I Love You – 3 words You should say to Yourself

If you looked yourself in the mirror right now, would you say you were happy with what stared back at you?
This is what should happen naturally if you were inlove with yourself.
Yes hunnie. Ever heard of falling in love? Imagine falling in love, absolutely, completely, with yourself.
It is hardly anything to do with money.
I promise you this much.
More money only means more things to buy. More places to go. More things to afford whether you needed them or not.
It doesn’t necessarily teach you what you really need to know about life. You. 
The challenges of life sometimes spin us around and around only to toss us right back where we are coming from. Before you know it you wake up one morning and can barely recognize who you are.
You think it is the mirror that is playing a big joke on you until soon enough you have absolutely forgotten who you are.
Now that is where the big trouble starts. You find yourself hopping from one place to another, one book to the next, reading through bible verse after bible verse, watching one motivational speech and another and another..in search of You.
And all this time, you were with you. You never left! You woke up with you everyday. You slept the night with you every night. That was you with yourself in the bath. In the park. At the bank. Everywhere everytime.
But you were missing from you. 
You stopped Loving you. That is all that’s happened. Everyday you find yourself in a constant pursuit of the ‘good life’, obviously ‘they’ have told you sometime in your life that there was a bad life.
Or was it just you who decided in your heart to label something as bad?
You completely fine tune your mind not to see the many blessings that surround you until all that you focus on is how bad things are?
Isn’t it all good until we see someone who has more? Or something that appears better? Even though that in itself is another illusionary extension that has been projected unto your poor mind.
So off you go, one hard push after another in search of a good life, putting in more pressure than was ever necessary in the first place instead of just letting things be.
Soon you completely forget the one you were made to live and forget yourself all together.
Whats more, because this entire process causes you to stop focusing on you and Loving you, You begin to search for Love in every place else that is out there, external from you.
But Ha!!! How can anyone even really Love you, if you don’t Love you?? Isn’t that your primary assignment here?
Were you not told to Love your neighbour AS YOURSELF???? As! Yourself.
So you love you first.
You must.
You do it for you first.
And then you do it for everyone else.
“What’s love got to do with it when you don’t love yourself..” – Kendrick Lamar

Everyone will See this


A Photograph. 
Her frail body sprawled asleep on a bed, the sheets in disarray, lacy white panties the only thing to cover her burnt-brown African skin.
Her arms on either side over her head, legs flung carelessly across the bed. The illumination of the room was aided naturally by sunlight, which filtered through a window that appeared to be on the opposite side from where the wooden bed stood.
Behind the bed another window in front of which was a wooden wardrobe that towered high towards the ceiling.
Below it, herself. On the bed. Unclothed. 


She stared at the computer screen looking at the photo, her eyes fixed on the lace that draped her thin dark behind. And it seemed for a moment that she could completely ignore the fact that this was her in the picture, as she let her mind travel back in time recollecting where she had bought the cute undergarment.
Then as though she was slapped back to reality by an unseen hand from the back of her head, she brought her concentration back to the contents of the email.

“Everyone will see this,” it read. “You know what to do, relinquish every right you have over the company or else..”
The sender address was unfamiliar, but the voice of the writer was well-known. She had heard it everyday for the past year and half, reading mails that came from the email address she was accustomed to, or hand-written love letters.
Letters she only received, albeit frequently, when an apology conveying emotions of regret for some wrong doing or another was necessary.
She had heard this voice say the words “I love you”. 
A phrase so simple, yet illustrious enough to become a sort of luxury, luxury that she had already begun to believe she didn’t even deserve anymore.
“I love you.” The first time he had said it to her, her poor heart froze up inside her chest enslaving its proficiency in receiving air for a quick second and then melted within her. His eyes had conveyed all the proof she needed that he was in fact sincere.
Sincere he was indeed. 
Just as much as he was now about leaking her  photo to all of humanity. Perhaps only to those who cared to see what sleeping beauty might have looked like if she had been of a much darker skin tone, with hair just long enough to run through a comb in one quick sweep.
“Far from a sleeping beauty,” a coarse voice said in her head.
She stared at the photo in total disbelief. 
What kind of person takes a picture of someone sleeping? She wondered and immediately answered the question for herself remembering the kind of man he was.
She thought to reply the mail then reconsidered it just as quickly as it had flashed in her mind.
How did she get herself in this mess? 
One minute she was only but a girl with dreams of success and world domination, the next she was being blackmailed by the man she had devoted all her attention to for the better part of the past year.
She stood up from the chair and walked towards the wall socket where her phone was plugged in. She picked up the device, without a clue who to call or what to do and began to scroll through her contact list hoping the name would signal itself to her when she came to it.

Three days ago they had had a fight. Another fight. He had pulled her by the hair and slammed her on the mattress which lay on the floor. 
Mounting himself over her and using one hand to stifle the air in her lungs as he held on to her throat he began to yell, “I will kill you!”
“F**king bitch. F**k you. You are going to die today. You better start praying to God. No don’t do that, you might be going to hell.” The shrill laugh that rang off his mouth was hell enough for her.
Fear embraced her and rocked her violently.
She had tried to wring herself off his hold but to no avail. He laughed at her efforts scornfully and promised her quick death at his hands.
“Scream all you want,” he had said, “No one is going to hear you.”

