Learning to breathe

Archive for the tag “politics”

Nehemiah Project Prayermobs

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now. Actually I’ve been wanting to do this since the Borno killings I don’t want to be numb to the fact that almost an entire village was wiped out in one weekend. I don’t want to be desensitized to the fact that innocent men, women and children are dying every day in the North while I’m down southwest having rollercoaster rides and bumper-karting with friends. I don’t want to keep living like everything is peachy when it really isn’t. It would shock you to know that over 10,000 killings have been linked to the insurgent Boko Haram sectsince 2001*. Yeah, it shocked me too. Then the Boston bombing happened, the whole of America bled for Boston, the city was shut down, investigations were made and suspects were arrested. It was then that my heart really broke for Nigeria and it was then that I really prayed.
Thankfully, my prayers did not bounce off the ceiling and I got a response but not quite the kind I wanted or expected. I wanted for God to raise fiery, popular cover-of-Time-magazine-worthy men and women to do something-to do anything! – to get this Boko Haram menace sorted once and for all. I wanted the SSS to announce on national TV that they had caught the leaders and they were rounding up the terrorists one by one. I wanted for God to just sort them out somehow. I really did not care how as long as I didn’t have to directly get involved. I mean, praying in my room on my comfy bed is convenient and pretty hands on. It’s safe. But the only response I got was “You, Ibukun.”
He wants ordinary, can’t-use-an-excel-spreadsheet-to-save-her-life Ibukun to get off her fat behind to do something- anything! – for her country. I’m not my idea of an ideal patriot so who would’ve thunk it’d be me? Definitely not me
So I prayed about it some more and got ladies over at SRT to pray about it too. And I can tell y’all that there is a game plan. It’s not anything exactly “fancy” but it’s powerful. I’m not about to tell you that God showed me the Boko Haram headquarters in a vision or had an angel FedEx their sponsors’ list to me the next morning. The response was not the kind you’d expect. The solution that I got was…wait for it…prayer. I prayed for a solution and the solution I got was prayer.
God wants people who care enough about their country to pray about it to Him, together as a nation of people that is tired of losing citizens to this madness. He isn’t asking us to join the army, He asking us to seek His face, He’s not asking us to give away our body parts or organs, He’s asking us to give away desensitization. He wants for us to be mad and hurt enough to do something other than criticise the government. And not just about Boko Haram but also about the economy, about the youth, about our leaders, about finding sustainable energy and other major stuff that we have to deal with as a country.
Now so we don’t just talk about it and end up not being about it, we are introducing prayer mobs. Prayer mobs are kinda like flash mobs, only that prayer mobs meet up, physically or virtually to pray concerning stuff at specific times in a month. So now it’s not about when we remember to pray for Nigeria, it’s about counting down to the next time we meet up, physically or virtually, with Nigerians all over the world at specific times to pray to God about unrest in our Country. It’s about Nigerians that have hearts that can break for their country. It’s about Nehemiahhearts.
I may have said this before at some point in writing this but I’m no “world changer”. I’m just an ordinary girl that wants to do something other than live for herself. I waited until now to do this because I was dead sure God had the wrong girl but I’m starting to understand that God is not looking for perfect people; He’s looking to perfect people. So don’t hesitate to identify with this movement. Our first prayer mob meeting is scheduled for 12:00pm, June 15, 2013. Now you can help to spread the word about Nehemiah Project prayer mobs by:
1. Spreading the word on all your social networks, word of mouth advertising still works wonders.
2. Following the movement on Twitter our Facebook and GooglePlus pages will come soon
3. Reblogging this post if you have a WordPress blog
4. Sending me an email at zoe_akin@live.com if you’re willing to design the logo and page for this project.
5. Praying at 12:00pm (W. Central Africa (+1))

If you’ve ever wished you could do something substantial to change the situation of things in Nigeria, this is it. Be a part of it. Tell people about it. Be about it. It may not seem like much but you’d be amazed at how far praying together with a large body of Nigerians all over the world concerning Nigeria for 10 minutes at a specific time every month can do. The answers to our prayers for peace on the North first, economic growth, leaders of integrity and all round success are just before our very eyes waiting for us to ask for them. Let us ask together.

*The Catholic Church: What Everyone Needs To Know, John L. Allen Jr. 2013


Full Moon Fever

I was quiet till we got home. Sunmade kept looking at me and asking if I was okay. “I’m fine just tired” I kept saying.

I am in the bathroom now. The water is more than lukewarm and I see steam rising from my skin. For some time, I just stand in the shower. I am hoping I can steam away the gloom that has settled on me.

Tiwa is back. Tiwa is back. Tiwa is back.

I hate myself for the feelings that are stirring in my heart. I am starting to think wishfully again.

No. I will forget about him. I have lived without him for six years, remembering him occasionally. I can live without him for the rest of my life.

I turn the water off and step gingerly out of the bathroom.

Sunmade is still up. He is looking at me.

“You feel better now?”


“You did good today.”

I smile weakly and shuffle to him.

“Thank you.”

“You did look a bit distracted.”

“I was hungry. Don’t bother, I already ate some sandwiches.”

