Love in the time of economic recession

Love in the time of economic recession

Hey there. Remember me?

I’m as surprised as you.

Surprised it’s taken so long for me to get back to posting anything here. Save for that birthday post which I had to quickly drum up for my lovely sister, I’ve ignored this place for months.

Everything’s so dusty back here.

I blame work. And a little bit of laziness. Plus, after writing technical stuff all day, the last thing on my mind is churning out 600-800 words about my random thoughts. The only thing on my mind in the evenings are usually food and sleep.

But I couldn’t stay away forever. And here I am.

Technically, I’m not back though.

I’m here to present a series of guest posts from my friend Francoise.

I met Francoise through a funny set of events in 2015. She’s a French lady who’s married to a Yoruba man. And she’s lived with him in Nigeria since 1987.

Her story’s a long one which probably deserves a blogpost of its own. She’s been trying to get me to write her biography for months. I’m still thinking about it.

I’m letting her pour out some of her thoughts on my blog for a while. Let me (and her) know what you think.

Note: She’s a native French speaker, and still hasn’t gotten good with writing our language. And I have refused to edit her prose, partly because I want to preserve the authenticity of her voice, and partly cos I want to punish her (lol). I also had to BEG her before she sent me pictures I could use for this story. She’s the most camera shy person I’ve met so far.

Francoise, you’re up:

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Hey!

Here I am, building another bridge between the two continents,  a new bridge between my two continents, between Europe and Africa, between the two cultures, between the two races….

I was born in one and I’ll like to die in the other.

As we put on the wall pictures of our family because we love them, or the cross of the Christ to remember His sacrifice, I had to tattoo the flag of my land on my shoulder to testify to myself that I am not denying the soil that made me ;  but Lagos took me by the heart, that is a fact. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know: le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a pas…. what is sure is that it is a love story, a passionate story that I’ll like to share.

Francoise Tatoo

I just finished reading the last novel of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I like this young author. Right from the first page, you are immersed in the story and you like the characters. This pleasure with Americanah came from the depth of the prose and the similarities with my personal experiences in life.  My own story’s title would have been Africanah.

As I was progressing in the story of this Nigerian girl living in today’s America, three essential points arose. And I could not resist comparing them with my own African life. So similar and so different at the same time… like similar opposites. The worries being the same yet opposite, like the reflection in a mirror.

Here is the story of a black girl in America and there is the picture of a White woman in Africa.

The first point of course is the colour of the skin. Like the Nigerian girl who discovered her blackness as soon as she arrived in the US, I have discovered my whiteness as soon as I arrived in Nigeria.

Yes, I know what you are thinking right now, but please say it again, because there is a lot to be said. This is the first very important point of our uprooted life and we shall come back to it again.

The second interesting point is the management of our hair. There are difficulties and I would like to take my time to express them.

The third point I would like to develop is the effect of our accent, and believe me it has its importance, you have to live it to realize that.

I’ll be going over these with you.

See you next week

Francoise Selfie

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Hey!

Ibukun is my friend. Ibukun is a nice guy.

When I made my proposition; he said “ok, no problem, but at one condition: you don’t go on shit”. Then I said “Ok, no problem, I am a clean fly, I don’t go on shit… only on food.”

If you know me… you’ll recognize me,

If you like me… you’ll follow me,

If you want… you can write me.

See you around…

Ibukun’s Note: Francoise will post again next week. Please leave a comment and check back.

It’s my little sister’s birthday

Itunu Taiwo GlowingScenes

Today is my sister’s birthday.

It took me all day to write this post in my head. The problem is that two months ago, this girl took to her blog to finish me with praise of the highest kind.

She made me feel like the best thing that has ever happened to mankind. The post was full of mush and gush and every other nice sentiment I can think of. And contrary to (a troubling) popular belief, I’m actually a soft guy who likes such things likes blatant expressions of adoration, no matter how corny.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand. Writing something about my junior sis.

The earliest memory I have about my sis is walking her to school (we attended the same primary school). The reason why I remember this is probably because it was our daily ritual, walking to school which was about a 30 minute walk from our home in Akoka.

I didn’t realise it then, but a huge part of my life would be wrapped up in my relationship with this small girl.

The next memory I have that involves my little sis is a particular argument I had with one of my friends. I don’t remember what the argument was about but it must have been pretty serious, (as serious as an argument between 8-10 year olds can be). I remember this girl standing right beside me and supporting every single point I made, even when I drew facts right out of thin air. When I laughed she laughed, when I raised my voice, she was my backup. We usually won those arguments. Nobody was a match for our tag team.

More than two decades later, this babe still does the same for me everyday of my life.

I remember us spending hours playing with the Sony Walkman, singing and recording our shrill kid voices as we sang the songs from Sound of Music. And then she’d let me adlib the really tricky parts and I’d ruin the song by overdoing it and she’d laugh till her eyes teared up.

Side Note: D-Re-Mi will never be the same again. I always hear her voice in my head whenever I hear the song.

That’s a tradition we’re yet to break. We still mess around with songs. God help you if it’s your song we decide to cover next. God help you. It’s good to know there’s someone I can goof off with and let my screwball side run wild. And I am one goofy person.

My sister thinks I’m the funniest person in the world.

Some of the most important memories of my life have her in them. Time will not allow me to narrate all the times we ganged up against mom and dad (mom especially) and just bullied them till we had our way.

Or the times we spent doing bible study. Whenever my sister is confused about something, she’d come to me to ask. As if I’m a rhema machine. I should probably have been charging you money for all those consultation sessions.

Today, with all the great people she reads and follows on the internet – John Piper, John and Lisa Bevere, Francine Rivers etc, it’s a mystery to me WHY she still come to me to ask questions. I honestly don’t know. But I’m glad to know she still thinks my thoughts are worth hearing.

But that’s my little sister.

My little amazing sister! She’s so smart. And pretty. And funny. And patient. Whenever she writes, she sets the pages on fire. If anyone’s going to make it as a writer, it’s her.

She’s passionate. And focused. I don’t know how she churns out 2000 word episodic stories every week. But somehow she manages even with a fulltime MSc program.

I don’t know how soft and tender hearted people can be so resilient and strong, but my sister pulls it off effortlessly.

Gadget freak. Cute dresser. Troublemaker. Yam lover. Perpetual fine girl. Confidant.

And best friend of my childhood.

Itunu Taiwo, when you read this, I want you to know , you are cherished. There are no words to convey your importance in my life.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday today.