But the angels had decided it wasn’t her day to die.

Now as she stood in the middle of her room, her mind re-living each moment from that day, she suddenly wished she was dead. It was all too much. She hated herself. She hated how she felt. She cursed several times under her breath. They had broken up but the company and all the business it brought with it kept them together like Siamese twins. Now he wanted it all to himself and he was going to get it. 
In that moment her phone rang out, the ringtone surprisingly louder than usual as she had sunk herself in the silence of her wandering mind.
The caller, Alex. Just the man she needed to talk to.
“Lex, I am in trouble!” She said into the phone and began to cry uncontrollably.

My Performances: ELOY 2014

Hey guys! You already know how I absolutely love to share my every experience with y’all.
So over the next months I would be sharing several videos of my performances from all over Africa.
If you ever miss any of my shows, no worries! You can enjoy the experience right here. I hope I can keep up, there are so many videos to upload for y’all.

This is a cut from my performance at ELOY Awards 2014 and I had the pleasure of working the sound with two members of my band DGuitar and Peter.
Uuuuuhhh I loved being on stage yo! ‘Shuga’ sounded like something from another time!
Let me know if you enjoyed it!

Love

I Don’t do Aristo!

I sat down in the only chair in the office and waited. The clock on the table told me the time was 2:35pm and I thanked it in my mind for the info. Thankful not because I was glad to know the time, but because it meant I was at least half an hour early for this meeting.
Now if only he would come in, make the exchange of pleasantries as short as possible and tell me I was going to get the money I had come for without wasting my time.
But I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy. At least not after his last message to me included a quick referral to my ‘voluptuous bouncy breasts’ as he had described them. 
I bowed my head to stare at the bulge of my breasts through my white silk blouse. They seemed to appear fuller today, as is always the case three days prior to the onset of my monthly friend. 
The thought of that made me cringe. The pain that came with the pleasure of having bigger breasts for six days was unbearable. 

I heard the door creak open and looked up to find his secretary poke her head through.

“He’d be done with his meeting in about ten minutes, please be patient”
I smiled at her and nodded. She seemed nice. Her perfectly brushed hair was swept across the left side of her face, a few strands here and there set free from the band that held it all tightly behind her head.
“Would you like something to drink? Tea? Water?” 
“Water would be fine, thank you.”
She nodded and shut the door behind her.

The office was silent again, save for the tick-tocking of the clock and the horns blaring in the streets beyond the tall windows.

What the office lacked in size, it made up for in design. Luxuriously furnished with much attention to detail, you could tell my host had a high taste in aesthetics. 
An expensive looking painting hung on the wall separating the windows and it was no surprise it was one of a naked woman, her legs wrapped around a traditional mortar with her hands holding the pestle up in the air ready to pound.
I wondered the state of mind of the artist, whoever he was and acknowledged that it was after all a beautiful painting to behold.

Just then his secretary walked in again, water and a  drinking glass steady on a tray in her hand.

“Do call if you need anything,” she said as she lay it down on the desk.
I thanked her and watched her leave. She had such a great ass I noticed, and had to stop myself from staring.
When she was gone and the door had shut behind her again I realized I didn’t really need the water.
In-fact I didn’t need anything but money at this moment in time. 
Money. The only thing that could save me from my despair. Being the only person I knew who had a lot of the money I desperately needed, I had called Mr Jibade two days prior and he had asked me to come see him today. 

In the four or five months I had known him, all he ever talked about was how he loved me. Married with two kids, a boy and a girl, I could not understand how his brain worked. I definitely was not about to offer myself on a platter as his girlfriend just to get some money but I was hoping he could be sensible enough to strike a business deal with me. This was a messy gamble and I knew too well I was toying with something I may not have been able to handle.

Just as I began to wish again that my host would come in time, he barged in through the doors, his arms spread open before him to receive me.
“My darling! I hope you haven’t been waiting too long”
I got up to accept his embrace which unfortunately for me became a struggle to keep my mouth from making contact with his’ as he tried forcefully to kiss me.
“O ga o, you don’t want to kiss me?” 
“Good afternoon sir,” I responded trying to get him to shift his attention from his lust to the business of the day.
“Don’t sir me my darling, you are my baby”.

I turned my head feigning shyness, his wife and two kids stared back at me from the photo frames on his desk. 

