Touching down in Maiduguri


As our plane touched down, the first sight i was attracted to was a trail of rice farmers working on their plantations, it was such a beautiful scenery, almost tranquil. There it was “Maiduguri airport”, there was mixed emotions, never thought i would be able to make the journey after months of failed planning, i felt fortunate. It was a windy and sunny, the weather felt perfect on my face. Soldiers both Nigerian and American paraded the ground to welcome a two American agents i suppose because they weren’t in uniform. Outside the gates was an open space with benches that served as the passenger waiting area, an airport which was once developed by Deribe but got torn down by Ex President Goodluck Jonathan for renovation sake but abandoned. There were barricades created by soldiers as they sat comfortably behind their AK’s and sacks of sand. Shortly before we departed the airport, there stood a child of no more than 2 years, abandoned by his guardians, he had wet his pants, soldiers fast approached the wailing child and picked him up to calm him down, 20 mins later, we drove off and the kid still remained in the embrace of one soldier.

This city Maiduguri seemed quite different from what the media had made it out to be, well at least the area we passed to the Old GRA, it was just noon but the city was full of life, traders running after cars to bargain the price of their hand made set of a doll living and bed room, it was delightful to watch as Baba showed us around town. There was a government girls secondary school right around the corner, he mentioned how it was turned into a temporary IDP camp while school remained close but IDPs were in the process of being moved to a more developed IDP Camp. Soon as we got to the place of our residence, we were presented with a feast and the Boko Haram Days stories started rolling in.

Baba told us about the days where the weather got intensely hot coupled with lack of electricity that everyone had to sleep outside with their nets over their beds, but as the attacks by the insurgents drew closer, that wasn’t an option anymore, anything could happen while they were out sleeping, vulnerable to these vicious attacks. There was a trail of sadness and happiness in his voice, joyful because they believe the horror of Boko Haram is behind them, sorrow because of what they have had to witness, he said while looking up to the ceiling, a moment of reminiscence.

A few hours later, a friend/journalist had navigated himself to the place i was residing, and we soon head off to witness the city at night. He told me stories about his experiences which i will link up on here once his stories are published. We then stopped at a heavily protected guest inn for dinner, as we waited for our food and his 2 other friends. It seemed like all of the international community in Borno resided in it, so there was no surprised about the amount of armoured cars present and security agents. I had the pleasure of meeting the brain behind Bits of Borno, a twitter account which tells the individual stories of this wretched conflict while also grabbing in that moment, intense emotion on camera. at 8:47 pm, i got a phone call to remind me of the curfew imposed on all civilians by 10pm, i then had to find my way back.

Back at the house, the stories began to roll out once again but from a female resident doctor who had seen much of the the price civilians have to pay during insurgencies during work at her hospital. She told us of an 11 year old left to care for siblings as young as a new born after their mother died a week after birth, whom died 3 months later leaving the sisters, one had fallen sick so she had take her to a hospital from Bama, she left the two younger one “ To God “ thats what she told the resident doctor. She told us about Nurses that looted clompy nutritional nuts sent from Germany meant to counter Camps’ severe malnourishment of children, they often sold it in markets. img_9193


Marriage: A partnership or a dictatorship ? 

There is a great misconception about marriage today driven by a medieval culturally induced train of thought, one you would think a progressive society in this age would’ve abolished by now. The assumption that women have to give up everything while men reserve any sacrifice on the basis of being the breadwinner, ” The man ” like being a woman naturally translates to being less of a person, It doesn’t. It is not compulsory for any woman out there to give up anything in her life unless she wills it. The belief that a woman HAS to while a man is left with a choice in itself creates a turbulent foundation in any marriage, For marriage is a partnership, an agreement on every single issue by both parties not a dictatorship where a man ultimately owns the upper hand. A man that is threatened by an ambitious woman is one with an inferiority complex, a lazy man that doesn’t want to be pushed to be better, a man that wants less because it’s convenient and easily tameable, an authoritarian only invested in exerting power from his weakened woman. When you directly or indirectly force a woman to become less than she is destined to be, less than she so profusely wants to be then you’re shutting off a bright light inside of her forever, never to be rekindled. She will live but never to be fulfilled, she’ll be patient enough to stay but by never reaching that self actualisation level in her life, her man won’t either. 
So ask yourself, what kind of marriage are you getting yourself into ? A partnership bonded by love, trust and respect or a dictatorship based on command and execution, no questions asked. Either way, your choices carve your destiny, your kind of marriage. 

