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Letter to my Next

10 Feb

Dear (Insert Name Here),
I hope this missive meets you in good health. I’m sure you’re already making some conclusions about me just by reading this but let me assure you; I am not a geek, neither am I a weirdo nor am I jobless. I am just a guy who has been let down so many times that I’ve lost count. I know you don’t quite know me yet, we probably have only mentioned each other a few times on Twitter and liked each other’s pictures on Instagram but I know you and I know we’ll be the best of friends in a little while.
I see us having a pretty amazing relationship, but before that can happen I’d like to give you a few pointers as to the kind of person I am so you don’t misinterpret my gestures.

First, I am unashamedly sapiosexual. The fact that you’re reading this is prove that I’m attracted to you not only because you’re beautiful but because you’re intelligent. I love ladies that challenge me and I’m very sure you’ll be worth the chase. Let me say however that so long as we’re together, my ‘Sapiosexuality’ is turned off. Nevertheless don’t take the fact that I love challenges too serious because as much as I love challenges, I hate trying too hard. I can be very persistent with ladies but when I don’t see changes or ‘Green lights’ as I like to call them, I move on.

Second,

I am a romantic. A young boy with an old school attitude. Yes I exude the ‘cool guy, playboy, all chicks man’ aura but trust me I just want to love and be loved back for who I am. Beneath the tough exterior is a little boy begging to be loved, I hope we last long enough for you to see this side of me. I am the ‘Good Morning, Good Night’ text messages kind of guy, (Yes I’m old fashioned) but I know you can handle that because if you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this. I love surprises even though I act like I loathe them with a passion, I am a spur of the moment, spontaneous, ‘ life is too short’ guy so pardon me if at times I spend lavishly albeit foolishly on you. I won’t try to woo you with money or material things whatsoever so if you’re expecting such, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’ve learnt the hard way that a guy shouldn’t be too forthcoming about his financial status to a lady who isn’t in love with him or has agreed to date him. It is bound to be a problem in the nearest future.

Third, I love my Mum to death. I don’t think this needs further explanation. I just love that woman with a passion that is unparalleled. You cannot and must not compete for her affection with me. I promise to love you with the whole of my being but please do NOT try to compete with my Mum, you will FAIL.

In conclusion, I want you to know that this is not a love letter, you’ll get that when the time comes. It is just my way of ‘putting it all out there’. There are a lot of things I feel you should be prepared for when it comes to being my girlfriend but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Just know that I am definitely, irrevocably, helplessly attracted to you.

P.S: Another important thing is that I love writing. After God, my Mum (Family), Food and Music, writing comes next. You’ll be receiving a lot of messages, emails, dms from me. I just love putting how I feel into words. This is probably the Tenth or Eleventh missive I’ve written since our first interaction ever. I hope I don’t come on to you too strong that you’ll be scared and decide to place me in one of the many zones you ladies have for guys nowadays. I don’t really function well in any zone except the ‘Friends with Benefits’ zone. So let’s leave our options opened for now, and enjoy each other’s company till we get to the next stage. Have a beautiful week ahead.

Without wax
Tolu Oke.

Adieu Papa

12 Jul

Countless number of times I’ve tried to write about my father, but something somewhere, somehow just doesn’t add up but I found courage and inspiration in @Aunty_Hotstuff ‘s post Dance with my Father‘. So here goes:

I was never scared of my Dad. Unlike most people I was actually very fond of him, in fact I preferred to offend him than to offend my Mum. My mum was the disciplinarian of the house, I remember a time she flogged me six strokes for coming second in a class of twenty-nine, ‘Why didn’t you come first?’ she had asked with each stroke of the cane. Dad on the other hand was not overly bothered, he would only advise that you put in more effort and that as long as you set your mind on something, you can achieve it. He would however deprive you of some perks that had been earlier promised.

My Dad neither knew how to appreciate people, nor know how to apologize, he believed that you shouldn’t do anything that would make you apologize and there was no way you can absolutely satisfy him. My Mum would wake up as early as possible, prepare us for school, go to work, come back home early in time to cook us lunch and dinner, and all my dad would do is complain about something that wasn’t done properly. I always pitied my Mum and my older ones whenever he started complaining about food not properly cooked or plates not washed properly. Being the lastborn, I was saved from his occasional wrath. My Dad was a good cook, he makes the best meals I ever knew the rare times he cooked, and my Mum even says it that it’s hard to top his cooking.
Whenever you did something to really annoy him, he would look at you with utmost disdain and call you abusive names in Yoruba, ‘Oloshi-omo’ he would say. As we grew older, he stopped using those words entirely. He was highly principled and it would probably take a miracle for my Dad to change his mind once it was made up about something. Even when my Dad was proved wrong about something, which was very rare, it took a lot of time before he would swallow his pride and apologize and accept.
The only time I could remember my Dad smacked me was when I was being rude to my immediate elder sister and she reported me to him. He smacked me hard and warned me never to disrespect her again. I can’t think of a time when he picked up one of the numerous canes scattered around the house to flog me.