I immediately felt awful. How could I have thought it was possible to keep this man from wanting me sexually, accept his cash gifts and walk home free.
I was in the middle of a dirty game and I prayed silently in my heart that it wouldn’t get me in more trouble than I could handle.
“What would you like me to offer you? You know I have to treat you specially my darling.”
Without waiting for me to respond, he barked out, “Shola!” calling to his secretary. 
I wondered what the intercom that sat on his desk was for. She walked in and inquired with a “Yes sir?”
“She already brought me some water” I announced.
He looked at me like I was crazy.
“Water ke? For my darling? O tí o! You are too much for that sisi mí” 
It was such a hilarious thing the way he fused Yoruba when he spoke. I had to swallow the laugh back down my throat.
“I’m fine sir.”
“Shola please hold off on any other meetings till I am done with my darling here.” He smiled as he said that, absolutely oblivious of the fact that he was embarrassing me. I caught the look in her eyes, one that seemed like she had formed a new opinion of me that was much more degrading than the first whatever it may have been.
“So you still don’t want to kiss me,” he began without even waiting for his secretary to leave. I silently vowed in my heart never to step foot in this office again. It was probably a normal occurrence for him to have young girls like me in here, call them ‘my darling’ like he did me, and show it off to his secretary whom I was already too sure he was intimate with the way he stared at her ass when she left.
Or maybe not, as I had stared at it myself. It was impossible for an ass like that to go unnoticed.

“You are married sir,”

“Come on, don’t say that. If you want me to leave my wife for you I will.”
He looked me in the eyes as he said this and I could have sworn he was serious. Or damn right mad. I opted for the latter.
“How are your kids?” I asked in a bid to snap him back to reality.
He shrugged, settling his bulky frame in his chair.
“They are in school in America.”
I noticed he was uncomfortable talking about his family with me and he had every right to be. Not something to talk about when you are trying to get a young girl to lay in bed with you and satisfy the incessant needs in your groin.
I quickly steered the conversation in the direction I had planned for it to go. I must have rehearsed these sentences a great many times as they seemed to fall out of my mouth like a well written prose.
“About the money I requested for sir,” I began, my fingers clasping and unclasping in my laps trying to squeeze back the nervousness that washed over me all of a sudden. “I was hoping I could pay you back with interest. I promise I am going to.”
“My darling, I would give you anything you want, you know this. I cannot be doing business with my darling na, o ti o!”. 

He punched some numbers in his phone as he said that, barely looking at me a moment.

I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was steering a ship to no land. There was no way I was going to get anything from this man without giving up what I knew too well he wanted of me. How could I have been stupid enough to think this was even possible.

“What do you need the money for? How much are we talking about?” He inquired of me.

I wondered whether to carry on the conversation any further. Where was this going to end? I hesitated a moment then said.
“For my music sir. About one hundred thousand Naira.”
He ran his dwarf wrinkled fingers through his beards and looked deep in thought. His eyes appeared to run a full course around the perimeter of my breasts, then to my face and back to my breasts again.
“That is not money to be worrying yourself about my darling. How much is one hundred thousand naira? Come, come and take a seat on my laps,” he motioned to his laps, tapping rather too loudly.

My stomach turned. I wanted to get up and scurry out of his office like a frightened animal. But I wasn’t frightened. No. I was disgusted. I tasted the bile in my mouth and swallowed it back down where it had come from. The effect of that was worse than if I had spat it out on his face.

His wife looked back at me from the photo frames on his desk. I looked away. Then looked to the clock yet again. 3:05pm. I got up.

“I’m sorry sir,” I began, managing a smile “I have to go now. I really just wanted to see you about this money, I was hoping you could help.”

“Omotola my darling, you don’t want me to take care of you ni? Everytime I ask for something even small kiss you are running away.”
“Thank you sir.” That must have been the silliest response but it had to do.
“Text me your bank details, I would have Shola see to it.”
“Thank you sir.”
“Don’t sir me. I’m your darling.”
I nodded and proceeded to take my leave.
There was no way in hell I was going to take anything from this man and I made up my mind as I walked out the door this was the last time I was ever going to communicate with him. I passed by Shola at the reception really quickly, barely looking at her long enough to have her see the embarrassment that had dressed my face.
I felt stupid. I must have looked every inch stupid too.


When Comfort is no longer Comfortable

Each of us is searching for comfort, in one form or the other and we would not stop until we get it. 
What we fail to see is comfort would come, but after genuine happiness with self is attained. In the meantime however we are blinded by a little happiness here, a little more there, searching everywhere but within for something we already have the capacity to enjoy.
We may find it in the work we do, especially if our work translates to guaranteed  comfort based on how much we earn. And if we do not earn enough to bring the kind of comfort that we seek, we may discover it in it’s most fickle nature of pleasures derived from external forms such as sex, money not earned from legit work, drugs, whatever our temperament of adventure may be.

And in the search for comfort that is not derived from the happiness that is result of the efforts from self, we find that we are willing to give up anything. Even give up our values, our self esteem, our worthiness as individuals, our precious time and energy.
Which i have now found to be stupid as these are the same things that we are to give up if we must earn comfort through self discovery.

Discomfort in itself is good you see, but the reason a lot of us miss the advantages of discomfort is because we are so focused on the negativity of it rather than asking the questions that lead to seeing the positivity inherent in everything.
Why is this happening? What can i learn from this?
What do I need to do now, not tomorrow to get out of this shit?
While we are refusing to ponder on the positive sides of discomfort, we then begin to go in a downward spiral through the negativity and conflict that it brings, hence the reason why a lot of us label it as such a bad thing afterall.

