Recent Posts

Trusting Him only…

Trusting Him only…

I have often wondered how Mary, the mother of Jesus, betrothed to be married to Joseph dealt with the news of her pregnancy when the angel announced she would be carrying the messiah. I think of this in the context of that era where sexual […]

How to be a Better Lover

How to be a Better Lover

Ann Voskamp is one of those rare finds that l keep going back to. She writes beautifully and so raw on her christian perspective and how her walk of God is basically ‘a day-to-day so help me God’ journey. She talks family, God and how […]

Lagos-first impressions…

Lagos-first impressions…

Arrive in Lagos, and you can feel the pulse of the city; sharp and strong like blue cheese. Lagos doesn’t wait for you to get your head around it. Even in the enclosed space of the airport, it envelops you with its ebullience and in this season, its dusty Harmattan weather.

I once said to a friend that the Atlantic Ocean in my part of the world is woman that likes to show off with its boisterous waves. Lagos on the other hand feels like a good wake up slap on the face. She is a grandmother from the early 60s, who has no sense of personal space and will hug you with her musty Saturday-Night-powder-like fragrance and equally curse you out if you don’t understand how things are done properly here.

As an ardent traveller and student of the world- people, skies and smells- are some of the main ways l identify and connect to various spaces. Growing up in Ghana, l have come to expect warm folks willing to help visitors easily. In the last couple of years, becoming the other in many lands, l have come to relish and miss that trait.

With my limited travel around the continent, l reminded how Africa is such a diverse continent! It still blows my mind why anyone will think of lumping all of us into one homogeneous group. Nigeria alone is an example of such diversity. The number of languages flying around in the arrival hall of the airport is evidence of this: Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and English. Oh and not forgetting the ubiquitous pidgin that makes me, the stranger in this space, feel a little at home.

Grueling, is the only word to explain how my first night in Lagos was spent in the dark. ‘NEPA’ decided l needed a baptism of fire to remind me this isn’t the  my privileged constant supply of electricity that l was used to! My misconception that a  constant supply of electricity is a God given right will not be tolerated. This is a land of over 20 million inhabitants and survival under any circumstance is crucial.

As l lay down trying to conjure sleep in the hot musty room, barricaded by security metal rails and a bullet proof door, l think of the Lagos l read about in books, projected in the media and spoken about in many contexts and the contradiction that a first night presents is palpable. The worlds l envisaged through the eyes of Emecheta’s The Concubine, Adicihie’s Americanah and many books all wait to show some glimpses of themselves. I cannot wait to see more of this dynamic city and hopefully the great nation that is Nigeria, especially in these times.

The Unending Journey

The Unending Journey

A year ago, we began a journey of renewal to find out if l was ready for the next epoch. l didn’t have the map or pre-knowledge of what this journey entailed.  To be honest, l didn’t even know we were on a journey. All […]

Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World

Serendipity! Great word but spelling can be tricky 🙂 I like the word because that is how many things come into my life and sometimes people as well.  So l came across this interview by Taiye Selasi for Saint Heron on her interview with Moses […]

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me Book Cover Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Spiegel & Grau, Hardcover, 9780812993547, 176pp.
July 14, 2015

I am voracious in my reading and  when l get my hands on a good book, everything else in my life can stop until l finish reading. Between the World and Me, written in  2015 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and published by Spiegel & Grau was a different case.

 
I didn't want the book to end and l simply took my precious time to read and in some cases re-read some sections of it. I was savouring the book. As an African woman with different experiences of other spaces, the book articulated issues that l have spent some nights ruminating on and others that l didn't have words to describe.

Get your hands on the book and l will bring you a fuller review soon.
Happy reading!

From others

How to be a Better Lover

How to be a Better Lover

Ann Voskamp is one of those rare finds that l keep going back to. She writes beautifully and so raw on her christian perspective and how her walk of God is basically ‘a day-to-day so help me God’ journey. She talks family, God and how to walk this life in this cover called christianity. This piece was my first introduction to her and mostly reading it, all l did was keep nodding. She talks of the kind of love that is rare in our day and how marriage isn’t what the movies are showing us. Love is, as she says, “laying me down and picking us up”. Go to her page and find more gems!

 

I‘m sitting there on the side of a windblown road, waiting for the Farmer to bring me a jug of gas.

We’ve knocked on a door.

Asked if we could patch through a call to home. Levi picks up.

Yes, Levi says, Yes, I think Dad’s out in the barn. I’ll go get him.

I’ll send him with gas.

But I know there’s no gas in the jug in the shop, nothing in the shed.

I know there’s nothing at home to fill us up.

We huddle in the cold of the van.