Concealed Scars

  He grabbed her by the throat as she sat on an armchair, dragged her across the room and to the bathroom. He threw her into the bathtub as he bashed her face over and over again with his fist, striking her with his belt as she bled profusely. He turned on the shower and left her to drown in her own blood mixed with lead contaminated water. It wasn’t the first time he had done it. Just last month, they were out attending a get together with a dozen of friends, when she suddenly opened up a debate about dos and don’t’s in a marriage, that had pissed him off but she couldn’t tell at the time because he had become a great actor, always having to act like he was husband of the year. It was getting late so they said their goodbyes and headed home and as they pulled up on their driveway, he parked and got out of the car abruptly. He then came hurriedly to her side opening her door as he dragged her off pulling her by the hair. As they went in, he grabbed the first object his hands could reach and smashed it into her face, it was a rose flower vase. There was so much blood gushing down her face as she looked into his eyes, there was no sign of remorse, regret or pity. He looked back with his wicked eyes, tempted to raise the other hand on her but she soon faded into oblivion. She woke up the next day same place she had passed out drenched in her own dry blood, he didn’t care to move her talk less of cleaning after himself. Nonetheless, she got up to wash herself, ran a hot bath to get rid of the excruciating pain or at least lessen it and put her make up on. It was business as usual for her as she headed off to work with her foundation caked enough to cover up the bruises and the new cuts on her face. 

Because We Don’t

Because we don’t know what it’s like to be hungry, literally starving and have nothing to chug down to wash off the growling sense in our stomach. Because we don’t know what it’s like to be without shelter, to be cold out on the streets with no place to go, no layer of cover to protect our skin. Or what it’s like to have no shoes, to march on thorns & have the soles of our feet bleed ,to feel the pain sore right through our brain. Or the pain of a crying mother cradling her child in her arms with their blown out brains ever so vividly. Or that of a father whose life had just been completely shattered trying to gather the remains of his loved ones buried under the rubble. We couldn’t possibly understand, So until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, we haven’t earned the right to write off their misery. Let it overwhelm you. The thought, imagine the depth of their pain, don’t block it out, feel it. Its called humanity.

 Chains, Chains all around me.

See, we came from nothing to chains then from chains we broke through. And even though we, my father and yours , won the battle, we ended up losing the war because what they bore were single blinded by their surroundings. See when I say chains, close your eyes and imagine your mind shackled in chains and my brother, I tell you mental chains are even harder to break away from because it’s existence is unacknowledged so the will couldn’t possibly exist. But thing is, if your mind could imagine those shackles then you would be aware of the on-goings, a mind that can’t imagine the chains is a mind so restrained by it that it has nothing to break off from.
When I say Chains , I mean that which comes from hate and grudges trapping oneself in despair of their own creation.

Chains from infatuations, lust & obsessions mistaken for what love truly is. So you stay , no matter how bad he hits you

Chains , pressuring our women to conform to societal beauty standards,   so we cake up and skip meals 
Chains from a strayed belief system because you’ve been conditioned to not ask questions.

Chains from blind patriotism, choosing borders over humanity.

Chains from plain injustices of the system because we’ve learnt to turn the other cheek, you don’t see , hear nor do you speak .
Chains from crooked political sentiments and affiliations 
Chains from unending and unfulfillable economic pursuits, the more we have the more we aggressively strive to earn more and the carousel never stops turning. 