After the darkness comes light. The night is darkest just before dawn.
You may have heard these phrases a great many times but never put a meaning to it.

I have come to understand through real life experiences how so valuable a little discomfort here and there can be, especially towards our development and growth as human beings.
I have unfortunately spent much too long learning this but that in itself is why I value the lessons and the growth experienced from the process. Isn’t that just how life works?
The pain is only temporary and the more you begin to believe that, the more you begin to realize the untapped potential within you waiting to be born.

You are powerful. Even you do not realize how much you could do for yourself. No not now. But soon you will. And oh boy when you do!
You would not believe the force that would begin to propel you through the right paths to real comfort. True divine comfort that only you can bring for yourself.
Sex, Money, self-acclaimed titles and all else there is to this vanity driven world cannot grant you the comfort that you seek but yourself.

So if you must, borrow money from a friend or whoever else cares to listen to your immature whimpering, to take care of whatever needs are so important now that you cannot do without them for a little while longer. When it is time to pay up and you can’t you would realize you are in even more trouble than you started with.
If you insist and perhaps you should, Have as much sex as your fleshy desires lure you to think you require, you’d only be pleasured for a short while as long as is necessary to make an orgasm mean something to you- Well that is if you are lucky to have orgasms that mean anything but a burst and escape of good energy that could have been transmutated into valuable work done.
If it makes you happy drive around in someone else’s car, happy that you don’t have to take a bus and feel ‘shame’ for this beautiful life you have been blessed with. You would only keep driving around long enough till you forget how to do the real down-to-earth things that would make you succeed to buy your own car.

Everything good and bad that happens, happens to teach us. To strengthen us. To propel us to our dreams.

I have found that the more I am willing to endure now, the bigger the rewards that come to me. I have experienced frigging high levels of discomfort and pain and all the razzmattazz that come with that and I have made well over too many mistakes in my own poor life.  But it is just enough to let me realize that all the bullshit i may be going through now is here today and gone tomorrow.

Love yourself -Find joy in the discomfort. Go for Gold

Sex, and then some…Peer Pressure

It was a Tuesday morning and the sunlight beamed rather unloving through the windows which had been left ajar for air. It seemed to be much hotter today than it was the day before, and the more I worried about how hot it was, the less comfortable I became staying in the dorms just waiting for Tewa.
I picked up my books, my eyes paying attention to my bag which lay on the floor as I pondered whether to dump the books in it or not. Deciding it would be too much of a hassle to try to fit my books through the clutter that had become the natural habitat of my only handbag, I got up off the metal bunk bed, books in one hand and my bag in the other and headed for the door.

“Should I tell her you were here?” 
The voice that reached me belonged to the girl sitting on the top bunk bed in the far end of the room. ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries played out loudly through  the speakers of her music player, not a care in the world how the noise affected the other housemates. I had earlier decided she wasn’t one to be talked to and so it was a shock to hear her talk to me.
“Yes please,” I was going to leave it at just that but decided to add “That would be nice of you”.
I found myself wishing i didn’t almost as soon as I had finished talking as she barely acknowledged that she heard me, her head burying itself back in her pillows just as quick as it had come up.
Twat!

The sun seemed to be focused on just me today I observed as I stepped out of the room exposing myself to the harshness of its rays on my skin. At this rate i could easily become at least three tones darker by the time i finished walking the long distance back to my hostel.
Sandra.
“We had sex. Finally!”
The words seemed to jerk through my skin bringing my senses to complete alertness.

And just when i thought the day couldn’t get any more uncomfortable, the last person I had hoped to see came dangling down the corridors towards me. 

A loud mouthed I-lived-in-London-for-the-most-part-of-my-cradle-years type of girl. Her voice was loud, its texture rash and something about everything she had to say carried with it an air of arrogance about it. You couldn’t win. 
A conversation with her was definitely not something i wanted to do today but she seemed oblivious of the fact as she began to talk excitedly, hands flying in all directions as they tried desperately to create meaningful gestures to support the words that had begun to fly out of her busy mouth.


Even though i had hardly heard a word she had been saying all along, her final sentence and the wide smile that accompanied it was enough to get my attention. 
I knew who she referred to when she encapsulated him in the two letter word ‘We‘. It had to be the same boy she had talked about incessantly these past couple of weeks.
Mayowa, as I had found his name out to be, lived in Lagos and of course the only way Sandra could have had a chance to see him let alone spread her legs to receive the bulk of his needing man-handle would be if she had been out of School on a trip this past weekend.

“I didn’t even know you traveled”
“I told you jor,” she retorted, stomping her left foot for emphasis.
Well forgive me for forgetting, i thought to myself. With the many words let loose from Sandra per minute it was becoming difficult to keep up.
I knew she expected me to ask, as this was the only thing that brought joy to her and made her feel alive. You had to express some form of interest in whatever Sandra had to say. Or at least, this is what i have found the case to be.
“How was it?” I asked her, for lack of a better question. 
Hell, what did i know about sex asides the well choreographed bits and pieces on display in movies. Even at that, the one minute sex scene played by Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron in the “Devil’s Advocate” was the closest i had come to seeing what the real thing looked like. Everyone in class gossiped about the Halle Berry scene in ‘Monsters Ball’ but i was yet to indulge myself in the luxury of seeing it for myself.
“O.M.G” she gushed, calling out the letters one after the other for emphasis. “You have to experience it yourself to find out,” she was saying to me. Then as if struck by a heightened sense of disbelieve she blurted out rather loudly-
“Shit! You’ve never had sex before!”