‘Daddy’ like I always called him was the ‘Ideal Man’, a true father. I remember a time when my Mum was carrying a bowl of hot water to the bathroom for my sister and I. We were in primary school then and we were already late so I wanted to run to the kitchen to hurry her up, unfortunately for me she was already on her way with the hot water to the bathroom. I collided with her and the whole bowl of hot water spilled on my chest, it took the timely intervention of my Dad to stop me from peeling my skin to the bones. (I still have a scar that looks like the ‘Map of Africa’ like my sisters used to tease me with the on my chest). Though I had to miss school for a few weeks, my Dad never made me feel lonely, always cracking me up with jokes about my reaction when the hot water poured on me and practically home schooling me. I confess that was one of my best times in Primary school.

Another time, I went to represent my Mum at one of her numerous AGMs (Annual General Meeting) of teachers, and on my way back I had an accident on the bike. When we got home, the bike-man refused his fare and apologized to my Dad but it took the intervention of my sister to stop him from insulting the man or even beating him up. Despite my protests that I was alright, he insisted that my chest be checked and rubbed first by my sister, then by him and for the next two days he kept rubbing it for me morning and night.

When I ‘failed’ my JSSCE exams and my brother and my sister who prepared me for my exam then punished me severely for making a fool of myself, deceiving them that I was reading my book while I was reading novels thus having a bad result. I had already boasted about this to my other sisters before the result came out. My dad didn’t chastise me for getting such a poor result, he even helped to treat the wounds I sustained from the punishment and encouraged me to buckle up as soon as I get into the Senior secondary school. He even rebuked the actions of my brother and sister then, told them that they went to the extreme and that they shouldn’t have punished me that much.
I was just thirteen when he was taken away from us and though most people thought I was too young to understand what it meant, they were wrong. I was far older than my age, I wouldn’t have anyone to argue ‘men’ issues with, no one to take me shopping, no one to advise me on how to handle women, no one to see me through my entry into manhood, no one… I still remember clearly the last words we spoke to each other as I left the house that morning, I had just come back from boarding school and he wasn’t very happy about my results. He was having a serious case of cough and amidst one of the bouts, he advised that I spend more time at home studying during the holidays and catching up on what I failed. Only for me to come back home in the evening to an empty house and then to find out later in the evening that I’d lost him to the cold hands of death.

***
Of the numerous things I admire about the way my father lived, one of them is the fact that throughout the years he was married to my mother, he never ate outside for once. Even at functions, he would wait till he got back home until he ate anything, and God bless any of my sisters at home if a plate of hot Amala is not on the dining table for him.
I miss that I couldn’t share the details of my first kiss with him, my first heartbreak, my first encounter with alcohol, my first….

If at my age, I’m half the man he was at my age, I would be so honored. I love you so much Dad.

R.I.P David Akinola Oke
1939-2003

Coat Wrinkler

1 Dec

Sturdy as a Trunk
Bunchy at the Elbow
Ne’er your trust to flunk
Trustworthy as a good old willow

An arm that steadies
When the road is rough and thorny
Seeing me through, ever ready
To support me through my journey

An arm that retrieves
In times when life deals a bad hand
All hope seems lost and the soul grieves
It’s there to lend an ever supporting hand

An arm that helps
Not only when the going gets rough
But when the soul is at its happiest
To caution gently, but ever tough

An arm that was practice
When I was younger
An arm that is support
Now that I’m older

It is the greatest gift ever
One that has no replica
Given from father to daughter
It’s strength never falters
And from father to son
To be passed on and on

A father’s arm

“Growing Up in a Western World”

26 Mar

I’ve always wondered what it would feel like

To have grown up in the “western world”

To be taught on tarred streets how to ride a bike

(Where are the tarred streets? Where is the money to even buy a bike? Which parents have the time to teach you such? )

To have muffins, toast and fried eggs (brown side up) for breakfast.

(Rotflmao, I’m pretty sure the only place this exists is in movies/books; You better get your bowl of Akamu and beancake “Akara” with immediate effect. )

To have parents you can address like peers

(Honestly? How on earth is that possible)

To have friends that are classified as “Cool”

To have a “Social Life” and a “Social status/Grade”

To be able to sneak in through the bedroom window

To have a crush on the neighbor’s hot daughter

To talk to your parents

(We are always getting talked at, talked about, talked around, talked for but never To.)

To have a crush on a sexy cheerleader

To have “Me Time” (WTF!!!)

To be a quarterback!!!

(P.S They are always “Hot”)

To go hiking

To have the option of leaving school anytime without being flogged

To have sleep-overs at friend’s place

To have a step sister who I end up losing my virginity to

To love both a vampire and a werewolf almost equally and still live a normal life at school/home

(How does that work??)

To kiss your girlfriend in public without being looked at curiously by passersby

To have an affair with my friend’s hot mum without the risk of being “Jazzed”

To see UFOs and other Alien space crafts

And Finally

To be Grounded!!!

 

My Father??

