know why? Because the only thing that should be directed towards them is love and support. And some more support.

Oldest trick in the book I just employed, eh? But as with all other cliches, still bloody effective. I could have talked about how rape is a heinous act that gets committed every day (RAINN actually reports one sexual assault in America every 107 seconds. If you don’t know what RAINN is, please educate yourself) yet there is NOT ONE self acknowledging rapist out there (yes,yes, I know about that disturbed psychopath who actually admitted to it). 

I could have talked about how 4/5 rapists are people we know and 47 percent are actual friends or acquaintances (this one needs a bit more spreading around in certain countries. Mine, for instance) and so we shouldn’t be so quick to discount the more “unbelievable” strikes of sexual assault i.e. Fathers, stepfathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, husbands, neighbors, grandfathers etc. 

I could have talked about how empathy and support shouldn’t be given more readily solely to those we know simply because we can speak to their character, but also to those we do not. Because while on the other hand, there are obviously those out there that we do not know that can speak to their characters (weak justification), until the rapist is proven completely innocent (approximately 1 in 400 cases btw), it is NEVER the victim’s character that should be in question.

I could talk about how the justice system does not make it the easiest for victims even in this century to report this revolting act, no matter how advanced the country in which it is committed.

I could talk about how acts of rape and sexual assault require the silence of the victim for the perpetrator to keep on committing these acts and he will go to any lengths to achieve this aim. Is it then a shock that emotional, physical and psychological abuse are usually the weapons of choice employed to attain this objective? How far fetched does it seem now that most victims do not report these crimes? (Yes, there are definitely also cases that aren’t reported for fear of shame, ostracizing, and all things that could be reasons for all situations. But you get what I mean).

I could have talked about how rape/sexual assault has nothing to do with what a woman is wearing, how much she has drunk, the recreational drugs she chooses to take, the jobs she chooses to do, the company she chooses to keep, the words she chooses to use, the people she chooses to love or the way she chooses to act. You know why? Because 10 times out of 10, a woman will never CHOOSE rape. And that is the only choice that matters.

I could have talked about how while rape/sexual assault isn’t exclusive to women, (yes, kids and men also get affected) they are highest sufferers. And while men should also be protected, kids even more vigorously so, this movement has more than enough space for everybody. Much like all the movements out there about social justice with opposers – #alllivesmatter #notallmen – the opposition noise is unnecessary. If we all supported the movement at hand at each moment with the importance it deserved without detraction, the hashtags I just used would not be necessary. It would be clear to all that all lives matter and it wasn’t all men. The point is each movement should get its due as presented – independently and with complete attention. 

I could have talked about how social justice should be championed by all – passively or actively. Because humanity – as social beings- require justice. You cannot hope to be human and not be concerned with the concept of it. It is not a choice we should consider that we have, like our opinions on religion or politics. It is a right we should exercise. If one chooses not to be active in their bid for justice, one can still passively participate by providing support to its victims. This does NOT include keeping silent. To stand silent is to provide consent. (I think I paraphrased two different quotes here but you get my point).

I could have talked about how rape/sexual assault has affected at least one person you know well. No, really it has. 

I could have spoken about how this issue is important to me because I, like the countless others that came before, after, and beside me, have suffered from it myself. I, like countless others, have suffered psychologically and emotionally for years afterwards. It does not make me any less of a human, I do not live any less in my own truth and I certainly did not deserve any of it. But it happened anyway. 

I know I know, I pulled another cliche and gave you 10 reasons anyway. Funny how that still works, huh?

Some of you will, upon reaching the end of this list, scoff at how logical and common place these things were. I’m glad you read it anyway and I hope we are friends in real life. 

Some of you will not agree, think some of these statements are largely assuming on my part or that I have no right to challenge your way of thought. But I would argue that I do. We grow when we are challenged.

Love is still the answer though, it always is.


Change II

And so it hit me – full in the face. Bam! A truth I’ve been locking so far away and so deeply that it hit me with the juggernaut momentum of its escape. And all it took was a tweet to know it. I had to see someone say it before it made perfect sense to me.

