In Memory of Chibok


Our name is now on every tongue
But we were not celebs back then in Chibok
Some saw us deviants, for learning both
the white man’s language and his ways
when we should in fact be making babies
Our parents couldn’t convince them either and to them
our fathers were not just man enough over their homes
It does feel good to know people actually do care
Even if took boko haram to rouse such love

See where our quest has landed us
Sambisa, a forest of thorns and terror
A game reserve in those glorious days,
Now a hideout for insurgents who think
our passion for books is haram
Sambisa! a tale of neglect and maintenance woes
It reminds of carnival-like inaugurations
for projects that are always left to fall apart

Our sole desire now is liberty from this den
And though our heads warn of a cruel fate
similar to that of sambisa and many such projects
Our hearts faint not and await salvation
But in case our heads deny our hearts victory in this
Make heroes of them in our memories, please
Girls in the neighborhood of the Sahara
and many other scattered within the Lake Chad basin
Who defy the odds and shun disapproving stares
to join the voyage of discovery



They call him Toks, always looking like a model straight out of a fashion magazine; his features, lean and just in adequate proportions are covered with a toned, luscious skin capable of holding its own in a Mr. Spotless pageant. You should have noticed Toks, he’s your regular present-day guy who is obsessed with looking good but no! he’s not gay, he is in fact a full-blooded heterosexual man, welcome to his world.

• As he steps out of bed, he reaches for the mirror or walks up to it to take a good look at his face, he has to be sure a silly spot or pimple did not sprout over the night. Even if everything is in order, he reaches for his facial cleanser or scrub and massages it in with the tip of his fingers; after all, prevention they say is better than cure.

• Satisfied that the cream has done its magic, he goes for a bath using a fluffy clothe-like mesh, the coarse traditional sponges are just too harsh for his skin. The elaborate routine of rubbing creams and grooming starts after that; an after-bath face cream, moisturizer, hair creams, hair gels, hand creams, several ointments all serving different purposes.

• Body sprays and roll-ons have a field day before he drapes his greased chest in underwear and if the clothes have been pre-selected they follow suit. If not, he spends at least the next quarter of an hour picking clothes and when a choice is made, the accessories begin to fall in place; colorful hand bands, bracelets, flamboyant wristwatches, finger rings, beads, studs and many more.

• The footwear which can be made of anything between leather and rubber and of any color shade encloses the feet pre-wrapped if applicable. He then wears his perfume and holds on to the mirror for the finale of the ritual, ascertaining that the face is properly made up; applying powder, making sure the eyebrows are well plucked and styled, facial hair perfectly trimmed and the lips not left dry and scaly.

Gone are those days when men take pride in the fact that their outfit and general outlook suggests that they have rushed through it all. To be seen as someone who has better things to concentrate on rather than devoting time to choose clothes and accessories, kept their egos intact and makes them feel worthy to be in charge. Oversized shirts, baggy jeans, and coats reigned supreme; very few wore perfume while some don’t even rub creams. But unlike their fathers, the masculine ego of today’s boys does not feel threatened by appearances indicative of significant efforts, and consciousness. Words like collagen and hydroquinone are not strange to them; in fact, they can give lectures on exfoliation, manicure and pedicure, relaxer choices, perming, braids and other such stuffs.

modern man

This class of men has refused to confine their masculinity to a tiny box which they will have to squeeze themselves into; they allow for maximum expression and indulge in all fashion choices that appeal to them. They have pulled down the barriers that distinctly separated what is supposedly manly, gay and feminine. They wear the most colorful and decorative attires, their suits are well tailored; shirts, trousers and jeans, formfitting and the belts have moved past the customary choice of black or brown. Most of them now wear shorts which are sometimes cut well above the knee and are almost always dangerously slim-fitted in such a way that you can be fooled if you think you can always guess the gender of people walking ahead of you based on the back view alone.

It is good that guys are getting more in touch with their other side whose expression was previously associated with homosexuals and considered a great inadequacy in this chauvinistic society of ours. In fact, evidences pointing to the fact these guys who appear totally gluey outside are not in any way less of a man abound around us, they are just as tough, focused, determined and successful in their chosen fields. These dudes hold the ace in the emerging society; they are well-rounded and grounded, even ladies flock around them and can’t seem to get enough probably because they appear not to carry the burden to prove and affirm that their pretentiously stoic counterparts carry around. Your dictionary calls them metrosexuals, but I call them modern men because they are not ashamed to include cooking, baking, reading literature and fashion magazines as well as watching television on their hobbies list.


Some flaunt flawless forms
Unscathed in their silky evenness
Banishing the sleeves, they bare it all
Numerous stares trail them as they walk

Their mini fairs reminds of the great days of yore
It sometimes evokes pangs of guilt,
capable of quenching eloquence
and sinking raised shoulders

In the face of such parades in the past,
I pull my sleeves to cover it all up;
The blotch, freckles and discoloration
My disqualification from the march

I no longer flinch from their immaculate aura,
I just hope they can keep it going
For it appears their lives depend on it
The very center without which they’ll fall apart

I let it all out; it hurts no more
No longer fresh and soggy; it’s healed
It is proof that there’s something grand ahead
That I’m a victor, a conqueror, an overcomer
That I’ve got everything it’s ever going to take

So, on my way, I reach for the heights
I’ve got no fright, I’ve shed the weights
I embrace the light on these spots of mine,
Experiences and lessons money cannot buy
Proudly, I parade my scars