What are the odds?

Hi, this is my contribution to a Short Story Day Africa prompt.

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Short Story day Africa – Writer Prompt

Zaina glanced at her sleeping husband and then at the bulky belt she was to wear to Jumat prayers, eyes closed, praying seemed futile and sleep wouldn’t come, it was as if sleep knew that something was going down today.

Adamu began to stir, he always woke up a few minutes before the muezzin called the prayer, sixteen months old and his body seemed in tune with life in the bush, she smiled at him as she pushed his thumb back into his puckered mouth. The one good thing to come out of this mess. Gosh, she thought, I’m a 15 year old mother, what are the odds? That was her father’s favourite phrase, said solemnly when anyone was fretting about anything. When mama thought the rains wouldn’t come, “what are the odds that we’ll all starve?” he said. When her sister Felicia had refused an arranged marriage and mama began to wail, throwing herself on the floor as if someone had died. Papa calmly said “what are the odds that her life is over? I’m sure they’ll be others.

Husband was awake.
“Make we do am one last time before you go see your friends for Janaa” he said chuckling.
“Yes sir,” she said fingering the object concealed beneath her hijab.

It went in like a hot knife in soft shea butter, he let out a gurgle as life and air rushed out of him.

What are the odds that I’ll make it home? She thought strapping Adamu to her back.

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Worry – unwanted companion

Hi,

I haven’t posted in a while, just been busy worrying about everything under the sun from Brexit to my young adults to my work-life balance!

It’s time banish worry into a box.

This is my  letter to worry in response to a Daily post prompt: Companion

 

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Dear Worry

You seem to be my companion of late

I need to shake you off

Stop following me

You appear when I least expect

taking me down rabbit holes and making my heart miss a beat

I need to hook up with peace

You’re here again, taunting me, giving me endless what ifs

Get thee behind me worry, I’m not playing your games today.

Short Story Day Africa: Writing prompt

Hi there, this is a story I posted as part of a short story day Africa prompt of an owl in flight.

Short story day Africa

Bobby hoped every night would be his last. Mama twins, his father’s second wife had threatened to leave him in the forest, she said he was a bad omen.

She blamed him for everything, his mother’s death, Taiwo’s convulsions and his father’s latest bout of malaria. He didn’t have the guts to tell her that his mother had sickle cell disease and his father was drunk. How was he going to convince her that at nine years old he couldn’t be held responsible for the family’s misfortunes?

He would have pointed out that her twins were the strange ones. Four years old, they spoke a mixture of English, some secret language that no one could understand and baby babble. He’d seen them talking to the blue eyed owl, it always seemed to be perched on the bougainvillea tree outside their bedroom window. The tree shed every day, he got a beating if a single leaf was found under the tree, blue eyes laughed at every stroke.

As he swept up the leaves for the nth time he noticed the twins playing catch with a stick. Old blue eyes began to flap and hoot. It swooped down and grabbed the snake as it leaned in to take a bite of a small chubby leg.

Kenny began to cry,

‘Where sticky gone?’

Taiwo joined in.

‘Wetin you dey do to my picken?’ mama twins growled.

‘Nothing oh!’ said Bobby as the owl flew off with its prey.

Bobby sighed, ‘thank you mama’.

Day 3 of the 3 day quote challenge

 

Life and weekend breaks have got in the way of completing this challenge!

But here is my final quote taken from the lyrics of a lady whose latest album is making waves on all sides of the Atlantic.

Whether you think she’s a feminist, being political or its just bad ass marketing, Beyoncé has got us all thirsty.

Here’s the chorus to Freedom.

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!
I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running
Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves

 

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My third and final nomination is olawritesfiction – check her blog for great African fiction.

 

 

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Photo challenge: Admiration for medieval architecture

photo-challenges – admiration for medieval architecture

I love old buildings, the older the better and the more I gaze at them and go wow, how did they do that?

I went to Norwich at the weekend and took a few pictures.

Norwich Cathedral is an example of great medieval architecture and one of the most welcoming cathedrals in England,  it has that feeling of serenity without making you feel that you shouldn’t be here. Construction started in 1096 and was completed in 1145. I can see why it took so long!

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Entrance to Norwich cathedral cloisters
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Cathedral cloisters

 

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Cathedral cloisters

 

 

Day 2 of the 3 day quote challenge

Another quote from a song today.