My head wobbled on my thin neck as the words vibrated through me. The two girls who had been walking towards us minding their private gossip all of a sudden turned in my direction, the look on their faces like they had just heard the gist of the summer. Stupid things.
I focused my attention back to Sandra as i tried to hide my embarrassment.

“No”
“Kai. You are missing oh. What are you waiting for?” she inquired, feigning a look like she cared.
It immediately vanished off her face like a veil pulled back as her next question hit me in the head without waiting to hear my response to the last one.
“So what’s the gist with that your small bobo that came to see you the other day? He is fine oh”.
“We are not like that”, I said, praying in my heart she wouldn’t have to pry.
“Hmmm..he is fine sha”

What did that even mean? So I should be in bed with every boy that was described as fine? Fine? Was that all it took to choose a boyfriend, let alone someone to have sex with? This girl must be mad.
In truth Deji was a fine lad. Maybe even too attractive sometimes. We had shared a quick kiss at the back of the Chemistry lab and it had lasted only long enough for me to catch a whiff of his cologne. Dark. Something rather too expensive for a 19 year old boy but that only made me interested in him more. The thought of sex had never crossed my mind in that way.
However I had imagined us getting married, having kids and buying a big house together, all before he even had the chance to affirm he liked me.
Hopes!
Only two days after our kissing rendezvous I walked into the Cafeteria and was served the heart shattering view of him and some fair-skinned girl from A block, having lunch and talking excitedly. He was lost in total admiration of her, his eyes glued to her like a child protecting candy.
Yellow girls. Always taking the only available hot boys with sense. Fuck them.

I decided it was best not to indulge Sandra in all of this information.
She wasn’t going to contribute anything of value anyways and she would have only found something to pick on in jest.
“I have to run Sandy. My class starts at 3.”
“Which one?”
“CIT 210”
“Ah! Oya be going oh”
She walked away without another word.
I hurried down the steps trying not to worry about the heat from the sun, at the same wondering what sex must have felt like for Sandra. She never did say anything that painted a clear picture but from the look on her face and the excitement that trailed her childish but annoying voice, it must have been something!

‘Boy, what a waste of thoughts’, the little voice in my head whispered. I ignored it as i began to recall images of Keanu Reeves kissing the Theron woman. So hot! Definitely a better hot than this damn sun i was walking in.
The scene played back in my head on and on till i got to class. I must have heard nothing the Lecturer had to say as I let myself daydream about the first time.

F.cking peer pressure.

Open up, a little Wide please..

 pls share with friends and publish as desired. kindly credit source.

 

I woke up this morning 19thof September 2014 feeling super charged and Womanly! ‘Oh dear,’ I thought to myself, ‘I haven’t felt like this in months! Scratch that, Years!’

Before I take you into the mind-fuckery which my story about this beautiful day would give to you, let me just say,  -“I had the most amazing night last night”
Ha! It was like the first night of the rest of my life. That kinda sounds like 2Face. You know the song? Hian, if you don’t know this one it haff happun for you ni yen! Ok, so all the ol’ gs reading this know what I am talking about I would have to break it down to its smallest molecular structure.
***Dear Eva, now is the time to drop the grammar. Awon ti Patrick…(insert last name)***
Ok I’m back.
Last night I was out with my homies at the Afrika Shrine to watch Oga Femi Kuti rehearse. My producer Tintin, came up with this idea to chill at the shrine once every week to watch the great Femi Kuti rehearse with his phenomenal band. Lucky for us we have kept at it three weeks straight and its been so much fun and genuinely Inspiring to watch him week after week.
Unfortunately last night Oga Femi was not present like we had hoped but guess who was?? All the homies! My producers Tintin and Gray Jonz who are both responsible for what my soon-to-be released debut album sounds like, Hayo Niel– my friend and amazing singer who’s seen me struggle through obstacle after obstacle to get here, wherever here really is, Obinna Agwu– My manager from way back when I was feeling myself and rapping “I done did it” hustling my ass jumping from bus to bus and okada to okada to record sessions with Sossick, Isi – my Manager in this very before moment called present-day in which I am a proud Guinness #MadeOfBlack ambassador (started from the bottom now we here), my Photographer – August Udoh who has taken some of the most eye magnetizing photos of me, and Kiki– my friend and the guy who makes sure everyone is feeling the right vibe! 
So you see? Full house it was! The gist was about the ancient and modern times, the memories were good for the soul and the laughter from our table reverberated through the building. 
Bonus : Femi Kuti’s band was on a roll last night yo! As always, the music was as raw and true as its source.
When I got home at 11:30PM last night, knowing I had not to worry about my baby boo of an Alsatian cause I had fed him earlier, I got cleaned up and slumped my tiny frame into the most restful sleep.
So imagine how i felt when i woke up this morning after a night like that with friends!

