Mr Okreke the village alcoholic

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Mr Okreke has two wives. He stands firmly on the ground in a withered suit. It is as if his eyes are far behind his eyeballs. He's far in there, not really present. But they look kind. A sweet smile pushes away the wrinkles on his cheeks. He is short and has grown a little pot-belly over the years, but according to the rumours he used to be really handsome in his prime-age. He's calmed down a bit now, but has been a heavy drunk for as long as many people can remember. His wives always remained faithfully by his side. When my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law says, that Okreke was the only man to play with her two remaining sons. When everyone else talked crap, Okreke was playing with them. When he wasn't entirely drunk. He'd stagger from side to side and stumble his way forward, maybe fall into the ditch. He'd say: "I'm going to GET you I swear to God! I'll beat the hell out of you" , and point his cain at the boys. They'd laugh because he could never muster the strength to fight back and was just talking empty words. It was as if he knew he could make them laugh in one of the darkest days of their life. Wonder what made him drink in the first place...

This is a real story I thought I'd bring up. Last night one of my closest friends confessed to me how her mother drinks a bottle of conjac every day. It started when her little sister got a serious form of cancer. She was hospitalized for a year, but miraculously survived. Now that everyone is fine and well, the mother who's kept them together for all those years is the one to take the blow. It hit me - alcoholism is way more common than anyone can imagine. Or any other similar family problem. But we never talk about it and just pretend everything's fine. Everyone thinks their neighbour is better off while in fact every family has their cross to bear.

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Time to be Thankful!

>> Friday, October 23, 2009

Hello my dears
I am really not supposed to even be here right now, in fact I am in the reading hall at university supposedly writing my paper on corruption in Rivers state. But I cannot abandon my blog completely right? I haven't written a thankful post for a long, long time, but it's time that I do.

I am thankful and feeling blessed because....
1) All You bloggers who faithfully comment on my blog in spite of my absence on your blogs, and all of you who I haven't seen comment in a while I want you all to know that I am thinking of you! Goodnaijagirl, Nana Yaw Asiedu, Posekyere, Maya, Juiceegal, Rose, Standtall, Solomonsydelle, Pink Satin, Undercover07, Blogoratti, Tigeress, Writefreak, Nolimit, Sting, Aloted, Jhazmyn, Olafunke, BNSC, Funms, Tairebabs, YNC, Novisi and of course Enkay and all the rest of you. You are all great people in your own way, inspirational, educational, know!

2) I am alive. My family is alive. Yesterday was my husband and I's 4 year marriage anniversary. I know not to take it for granted due to the recent incident 3 months ago. The 1 yr anniversary of my dad's heart attack was two days ago as well, and he is alive and kicking. My friends are all well, and all of you are all well. We are blessed for that!

3) I have a job and I get to go to university nearly for free because of the lovely country I live in. I have the opportunity to get the education I want. I have the opportunity to fight for what I want in life.

4) For the past 3 months I have had more and more personal revelations, getting to know myself better and better and figuring out more and more what I would really like to do in the future. I am becoming creative again and I am getting back my fighting spirit. I love having goals because they make my life meaningful and drive me forward. I am considering fighting to get a special scholarship for Berkeley. Just having the opportunity to think about that is testimony to how blessed I am. I must use my opportunities to help others.

5) I have some great friendships both in Nigeria and here. I love my women. Without the sisterhood we have, what would life be like? Dull, that's what it would be. And too macho that's for sure.

6) I might get the chance to go to NYC, London and Tunisia this christmas while hubby goes to Nigeria. That would be cool!

7) My girlfriend just did my nails for free and they are looking fly. Black with pink flowers. lol.

8) Being back in school makes me feel ALIVE. And KICKING. Life has endless opportunities. And I might get to see Obama in the Peace Prize concert. Awesomeish. That's still a maybe though.

9) Safe delivery of my niece and one of my closest friends' sisters' safe delivery.

10) Life's lessons. Without hardship there would be nothing like happiness.

I really can't think of more as for right now. But I love blogville and without sounding stupid I hope you don't give up on me even though I don't do much commenting anymore. I am not putting it off my to-do list!

Have a great weekend everyone.

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Mama Christina

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When staying in the village, the standard morning scenario is always the following:
5:30 Cock #1 screams
5:31 Cock #2 sings
5:32 Cock #3 wails
5:33 Cock #4 cries

5:35 Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yo! Iih-yo – LOUDLY

5:45 Cock #1 screams
5:46 Cock#2 sings
etc etc
Mama Christina: Iii-yo! Iii-yoh!

and on and on....You get the drill..

Mama Christina, a permanent inhabitant of the village, is a very special character I’ve had the pleasure to know- According to the villagers, rumour has it she’s “always” been old. She sure is old, only God would know how old because she herself has no idea. First time I went to see her, she was sitting at the back of her house in a fallen-apart sofa from the 40s, close to her fireplace where she usually roasts yam. She was sitting there with an old, washed out head-tie and and wrapper with the longest, sagging flaps of skin that were once used to breastfeed her children. Mama Christina: Chaiiii! She shouts, opening her mouth, biting down on her few remaining, dark brown front teeth over and over again, sticking her tongue out, hitting her chest.Mama Christina: Welo-come! Welo-come! Come well-o! Come well-o! Chai! Chai!She starts dancing, clapping her hands, ee-yo, ee-yo

Mama Christina is the first wife of Augustin. Several of her children have managed to die before her. She’s so skinny, it’s a wonder she’s even walking, but the woman can even dance WELL at her age. She barely eats, barely sleeps, but seems to have no problems what so ever bending down roasting her yam or dancing old traditional dances from her days. According to the elders, she used to be the most beautiful woman in the village. But she’s mad. Absolutely mad. And you wouldn’t want to meet her on one of her bad days. She curses the children, grinds her teeth and pees wherever,whenever she wants. But she never dies, and no one seem to think she will ever die. She wasn’t always crazy, it happened when she was around 40 people say, when her husband decided to marry another wife. Since then she’s been down right cray-zee. They say these days are even her better days, that she used to do and say things that are too explicit to write down on this blog. But she absolutely amazes me. She’s so old, never washes, never eats, walks around with short white hair with bits of soap in it, but never gets sick. Her sons used to be wealthy and take care of her, but now, no one in her family cares, so the rest of the villagers drop by her place giving her naira bills and rice or vegetables.
Just thought i'd share this special character with you guys.
Thank you everyone, so much, for all your replies on my last post. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to reply individually right now – but I’ll come back soon with an update. So frustrating to not have the time I want. I wish all days had 30 hours instead of 24.

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