“Loving someone and watching them move on with no stress is both what you wanted and your worst nightmare”.

Yes. It is what I wanted. It’s what I wanted terribly. But why did I have to read someone else come to the very poignant conclusion to understand this? Because I think I had been living out the nightmare part of it the whole time… But I’m free now, you see. I have to be. You can’t want what’s best for someone with fervour and live in your nightmare. No, you will then live in your release. In your truth and in that love. The object of the affection might be dead and gone, for all intents and purposes, but the love will last. That’s the beauty of it. Once love has been created, it does not go anywhere. It might exist in a vacuum if necessary (in those times, we are deluded that the love is gone because there is no object on which to impress it), but it really is an imperishable thing. Love is an imperishable act and once fostered, you cannot possibly exist in love and in a nightmare. The two are mutually exclusive. Instead, you can be like, “I was, till two moments ago, in a nightmare of my own carelessness THEN in love”.


Organic Burn

There are things that have begun to burn.

Save those you can while they in any part


We leave what we cannot take. We trusted

What we did not make

After all, and went ahead and claimed it –


No, we did not make love. We made,


We did. But we did not create it. God did. God


Love. So how could the creator become in any part

the created? No.

So when these things that have begun to burn

can not be salvaged

We leave them and run. We haste from the embers that become

We are followed in our turn but the scarring is

localised to a minimum. An infinitesimal organic suicide


We labour with the remnants of our burn

To plagiarise and live in reruns.

Tomorrow we make again what we did not create

And trust again what we did not make

Our memory heals enough so we replicate.



Prose et Poesie

Violence I

Violence is never the answer. But only because the question is never systemic oppression: the question is never the demonstration of a subconsciously deep-rooted entitlement based on decades of trampling on others’ limitations. Violence is never the answer because violence should never be the question.

Just imagine for a second that love was always the question instead. Think of all that tolerance, carefully dealt with frustration, easy communication and endless understanding that would be the response  in that beautiful utopia.

Then think about violence again and what a terribly terribly rude question it is…



One blow… One pronounced skip of the calming rhythm of my heart’s steady pace. That was my initial reaction to the news. One blow that plunged me first into shock then into hyper reaction then into the stark flow of silent tears then back into shock. One blow was the only punctuation I felt in the next 20 minutes of an unending sentence that I endured before I felt myself truly breathing again. Just that one blow. Only one…

Missy came into my life when I was 10/11. The years are blurry at this point. But I remember that she came when the office was still on Awolowo road, super close to Munchies. Super close to Bacchus as well (but I wasn’t aware of the latter till much later in my adolescence). And her name was as spontaneous and attitude driven as the person she was named after at a whim – Missy Elliott.

She was the perfect character from day one. And with the trepidation of the young who love all furry four- legged friends but who are also smart enough to have a certain regard for  life and self preservation, I played with her coyly at first; quickly nervous if she got irritated or overly excited with me. Eventually, and not after very long, I decided I loved her. Like you know the kind of love you have for something or someone that never fully leaves your thoughts? That importance of their wellbeing? That happiness in the reunion? I loved her.

It has always been clear how incredibly blessed I was to know Missy. How blessed I still am to have known her. It’s not common in Nigeria to have dogs as pets. This is not to say that people do not have dogs or that people have a shortage of love for these adorably loyal creatures. But what tends to happen is that a lot of people who love dogs in Nigeria do not have the means or the motivations to own dogs, and those who do tend to own them as guard dogs. It would seem of little consequence – these shifts in role title- but the only people with enough patience or time to love these guard dogs are usually those responsible for putting food and water in theirs kennels and releasing them at night. These people are also not usually their owners and more often than not, give abuse instead of love. But I, to my greatest advantage, grew up around dogs who were genuinely loved for their quirks and definitely not treated like “animals”. I was blessed in this way and was blessed to experience the best of Missy in this vein.