23 Feb

Tolulope“!!! I almost jumped out of my skin on recognizing the voice….. Wait, is that not? (No it couldn’t be) my Dad’s Voice?? I could hear my heartbeat as it increased its pace while I anticipated the second call: ‘Toluuu“!!!…. “Sir” I answered calmly then willed my legs to go to his room, but it was as if they had a mind of their own, because they just refused to budge. “Tolulope!!!” He called once more and as if struck by a bolt of lightning, I jumped up and ran to his room.

Getting to the door, I paused to catch my breath and compose my facial expression into a very plastic, fake smile that I was sure would be wiped off my face on seeing him; I knocked twice and then called out “Daddy“, He replied “Come in and take off your shirt“. I cringed inwardly as I pushed the door open, the sight that greeted me was one that would remain forever etched in my memory.

My Dad was standing against the built-in wardrobe at the opposite end of the room, looking directly at me as I walked in and my Mum was sitting on the bed, her head held in her hands like she had a serious headache. I looked at my Dad’s face and his facial expression gave the clause “A Man in Pains” new meaning, I was dumbfounded at the way his facial features were arranged, it was as if He was “High”, Glazed seemed more appropriate. He told me to come closer, and I shut the door behind me wondering what on earth could have brought about this kind of situation; the tension in the room was so thick, you could take a Knife and cut part of it.

I looked at my Mum, seemingly unaware that I even existed or entered the room, trying to find some sort of clue in her eyes as to what was happening but to my disappointment, she didn’t even look up, not to talk of look at me. I glanced furtively around the room, noticing that it looked as if an Hurricane swept through this place, pieces of Paper were strewn all over the bed, the floor; files were left opened on the shelf, the reading table on the far left had a box on it with some clothes, and more clothes on the bed………

By this time, My Dad obviously had no time for my snail-paced movement, so He walked over to me and dragged me towards my Mum then planted my feet firmly in front of her; She then brought her head up and looked first at my dad, then right into being with eyes that were bloodshot from prolonged intake of Alcohol coupled with Tears and said “He is not your Son” in a voice that sounded weak and defeated, “Louder” my Dad yelled at her, “He is not your Son” my Mum screamed right back at him.

She grabbed me, turned my back and pointed to a darkened spot at the back of my neck , “Does this Look familiar” she asked him? I saw my my Dad lose his composure, the last ounce of strength in him visibly gone, color drained from his cheeks as He recognized the same mark on the neck of his brother. “Femi“, He whispered, “Femi” He said again, firmly this time and stormed out of the room with a look of pure hatred in his eyes.

My world crashed right in front of me, it felt like the air in the room was not enough for me to survive on, my feet swayed and I fell to the floor; the last thought on my mind before I blacked out was “How on earth is it possible that I’m not the son of the Man who I feared much more than God Himself“??

Family!!!

13 Feb

Family is a word used to describe people you are connected to or related to by blood

It is a highly over-rated word because this is not necessarily the case

There have been instances of people with whom you have no blood ties

Yet they have proven themselves in helping you out of bad blood

It is not enough that your own blood relation let you down, leaving you dazed

They show no sign of remorse whatsoever even at your cries

I’ve always wondered “what is the usefulness of an Uncle”:

Who stays out of the country and never calls unless he needs a favor

Who has never thought of inviting you over for a visit though he has the means?

Who has alienated himself from your life so much that the mere thought of him feels like the taste of soup with no flavor?

Who fronts to the whole world as a religious man yet is a beast that wreaks havoc in his household like sour beans

Who has all it takes to succeed yet chooses to be a nuisance

An uncle whose temper when upset is like an inferno, easy to start, almost impossible to douse

Who doesn’t see the need for life’s necessities, calling them frivolities?

Who sees the needs of family as luxuries and prefers to live even poorer than a church mouse

Who is well known for his eye servitude and talkativeness, yet sees no need to change

Who prefers to be lauded in his presence yet be bad-mouthed by the same

Who is known for his notoriety in young girls, but still counsel prospective couples?

Who announces himself without reason from a well-defined range?

Or the usefulness of an aunt:

Who is never heard from except when she needs help in saving her marriage from her carelessness?

Who always has something derogatory to say to you even when you are doing fine?

Who does all she can to frustrate you out of her own state of barrenness

And the list goes on and on and on

But I’d rather have a family of friends with no blood connection whatsoever

Who though are not perfect can allow you to be yourself around them

Who accepts their faults readily and are willing to work with you for a change

Who doesn’t feel threatened by your fame/fortune but sticks to you forever?

Who loves you even much more than you feel a human is capable of showing?

It is said that friend, trend, etc. all has an END, but family doesn’t

I want to say that family might not have an END because family begins where Friend Ends

Therefore my friend ceases to be a friend when he becomes FAMILY.

Your name

9 Feb

You got it from your father, It was all he had to give,

So its yours to use, love and cherish as long as you live.

If you lose the watch he gave you, it can always be replaced

But a black mark on your name can never be erased

It was clean the day you took it, and a worthy name to bear

When he took it from his father, there was no dishonor there

So make sure you guard it wisely, after all is said and done

You’ll be glad the name is spotless, when you give it to your son.

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