“Okay.” He gathers me into his arms.

Soon, he will fall asleep and leave me to my thoughts.
As soon as I hear him breathing more easily, evenly, I slip out of his arms and tiptoe to the kitchen. The furniture in the living room is a bit dusty, I make a mental note to call the housekeeper in the morning.

It is 10.30

I help myself to some microwaved left over pizza and watch the news.

Boko Haram looks for new members.

Boko Haram plans to bomb Sokoto.

Man rapes friend’s daughter and murders her.

I feel sick. Thankfully, I have had enough pizza. I turn the television off then step out to the balcony.

Its a full moon tonight.

The sky is blue.

I am a woman.

I am Sunmade’s wife.

I am pregnant.

I am crying.


The shoot was a success, dinner is in the process of becoming. My husband will be home any moment from now.


I cut the Soko leaves into even threads of green. Then I chop the onions into cubes, the Pomo goes next. I attend to the stock fish while the chicken cooks.

My blackberry beeps. Then vibrates twice. I know it is Amaka. After being friends with her for years, I still do not understand her compulsive desire to do everything twice or in twos as the need arises. Amaka is always in a hurry to do everything too. I remember the time she asked if I ever abbreviated my words. I simply told her I did not think in abbreviations hence the need to type and write in full. She burst out laughing. I was entirely embarrassed. We were in the middle of a movie at the cinemas.

I set about starting the soup. Just then, I remember to take off my wedding ring and I place it carefully on the counter. Taking my wedding band off reminds me of my first year at university when a certain Deji Isikalu would come visiting everyday.


I basked in his attention and affection. Deji promised planets and comets. Shooting stars too. Then finally marriage.
In my naiveté, no, stupidity, I gave in to his demands for proof of my love for him.

We’d barely known each other a month.

I found out two days later, thanks to the ring he forgot to remove, that he was married. Newly wedded in fact. Then I deleted his number from my phone wanting to have nothing to do with a man deficient of the most common type of self esteem.
I felt more pity for his wife than myself. She was more a victim than I was. I nursed my grieving heart with large doses of tears and chocolate.

Dark, rich chocolate.

And of course, Amaka was there to remind me that he was “a piece of two-timing shit” and something so mean I forgot it the minute she said it. A smile claimed my lips.
Did I?

I pour palm oil into the waiting pot then stir in the onions. The tomato paste goes in next, ground pepper, seasoning, a little water, fish, pomo. Simmer.
iru, then I stir. I allow it cook some more. The soko leaves go in last after I treat them in hot water and salt.

My husband, Sunmade, is back. I hear the sound of the car door slamming, then the familiar click-clack of his feet, the main door closes.

“Baby! I’m home”


I turn around and slide into waiting arms. Then plant a welcome kiss on his lips.

“How was your day, love?”

“It was long! Those ambassadors from Spain were just doing anyhow…”

He helps himself to a glass of water. Sighs. Drinks some more water.

“I won’t be at the office tomorrow; protesters have occupied the roads. With the way things are going, the government will have to listen to the masses. They want it at sixty-five naira or nothing. And to be honest I do too. Those scammers have been getting away with their shit too long. How was the shoot?”

The soup is ready.

“Great! George says hi.”

“How is he?”

“Happy. He did cover for Eclectic mag”

“Nice one. Lucky guy.”

I dish Sunmade’s food. Thankfully, I prepared the semovita before the soup.

“How’s my army doing in there?”

“You flatter yourself so!” I laugh. “There only one youngster in here.”

I push past him, carrying his meal into the dining.

“There’s an army there jor! Do well oh.” He follows. “Where’s your own food?”

“I’m not hungry.” I lie.

“Omo, sit down here and eat with me.”

He sits and pulls my chair closer to his.

I slip my ring back on. Some things really are worth living for.

Glass Thoughts

Its an early harmattan-ish morning. My husband is at work already. He works for the government you see and he always leaves for work before I wake up.
Its 6.30 now. 6.31 actually. I don’t want to get out of bed just yet so I settle more comfortably under the duvet.

I am pregnant with my first child. 2 months gone. My husband teases me about how flat my belly is. I still wonder if he thinks I’m carrying more than one fetus. I chuckle and stretch.

Thoughts of the ongoing protests flash through my mind. Its only the third day but 16 people have died. An awful lot. I wonder what is going through the president’s mind. The other day on the news, a being so pale, he looked translucent, reduced the frustration the people felt to ‘wanting cheap fuel’. I gagged. I am reluctant to turn the television on again. At least not this morning.

Nausea washes over me as I make to get out of bed. I settle back in.

I am not an activist but I hate the look of frustration I see on Jamal’s face when he asks for an increase in his salary from my husband. I am not poor but I am reluctant to pay double the amount I pay for the same amount of groceries. I am not a saint but I despise the president for submitting so easily to evil. Becoming a puppet.

There is good somewhere in this country, buried beneath layers of corruption and obese injustice. I know there is.

My alarm finally goes off. I have a photoshoot in four hours, thirty minutes.

My name is Orin by the way. My surname? You need not know. Be content.

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