Cakes and Chickens

It’s my birthday! There’s gratitude in my heart and songs on my lips.  Indeed to have one’s head sitting firmly on one’s neck is no mean achievement in this country and for that i salute the author of life.  I was going to bake a highly sweetened chocolate cake to mark the day but i thought otherwise. The last time i made one, I was still an undergraduate and I had to do the baking in a friend’s room in one of the female hostels on campus. My roommates especially my bunky could not understand how i could manage to be at ease enough to actually bake a cake from scratch in a room full of girls, of course that was after they had munched the portion i brought them which covered the serrated cake paper in which it was baked to form a top like an ice-cream cone’s.

Being an August-born (a friend told me we are the most populous); I have been denied the chance of celebrating my birthday in school with my mates. Throughout my primary and secondary education, I didn’t have to pack sweets, biscuits and other goodies to school for my mates who would have in turn sung and prayed for me because August is the very heart of the long vacation holidays. Notwithstanding, I have had a few memorable birthday celebrations. The one that easily comes to mind is my 4th birthday celebration and it’s probably due to the glazed photograph that rests against the upper part of our sitting room wall. There i stood, dressed in black suits with hands clasped around a knife buried deep into a two-step butter-iced cake with the caption “SEYI IS FOUR”. I can’t really remember the whole day but fresh in my mind is the fact that friends came around, we took photographs, danced and everybody went back home with takeaways and other gifts courtesy of my parents and notably one of our three neighbors back then. 

image

                 From http://www.deenascakesandcookies.com

I’m tempted not to categorize my 10th birthday celebration as a party because there was no cake, just meat pies and malt. The celebration was not in my parents’ house but in an Aunt’s place where i had gone to spend part of the long vacation holiday.  My Aunt bought the white guinea i wore and settled the sewing bills but the refreshment was financed by one of my cousins who i have now lost contact with, she had finished university at that time and she later got married in December of that same year.  My 18th birthday fell within the week of resumption for second semester that year, i had left for school a week earlier because of personal engagements but this time there was a cake. Mummy sent the cake through a family friend who attended the same university and you should have seen how the cake was packed and wrapped. It was a plain cake without icing, mothers and their wisdom! The roads are bad and my dear friend surely had a lot of things to carry (foodstuffs and necessities). Icing the cake would have been an exercise in futility because by the time it would get to me, the icing would have smeared badly with all the beauty gone. There was also a cake last year, a giant oval shaped cake baked by my sweet friend and jointly decorated. I was busy in the laboratory all day with my undergraduate research underway and it was later in the evening that i shared the cake with my lab mates and few friends that were on ground. The lecturers were on strike (it lasted six months), so my roommates were at home.

Every other birthday in between had been good too, eighty percent of those birthdays were celebrated with chicken and jollof rice shared with immediate family members. It’s like a tradition in my family to slaughter chickens to mark important dates, birthdays inclusive. Even before dad started poultry farming, we reared free range chickens and always picked from. We targeted the cocks which would not be released to roam the streets with others in the morning after been kept in the cage over the night. When I was younger, dad slaughtered and cut the chicken to pieces but for about five years now, I do both and dad only joins in  the cutting when he likes.

Today my dear friends, there was no cake, chocolate, plain, butter or fondant-iced but a chicken lost it’s dear life to celebrate mine.

Advertisements

When the Hero Visited

Hitherto, we sat wide-eyed
Gazing at glassed screens
In awe of his energy and sheen
Now he’s come to us
In flesh and blood
So with great energy and like a flood
We surged from all corners
Pressing tight to others and
pressed from every imaginable angle
No one is ready to carry this over
All for a glimpse we hustle on
Caution, courtesy, comfort and pride
Became luxuries not a soul can afford

image

A roar erupted from the front row
Our necks grew, the giraffe’s fashion
Paying no attention to our grumbling toes
His form we finally make out
Eyes hidden beneath black goggles
Shining silver dangling from his neck to match his steps
He was pretty good, awesomely swagalicious i’ll say
The aching in our joints is evidence of his captivating tempo
Hips swayed and twerked, hands were raised and rolled
While shoulders and chest collaboed* for scintillating moves
It was wild wild! No tamed soul in that crowd

When our adrenaline supplies were finally depleted
Our heads cooled, he bowed and approached the exit
Standing there staring at him in that instant
Without any glossy glass of a barrier
You can see beyond the dark shades, deeper
Blood runs in his veins

*pidgin English, same as collaborated

OSUN POLL: A CALL TO INEC

When a friend asked me few weeks ago over Facebook chat who my preferred candidate in the forthcoming August 9 governorship election in Osun state was, none was my sharp reply. Now that the poll is upon us, I’m afraid nothing has changed. Although i understood, again via Facebook that there are about ten candidates on the road to the government house in Abere, victory belongs either to the man seeking reelection and the one who has being in public office since 1999. I have read numerous campaign messages by zealous supporters drumming support for their chosen one on social media and i have also received text messages on my mobile phone but I’m still not impressed enough to want to pitch my tent with any of them.

inec

I make bold to say that of these people parading themselves as the savior that will take us to the promised land, there is none worthy of the position. Common! Are these the best men that can lead us in this state? This is the same tight spot i found myself at the last general elections, i had to vote for house of assembly, House of Representatives and Senate members who had no concrete plans and were clearly heading to office for their fill. I lay all the blames at the feet of our political parties, they all lack reasonable structure, standing standards and clear-cut ideology, that is if like me you don’t count their stomach ideology as one. They are mere associations where deceits, chaos and selfishness reign supreme. This lack of solid foundation for our political parties makes it very hard for any credible person to climb up the ladders up to the point of being handpicked (their primary elections are laughable) as a candidate to be featured for any political position. It is a very sad situation but that is how it will continue until our parties are completely overhauled or …that brings me to INEC.

My hope lies with INEC and i hope they will give this matter a thought. What the hell is stopping INEC from including a vacant space on the ballot paper without the logo of any political party for patriotic citizens who would love to vote but think there is no candidate worthy of the post. I think INEC should consider this option before coming out to decry the apathy of citizens to their exercise. If you are with me say aye……….the ayes have it, gbam!

Lessons from Charly Boy

I’m compelled to do a piece on the controversial maverick and entertainment personality Charly boy, i think this is partly due to the fact theeditorsjournal specifically asked for my views on him in a comment on my post about metrosexuals, “Is It Bye Mr. Macho?”. Another possible reason may be his recent antics in Sweden (not that i approve of it) but i won’t be covering that here. I can’t help but marvel at personalities like that of Charly Boy; i admire their willfulness and guts. I try to replicate their freethinking personas in my own little way while also shrugging off the unadulterated display of madness that often come with it.

charly boy

If i may ask you, what is the single factor that informs most of your decisions and daily choices? Do you do things to please? Or are you always looking forward to approval of people around you? If you are, you must have felt really bad and probably cried your eyes out on that day when not even a single soul noticed your beautiful hair, pretty dress or nice shoes. Here is a free lesson from the likes of Charly Boy which i will like to borrow the words of Chimamanda Adichie to express, “don’t turn pretense into an art form”, give us a glimpse into the real you.

You need not wait until you are a grandpa like Charly before you begin to live intentionally, i actually think old age will put a bitter taste to the fun unless of course you are Charly boy the second. Now, let me ask you, if people’s opinion and their prying eyes is not a factor, is there an awesomeness you will like to embrace and express? If yes, what is it?