Hope does next week’s piano theory. She rubs her fingers hard. I don’t even know if the Farmer’s home, if Levi can find him. February howls bitter right through us, moaning for something more. I pray he’s coming for us. Think of that first time he took my face in his hands and kissed me too long in the dark and what he said.

His eyes had caught the light, and he said it slow and I was too young and I’ve gone back to that moment, the way it flashed, a thousand times.

“One thing you can count on is the way I’ll love you.”

He was twenty one when he took my trembling hand and slipped on the band and forever and under the veil, I was still a girl. Girl who hid behind long hair and fear and a prescribed calm that she swallowed down with the water.

The Farmer, he knows how to grow things.

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The kind of man that when his wife wavers, he’s held. Girded her with prayer.

When she’s cleared out a bedroom closet to fill it with books, held down her side of the room with words, and on his side he reads the farm paper and the book of Proverbs and in the middle, he’s met her, and he’s drawn it all close, and smiled when she’s created and nodded for her to go and said no to any performing and yes to just being.

And, crazy man, whispered too often about beautiful and asked, please, to believe him and he always, always, always said that everything, always was good.

Everything, always…

He has always come. He has always filled up. And when his wife’s canned stories, instead of pears, and doubted what it is to be a woman and calmed when rocking babies and stitched lines instead of threads, clicked shutters and keys and opened life up to glory, he has always come and and said it is good. Said yes, live.

The way he has loved has made his wife a woman. This is what a man can do to a woman.

The way he loves her has made her live.

I don’t care how cold the wind blows. He has always come and in air that’s only smiled, he’s strengthened the stalk of me, opened the petals of who I am and I have fit my skin.

It’s near dark when I look in the mirror and see that pick-up truck of his coming down the road. When he hauls out a gas jug from the back of the pick-up. I knew he would. I watch him in the rearview mirror. I can’t feel my toes.

After he’s emptied the last of the jug, he opens my door a crack. The wind whips.

“Thank you.” I whisper. He smiles into everything blustery. “But where did you find any gas at home?”

“Town.” He winks.

“You had to go to town? You had to leave all you were doing in the the barn, drive all the way into town, get gas, and then drive all the way over here?” Oh. my. I feel …. ill. Frozen and ill. “I am so sorry.

I look him in the eye. Why? Why would he?

“I love you.” He says it simply. Says it sure into the wind.

And this is why.

Love is not passion. It is the pulse of sacrifice.

DSC_1185
We get home and I make hot chocolate. Wrap my numb fingers around heat.

Write a love note to him in my half of the our love letter’s journal

Marital love is a demanding and dying thing compared to the stuff of movies and mirages.

The love of imagination — it’s a different beast entirely than love made in the image of a Saviour with nails in His hands.

The Farmer writes little with pens. He’s a man who prefers to write his love letters with his life.

I need to write down my thanks.

After the kids are in bed, we sit with our mugs and our vows.

I rub his back and ask him about the barn and his work and the things he’s thinking about. Some tanks can run dry and it takes time to fill them.

 

There are no standing lovers: the only way to love is to lay down.

Lay down plans.

Lay down agendas.

Lay down self.

Love is always the laying down.

This is how to make love out of a marriage: Love lays down it’s own wants to lift up the will of another.

Love lets go of its plans — to hold on to a person.

In the dark, we set down our mugs and turn out the lights and the wind moans on and I hear it and it can come and it doesn’t matter what blows.

Love always come too.

In our room, under quilts, we lay down beside each other…

Filled and warm and close.


Musing

How to be a Better Lover

How to be a Better Lover

Ann Voskamp is one of those rare finds that l keep going back to. She writes beautifully and so raw on her christian perspective and how her walk of God is basically ‘a day-to-day so help me God’ journey. She talks family, God and how […]

Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World

Serendipity! Great word but spelling can be tricky 🙂 I like the word because that is how many things come into my life and sometimes people as well.  So l came across this interview by Taiye Selasi for Saint Heron on her interview with Moses […]

My plastic bag

My plastic bag

My flip-flops gather a mini dust storm as l walk back home. The deed was indeed done and dusted, even if the prospect wasn’t as exciting now. The war between my needs and wants had ceased, with the former winning. The final bargaining chip was […]

The stock i came from.

The stock i came from.

l grew up with feminism personified in the form of my mother. It wasn’t a word l knew but it was lived daily in my home. Although my mother did not identify her self explicitly as a feminist, being an independent, assertive and vocal woman […]

My television doesn’t reflect me anymore.

My television doesn’t reflect me anymore.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou Coming home to Accra every year can be considered a pilgrimage for me on many levels. Apart from seeing the people who mean a lot to me and eating some good […]