This quote is from Billie Holiday’s song God bless the child.

The lyrics are so true today as they were back then.

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Billie Holiday

Them that’s got shall have
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible says and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own, that’s got his own.

I would like to nominate acookingpotandtwistedtales.com, the lady behind this blog is a great wordsmith and is sure to come up with an original quote or two.

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R is for Roots

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Roots

The Roots of my familiar are questioning me

These are the roots that anchor me

I’ve left them behind many a time

But they force their way into my consciousness

Telling me who I am and what I could be.

I put down my roots and I leave them be.

They chastise me when I stray, when I’m being someone else and not me.

They hold fast when I forget who I am and where I’m from.

The Roots of the familiar are holding on.

 

3 day Quote challenge

I was nominated by the lovely lady at wivesrepublic to participate in the quote challenge, and since I am trailing behind on the A to Z challenge, I thought why not?

Take a look at her post.

Instead of a quote , I am putting a little twist on this and quoting from the song Don’t let be misunderstood from  Nina Simone’s 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads

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Nina Simon – Album cover

 

 I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

I play this song any time I’m a bit down and need a pick me up.

I would like to nominate Islam on my mind

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Q is for the Queen

It was the queen’s birthday yesterday, HRH Queen Elizabeth II was 90 years old, long may she reign.

Queen Elizabeth II, Nigeria 1956@NigeriaNostalgia

queen visit to nigeria in 1956

It got me thinking about the African queens that helped shape Nigeria, the women I used to tell my classmates about during history lessons of kings, queens and princes in the tower.

These are the women who stood up for women’s rights, got beaten and thrown into jail because they believed in equal rights for all, long gone but not forgotten.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti

Funmilayo_Ransome-Kuti_An_Activist_in_Her_Own_Right

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti (1900 – 1978) campaigned for women’s rights and the abolition of the crippling taxes the women were made to pay by their colonial masters.

She was a member of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons party, In 1947, she was described by the West African Pilot Newspaper as the ‘Lioness of Lisabi’ for her leadership of Egba women in a non violent campaign against taxation. The women sang songs about the king, danced and decided to have a sit in the King’s compound, he was made to leave in shame.

Margaret Ekpo – The Fashionable Feminist

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Margaret Ekpo (1914–2006) was at the forefront of fashion, combining western and Nigerian fashion influences, and standing up for women’s rights in Eastern Nigeria. She set up a Market Women’s Association to promote solidarity and fight for the economic rights of women, who were treated like second class citizens.

After the second world there was a shortage of salt, she got to the men of the region through their stomachs by decreeing that women could only buy salt if they belonged to the association, many a man had a bland meal until he allowed his wife to join!  She made sure that Nigerian women had the right to vote.

Hajia Gambo Sawaba

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Hajia Gambo Sawaba (1933-2001) was an activist who championed the participation of women in politics. She was known for  her charitable causes and for her views on women’s liberation.

Mrs Eniola Soyinka

Mrs Eniola Soyinka co-founded the Egba Women’s Union with Mrs. Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti. She was the mother of renowned playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka. She organised workshops for illiterate women in the region teaching them how to read and write and  understand their rights as citizens.

P is for Patience

 

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Hi, I have missed out many a letter in the A to Z challenge!, I actually thought of giving it up. I looked at today’s letter and thought, I don’t have time, I have too much to do.But then I thought – Patience, girl, take a breather and get on with it– why not have a little patience with me, not just with my kids, who sometimes drive me crazy with their endless demands, or with the man driving the tractor that pulled out in front of me on my way to work and did 20 mph in a 40 mph lane for at least 20 mins! or the young girl at the checkout who spent ages (well more than 10 minutes!)  trying to work out how to refund £20.00 back on to my card.

P reminds me that it’s time to show a little love and patience for ourselves and others.

An online dictionary definition of patience – the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

Or as William Shakespeare famously  wrote:

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” True stuff, I have a few scars on my legs to prove that!!

But it really means that there is a time and place for everything and good things will eventually come, so if you’re waiting for something or feeling harassed and put upon, give yourself a little patience as you would to an excited child stumbling over his words.

So tomorrow, when I’m stuck in traffic, I will keep a good attitude, be patient and think of what to write in my next post.

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