I decided it was a good day to cook pots of fresh soup and stew, buy some plantain for the beans i had been planning evil for, some fruits cause i have been forming #fitfam for a while and garri to sama better eba this weekend.
I also had dance rehearsals fixed with Raphael, my choreographer, at 2PM and 200 pages of the novel “The Sum of all Fears” by Tom Clancy to finish before 9PM. It was indeed going to be a good day. Boy was i ready!

With such vibrant energy bursting out of me and not worried about anything but feeding Frankie my dog, i set about to go through the many magical moments inherent in this beautiful day.
Like always, I opened up my eyes to feast upon the beauty of my surroundings, enjoying the clean air of my neighborhood, appreciating the combined efforts of everyone to keep the place clean and enjoyably habitable. And as i opened up my eyes, my heart became receptive too. In this moment with eyes and heart open, Permeating the tissues and blood vessels that embody my heart was Love, and Gratitude, and Zeal for life.
So i opened up even more like i always try to do.
My mouth opened up too, curving into the brightest smile that seemed plastered on my no-makeup face cause i was willing to smile all day today. As always.
I smiled so hard as we drove past the security, their hands waving greetings of love and admiration, knowing that the warmth my smile conveyed would touch them in places where life seemed cold.

A smile really does that i swear!

Photo Credit: Aham Ibeleme (Photographer), Eva Alordiah (Makeup artist)
Through the morning traffic as we headed to Ipodo market in Ikeja, i wondered about life and how so magical it could become if we all opened up a little more. In that doing so, we boost each other’s confidence, connect in more meaningful ways and learn a thing and more from friendly conversations.
It does take a lot of spirit, to look at someone regardless of class or social status and make them feel special.

I try to live my life thinking: They gotta feel some typa way because i came here. They gotta feel some typa way because i talked with them.
What type of way you say? Some typa way!


I do believe, if the infinitely occurring combination of situations plus the gazillion joules of energy in our universe can bring me and anyone together in a space at a time, then why let such connection go to waste by putting up a wall? This is a connection! That ‘I can’t explain it, it just happened’ thing we sometimes call coincidences.There’s magic happening right here right now and you might just miss it cause you fail to live in the present moment. This right now moment. Life is happening right now and you are missing it cause you are letting the life that has already happened and now dwells in the past get to you, stealing from you your right to the present moment, your right to life.

Why do we stay locked up? How did it become so difficult-  to simply smile at another person? To ask “How are you today?” To talk softly and with respect? To say two words such as ‘Thank you’. To say one word such as ‘Please’. To say nothing such as Listen.
I dare say, you are only keeping yourself locked out of the heavenly part of the World when you lock people out of the heaven in you. We need to open up, a little wide.

I got to Ipodo market with the smile still plastered on my face ready for anyone connecting with me today.

My first connection: the sweet girl who sells Ugwu.

Although she seems older, she reminds me of myself when i was 12 and helping my Mother sell ice water and cold drinks in our shop. Remember ice water? ***sigh. all these young people***
Well before there was pure water, there was ice water. And then someone smart, who had a clear dream that our water could be sold in healthier, yet cheaper ways, stuck to that dream and boomshakala! Pure water everywhere. It even became hip to say “Nna mehnn my music dey sell like pure water”.
You see what i did there? hehehee


Basically any young child selling anything on the streets, in the shops, in the market – reminds me of myself. A young Nigerian girl with dreams of success and a better life for my family.
I literally would come from school back in the day and go help my Mom in the shop. I do my homework in the shop, meet lots of different interesting people via sales interactions and go back the following day to do it again. That was my life. And it is a skeletal structure in comparison to what my life is now. So it is easy for me to look at anyone doing what i used to do and know it in my heart that they would get better than that, just like i did. Like my family did.

She received my smile, returning a smile that melted my heart as she sorted my vegetables to be cut.
Ugwu: N300

Connections 2 through 6 would keep me writing this piece too long so lets fastforward.

My 7th connection: a young boy clumsily clad, attending in a shop with various types of glass and mirrors on sale.

He seemed very eager to make a sale, as he described intelligently the differences in properties of mirrors in the shop. 

“This one has a plastic frame,” he was saying to me, pointing his dusty fingers to a blue framed mirror. “This one is wooden framed and is stronger than that one.”
Making a selection was easy for me, but not because i was a witness of his practiced sales pitch. I love wood anyday.
I made a choice quickly and said to him, “I would like the sturdy one with the wooden frame, would you be kind to help get it to the car?”
“Yes no problem,” he says to me.
We made the walk back to the car in silence, but not for long. There was a yearning within me to open up some more and i thought “Booyah! This is a good connection”. Time to start a conversation.