What Lies Beneath The Shadows 

He lived in the shadows for all he could remember, he was frightened of that which he could not comprehend so he stayed. See the light scared him, for the most part, it was because he never truly felt it’s sting on his dark ridden eyes. He condemned it destructive to all of his kind. Often times, he argued that the light was a creation of the gods destined to bring doom to shadow creatures like himself. Even though he was consumed by darkness, the man of the shadows wasn’t bad. His conscience still cared deeply for the shadow world along with its creatures, and even the monsters beyond his world. He couldn’t quite understand these monsters with what seemed like two hands and two feet whom looked like his but only that they had a tone to their appearance. Sometimes, he would lurk behind the shadows of the night to watch these creatures, they always appeared to turn on each other when the dark clouds hovered over the skies. The more he watched them, the more confusing it all seemed. He would always return to the darkness before dawn to evade the light. Light didn’t determine goodness nor did darkness condemn shadow creatures to evil. The shadow creature, though made out of darkness, was pure and free of bad intentions.

Curious as ever, he couldn’t stand condemning all light creatures to evil, but fear still stood in the way. He didn’t know what the consequence would come to be, was he to decide on staying till dawn. Nights went by as he drowned in his curiosity and a thirst to be in the know, but never dared to act on his curiosity. Dawn was approaching fast as he stood up to head back into the darkness when he heard the screams of a strange creature, it’s voice was melodious and sharp, easily soothing but at the same time trembling as sounded filled with fear. He repositioned himself to get a better sight of the scene. She was beautiful with big brown eyes and her hair, brown, long and dangling in curls above her waist. The shadow creature saw fear in her eyes as she was staring ahead, his sight swayed to the direction she was looking towards. There he was, another creature approaching her very hastily with what seemed like a sharp object, a dagger. The shadow creature understood what fear looked and felt like, so he was able to comprehend the situation almost very quick. The sun is already rising in the east, the light was blinding, so much so that he began to feel a burning sensation in his eyes. To turn away and avoid the light or save that gracious creature from harm, he contemplated as he stepped away from the light. Halfway into the complete darkness, his conscience betrayed his fear. He had to make a decision that seems life threatening to save a gracious creature from a fearful situation. He found himself turning away from the darkness without even realising. As he leapt into the light, he had his eyes shut using his heightened sense of hearing to follow the sharp screams of the gracious creature. He felt an uncomfortable sensation soaring through him but he kept on going. Upon his arrival on the scene, he sensed forces of good and bad and immediately acknowledged the presence of hostility from the creature with a dagger and a will to eliminate it. With the power invested in him, he defeated evil and grabbed the hands of the gracious creature heading towards the darkness. Confused and still frightened, the gracious creature tried to pull back from him while his eyes were still shut. They both came to a halt. She then stepped towards him tilting his chin so they’re facing each other. Drowning in silence, the gracious creature observed his features, there she was standing in front of a creature she grew up hearing a lot about, just that he wasn’t the monster the books mentioned, in fact the shadow creature saved her life. Bemused, she asked for his name, and when he kept silent, she offered a few kind words of gratitude for his bravery. The shadow creature stood in shock, this gracious creature of the light wasn’t as the tales told. She was kind and her vibrant energy, infectious. The gracious creature sensed fear in him, because she knew that shadow creatures never came out to the light. She attempted to calm him, by slowly stroking his face with her hands. At first, he shivered at the feel of her palms on his cheeks, then he calmed his nerves. Few moments later, he gently opened up his eyes while twitching. They both stood so frozen staring into each other’s eyes. See, their world’s instilled fear of the other in them, but their ignorance made them accept those fears.