As an aside, I will say that the expression “being treated like animals” never sat well with me. Animals should be treated kindly and lovingly across the board, with pretty much the same courtesy we would give to complete strangers at the very least. Even in cases where we eat animals, their method of execution should be merciful and their grooming for this execution, humane. In other words, in an ideal world, that expression wouldn’t mean the things it does now. But back to Missy…

This post was really to acknowledge the life of an amazing dog. A dog that acted a good deal like a cat. One that added a lot of laughter and attitude to my life; a dog who had such emotion that sometimes I swear she could talk. And I think that single immense blow, the one that stopped everything for one second was my heart’s way of affirming what I already knew: that she will be missed tremendously.

RIP Missy





He was going through a hard time. They both knew it but somehow, she knew it more. They talked about it in the wordless ways that humans beings in dying relationships converse through act and emotion- through the rashness of acts and the absence of emotions. The Friday night ritual of Chateauneuf-du-Pape was the first to go. Then the intermittent post-it notes hastily placed not all the way down on her phone screen so they were the first things she saw when her alarm went off in the morning, followed. The first few months those darned post-its had irked her. Waking up to her phone alarm and not being able to snooze it right away because some pesky thing was in the way… but they had grown on her. They weren’t ever mushy, too. That’s what she had loved the most about them. And they usually made absolutely no sense but she kept most of them anyway. Some she stored in memory, like the note after the night she had gone out with her girls for some Mexican two months following their move-in together:

“Elsa, please do not let it go when you sleep. It stinks. Love, Olaf. P.S. Coffee’s ready”.

…Or the one after Curry, her pre-pubescence Tabby, passed. That one had been a tiny caricature of a dog with a thought bubble above it’s head saying :

“All (cats that act like) dogs go to heaven.”

She had almost shed a tear after that one. Almost.

It wasn’t the attempts at failed prose or romanticism that engaged her, it was the vigour with which he had adored her smile and the reverence through which he had aimed to preserve it. But all that vanished in the summer of the year her peonies did not bloom.  She was later told by the horticulturist ex-wife of a colleague that her quack of a gardener had planted them too deeply. Their foliage in early spring had held so much promise, the three wilted flower buds that showed in early April brought heart shattering disappointment. Years down the line, friends and family would ask her about that period of her life and all she would ever remember with annoying clarity were those goddamned wilted peonies.

He left in late September. There wasn’t any of that slow realisation that you get when you read a suspense novel or watch a romantic movie. There was no immediate warning but there was the exceptionally huge lump constricting her breathing when she saw him sitting quietly in the living room waiting on her that evening. It wasn’t the waiting or the stiff sitting, not even the single suitcase and stained carry-on shoulder bag leaning on the chaise. It was his complete awareness of her in a way that had not happened in several weeks. She had only just adjusted to life with a stranger and now she couldn’t handle the discomfort of having him stare directly at her and still not see her. She looked blankly at that travel bag the whole time he talked. He told her it had been over a long while, that he had tried to re-invest time and time again. He mentioned the one day she had come in shouting about the unwashed dishes and he had had such a difficult day but she had not even cared. She was mildly aware that he spoke a long time but she was careful not to listen to the details. She knew this would become an argument if she did and she did not want that; she was too good at gathering that kind of word ammunition but this situation required no sifting through the finer points and pressing of pressed issues. As a matter of fact, she had made up her mind to forget the details of the conversation the moment he walked out her door if she could help it.

He spent 39 minutes trying to let her off easy, like she needed it. By the end he was uncomfortable because she kept her silence. There was nothing she could say that would further solidify or weaken the resignation that she felt. He asked her to say anything, that he knew he had told her it was forever and he was chickening out. He did not say sorry though. He had always believed sorries were a pitiful attempt at taking the easier road out of a difficult situation. But it did not matter. She was spent.

She nodded her head once to indicate her understanding, stood up from the edge of the chaise where she had been sitting, and kissed him on the left side of his temple like she would have if this were any regular day.

“Leave the keys on the accent table by the door. Don’t bother locking it”.

She left him on the sofa, grabbed the grocery bag she had brought home with the Chateauneuf in it, got a wine glass out a kitchen cabinet, and walked into the bedroom. Fifteen minutes later, she heard the door shut quietly. It would have been better if he had just left without trying for goodbye

Prose et Poesie