My Mom taught me that. My Mom could talk to any and everybody. If you like drive Pajero jeep and park it beside our rickety Peugeot 505, she nor send oh! She’d talk to you, make you laugh and the next thing you’d find yourself saying
“Ah! Mrs Alordiah is my friend!” Just like that! You and your Pajero jeep are our new family friends. Halleluyah!
Seriously, my Mom could hold conversations with everyone regardless of class and status. Little wonder she could nail a stud like my Dad. Ladies, there is a lesson here, receive it by fire!! If my Mom can nail the man she wanted, you can too! Can i get an Amen!

*** Ok Eva, come back now ***

“Do you go to school?” I inquired of his memory. He responded first with a startle that rocked his eyes, obviously taken aback that this fine sister would care about what he does with his life. That made me pretty certain he didn’t get a lot of this kind of attention in his everyday life experience.
“No i don’t have support,” was his following response, a shadow of shame hovering around his young handsome face.
“So you help with the shop everyday?”
“Yes”
“What class did you stop at?”
“JSS3” he said, his eyes illuminating through the shadow of shame making me sense he missed school.
“Ok so what do you want to do? No school, that’s no problem. What do you want to do?” I asked.
“Music”

No way! Imagine that. And here he, talking to Eva.
Now i don’t know if this kid has ever heard my music, probably wouldn’t have recognized me sef cause i left the finer painted version of myself in my Makeup bag at home- but Lord knows one day he’d see me on TV and yell
“I know that aunty! I spoke to her in Ipodo market on so-so and so day.”
Of cause no one might believe him then cause he’d sound like a famzer, but his soul would squirt streams of joy of having had a conversation with an actual music artiste. And maybe, just maybe, his dreams of doing music would spark up and burn flares more than ever before.

When he said music, my heart moved cause i understood. I have been here before, 17 years old with acne dressing my face and telling Teddy Esosa- “I am a rapper, I can rap. You have to trust me.”
Here was my chance to say to someone like Teddy said to me many years ago “Go for it!”

He smiled cause i just affirmed he could do something for himself regardless of the fact that his immediate surroundings said otherwise.
“Well, now that you can’t go to school, you are going to have to read everything available to you,” i said to him. Read as many books as you can or pick up newspapers that abound in this market you sell in.”

The value of reading! I envied my Dad when i was but a girl. He knew everything. Typical Nigerian father. They always know everything.
At some point when i was barely 7 years old, i began to really believe my Dad knew everything and so i made a habit of reading the books he had in his little home library at the time.
It was during this “I want to know what Daddy knows” period of my childhood that i picked up the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki at 15 and my life literally changed! Rat-race? Not my portion in Jesus name! The hustle was on.

My young market companion seemed pleased with my suggestion of reading books and nodded agreement. When we got to the car i gave him some money and asked him to buy a book.
If he was serious about doing music, obviously towards a better life regardless of the unavailability of funds for a formal ‘white collar’ education, he would by a book for himself and begin an education of self.
If not, well one day like i said, he would see me on TV, a physical earthly expression of the same dreams he holds in his heart and every word i said to him in the market would race to the foreground of his subconscious and they would mean something.

***insert Amen here***

And having that thought envelope my daydream as we drove back home, I decided I had to share this with you.

I’m saying you should open up more. It sounds like too much to do, especially with how uptight and security conscious we have become as a result of our living standards in this country. But i tell you, it is in the little things. We would be touching lives one at a time and improving ours as we do so.

“Give, and it would come back to you, good measure pressed-down, shaking together and running over” – the Bible

 
Open up a little more, all the people important to your dreams for a better life are waiting to open up to you as you do so to the people around you right now.
Don’t miss the magic of life in every connection. If they are in your present experience, they are there for a reason. Find it. Open up, a little wide please.
Simply smile at another person. Ask “How are you today?” Talk softly, with respect. Say two words such as ‘Thank you’. Say one word such as ‘Please’. Better yet say nothing, such as Listen.

 
 Love,


 

All that I AM

Over the past couple of weeks I have deliberately immersed myself in learning a wide range of things, concepts and ideals in topics that would not naturally come to mind. This means I have forced myself to want to know things that I am naturally not concerned about on an everyday experience.
I have questioned a lot, literally just sit there on my desk and wonder why. Why is there a want for more? Why do we exist? Why do some people succeed and others don’t. Why do we experience intense bursts of emotions that lead us to want things that have been religiously or morally touted as wrong? Why do i have desires that climb heights towering well beyond the comprehension of my bare human sight?

You do realize I obviously have no answers for my many questions,  and without going off like I don’t care about these answers, truth is what answer would be right? And in what measure would right be determined, Logically, Rationally or Hypothetically? How do we know what’s right? 
Just because certain ideals have been passed on from friends, family or generations past doesn’t necessarily make them right no?

Well in all these weeks of my pondering, I wondered about life in itself. Its beauty, its essence,  and what we are to earth- to the world, this complex Universe.
Not to say that I am right but in my little understanding and in the capacity of my comprehension of things I feel an urgent need to serve.

Now the question arises of how to adorn Service in the allure of excellence like a Royal.