Yemen, More To It Than Just Bullets

I was seated in the movies watching fast 7 when I realised I was part of the bigger problem. In that moment, my problems went away and by my problems I don’t mean my personal problems but the overwhelming feeling that arises when I think of my country burning, going up in flames. After realising I had a smile on my face, I felt guilty of being happy when over 500 Yemenis have been killed in 11 days. Thing is, we forget about those suffering because we don’t know what it feels like to be in a war zone, to fear for our lives every single minute that passes, we don’t know what it’s like to feel hunger due to food shortages, we don’t know what it’s like to be wounded with no one to attend to us, we don’t know what it feels like to have to live in the dark and heat or cold because our power lines have been blown off. Like I once said to a friend of mine when she told me she doesn’t follow the news because it makes her sad, I told her to imagine over a billion others that ignore the news because they didn’t wanna feel down , or because it isn’t their people so it doesn’t concern them. And if only that billion changed their perspective from ” Me ”  ” My People ” to ” Our world ” and cared like their families were burning on the other side of the globe then we would have a billion more fighting for peace. Our world is crumbling into pieces, from Palestine to Kenya, From Nigeria to Yemen, from Burma to Ukraine. And this will not change till we learn to care for them as our people because we are human beings of the same specie. It doesn’t matter where they are from because they are people suffering and they are my people regardless of their race, religion or continent.
  Yemen might not be my birthplace but it is home. It is home because when I think about it, I think of love and the smiles I get from old people and children playing on the streets. Yemen taught me to spread my love farther into the seas, crossing borders and boundaries into multiple cities around the world, keeping it going. Yemen does not want your politics, it does not need your power struggle, it does not need your guns and missiles, it does not need your drones, it does not need to be your playground for a proxy war but your love, your roses, your prayers and well wishes. It’s been a long time Yemen but I promise I will see you again and peace will come. Peace and love trumps your bullets, your politics and destructive ideologies. Yemen will see peace when we exchange our bullets for roses , our rockets for smiles and our shields for love. Yemen will see peace again. Yemen will see peace again because it truly means more than just bullets and grenades but love and kindness.

Beyond Time

The beauty which we fail to see, the beauty we miss every day and night as we go about our business, the beauty we are blinded to. Just like a first kiss, my heart skips a beat whenever i watch this intoxicating time lapse video beyond time.


2000 souls were snatched away so brutally last week in one killing spree by the ever so evil Boko Haram members. Bodies piled up across the town of Baga in Maiduguri. Women, children for God’s sake and our men. Why has the world ignored the massacre in Baga ? Is it not newsworthy ?. Two thousand African souls and the world does not even bet an eye because African lives don’t matter. But that’s nothing new to us. Our own democratically elected president still hasn’t commented on the atrocious attack. Oh ! but he had lots of time on his hand to condemn the recently heinous attacks carried out by gunmen in France. Why should the world care when our own people don’t acknowledge the bodies piling up on our streets. Not one, or ten but 2000 people were killed, in the most ruthless way imaginable.

This has become a reality in Nigeria, new explosions and massacres every other day. You might ask what exactly the government is doing to tackle this bloody issue, well I’ll tell you , absolutely nothing, because it’s all about pushing campaign funds for their re-election this February. The same government that charged our under-equipped soldiers with mutiny to be executed by a firing squad for not embarking on a suicide mission to launch an offensive against the well-equipped Boko Haram terrorists. Our 234 girls are still not back to us and i promise you we will not get them back if we’re relying on the current GEJ administration. They are being used as suicide bombers in the Northern region of Nigeria. But do not worry, they will set up committees to look into the issue, always trust them to find new ways to embezzle Nigerian funds. This is not even the most of it. I am angry, furious and you should be too, so as long as you have a soul in you.

Oh Nigeria ! where are we headed ?

How many more people are we willing to sacrifice ?

When will we start caring enough to take a stand ?

Are we waiting for our families to be slaughtered before we act out ?

These so-called leaders of our nation hate us, it’s mutual. Its time for change. Its time to protect our children. Its time to protect our brothers and sisters across Nigeria, from the South to the East stretching out to the North. We are stronger together and we shall triumph over this evil that is, Boko Haram.

Muslim Not Alien , Just Muslim

Most of us “ Muslims “ are really just like you. Trying to get through college, hoping to get a nice paying job that we actually like , or not. I mean who ever ends up with a job they actually like, very few if you ask me. But that’s not the point i am trying to make here. See , most Muslims just want to settle down in the nearest future, probably have a kid or two. Others are just trying to provide for their families. There is nothing alien about who we are or how we live our lives. We’re very normal human beings, breathing, trying to get through the day just like you, only that we put all of our faith in Allah while at it. Never forget that there are over 1.7 billion Muslims around the world, judging all of us based on the wrongful acts of a few extremists/terrorists ( if you want to call them that ) , which i have to point out, has nothing to do with Islam, is just a little ( maybe not a little ) superficial. Its one very effective way of spreading hate and prejudice. Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 4.55.23 PM