For me, new principles have begun to take prominence in my every day life. And I can tell you sincerely I feel ten times happier than I have ever felt in all my life. I am bursting with energy,  I am eager to learn new things, I don’t get unnecessarily irritated,  nothing disappoints me, I just am. Happy.
I think the reason is I have accepted my place as a small contributor to a larger cause. In my capacity as a human being with so many needs a midst aspirations and plans for the uncertain future, what am I giving to help improve the world?
How can I Serve, and in service fulfill the purpose of my higher self.

That’s become a core part of my being. How can I help? My family, my friends, my immediate environment, the community I have been placed in, the group I work with, the country I come from, the world – maybe in that order. 
With this mindset I reach deep within myself to uncover the many truths of my essence.  What gifts have I been blessed with? What do I love to do ever so selflessly and many a-time with effort fueled with unwavering ease. How much of me am I giving to that effect?

I AM a lot of things. And I must say, very unashamed of the many things I find that I love to do. Everyday I must find time to do these things, focusing on one project at a time, delving deep into my soul and giving it my everything every time I sit down to work. Whether it is writing, creating music, makeup artistry, drawing/painting, making videos, managing my company or taking care of my dogs -I must do it wholeheartedly in this right-now time that I am blessed to do it. 
In that doing my work as diligently as I can, the Lord blesses me and helps me succeed, creating opportunities to help me excel even more, leading me in paths of still waters, to Peace. And when I am successful, everyone else around me is successful. 
With success comes even more opportunities to work, at a higher level encapsulating many more avenues to truly be Me, which is all i ever would be.

And when things do not happen quite like I have planned, I smile and say thanks, knowing that it wasn’t time and I wasn’t deemed ready. Fully aware that when i am ready however, the joy within me would be impossible to contain like a bulb would electric currents, offering only a pin head of the Light that permeates our World.

In another post I would take you on my real life journey of time and chance and how things work out for a greater reason than we realize in the present moment.  But for right now, I would like for you to ask yourself- “How much of you are you giving to earth?”
I couldn’t possibly tell you what to do, No. But I can tell you what I do, what I feel, how I perceive things- and hope that I can inspire you to feel something different,  positive, beautiful.. Something True.

Love,

Who Do you think You Are?

I watch a lot of Forensics, too many favorite shows on the Crime channel, and too much of C.S.I – Now in all my many years of loving these shows, if there’s one thing I have learned, it is the simple fact that we all have unique finger print patterns designated to each one of Us.
Now take a minute with me here and imagine those patterns, spiraling in the most unique design, working their paths down every curve of your hands, through every pore of your skin, en circling your hair follicles, penetrating the cracks and crevices of your skull and taking a final stop at your brain.
If this were really the case scientifically, then you should already know it would happen in an absolutely different manner for everyone else.
And as many as we are on earth, it is a proven fact that we all have these finger patterns/prints differently.

What am I trying to tell you?

In your perfection and imperfection my dear friend, you are absolutely different from everyone else.
And no, not different in a bad way – but in a perfect way, at least in the eyes of your Maker. You were Built, Designed, Created in the most special way and with Unique gifts and Personality traits different from every one else.
The question is ‘How do you see yourself’, ‘Who do you Think you are’ ?

It is amazing how we go through life from childhood, listening to parents, listening to teachers, listening to friends and peer groups but never stopping to listen to ourselves.
Your journey in life in your designated path doesn’t exactly begin until you can tell yourself specifically who you are, why you are here and how you can accomplish that.

You feel a different kind of joy, peace in your heart and a huge awakening of the mind that even you cannot describe when you finally come to terms with who you are.
Success comes to only those who have a true sense of self, accept their unique capabilities, chisel and groom themselves well enough to take on the world and never stop at it.

So what are you going to do today?
Are you going to keep complaining at your job or are you going to ask yourself if this is really what you love to do? If it is indeed what you love to do, are you going to begin to accept it in your heart and do your job as a service to others and reap the benefits of that thereof?
If it isn’t, would you have enough faith to get up and start over with what you really were put here on earth to do?

Who do You think You are?
How can you even be sure you are what you say you are?
Your body never lies to you. As energy beings, feelings and sensations are very important aspects of our communication with the universe. Your body knows. So begin by listening to yourself. How do you feel? How does your body respond to the actions you take? Are you Happy? Do you feel an unadulterated kind of joy when you do what you think you love?

If you are a writer, you would never write like anyone else- accept that. If you are a singer, you’d never be Michael Jackson no matter how you tried, accept that. If you are a Doctor or a Banker, you’d never be exactly like the best in your field, accept that.
You are you.
Here on earth to inspire others in a different kind of way, to serve in a different light.

Are you really going to leave your unique path only to hurdle your gifts and capabilities in the shadows of someone else who has found theirs?
Instead of doing that, take on your journey with a huge sense of faith of completion, improve upon your skills daily that you may be greater than you ever dreamed and do your very best work in the most excellent of ways. That in doing so, you become successful and the world can talk about you – and how unique and special you are.

You are special. Give the world what you have got – and do it in service, not grudgingly. This is the only way to be absolutely satisfied!

#LiveLoveLife
E.