The Pilgrim’s Regress

It happened again. To be sincere, I’m extremely tempted to give up cause I think you have given up on me.

This time it didn’t  even feel like I was doing anything strange. It felt like I had been doing it forever.

I might as well strip myself of the title, it doesn’t fit anymore. People shouldn’t expect the best from me anymore, cause I don’t deserve it. I’m not any better than the one who never wore the title, or the one who got stripped of it a long time ago.

Oh, how I hate it when they address me by the title. It irks- not just  because I know it does not fit, but there shouldn’t even be a title. Even if there is, it shouldn’t be known. But that’s not what is important right now. What’s important is I lost it a long time ago.

It doesn’t matter that No one knows or that i haven’t lost it completely. I feel like I have, and by the way, I’m not even talking about the title. Each time I think I have it back- him and our love, I feel my self reaching that place we were before, I feel the excitement building…. she comes in. Ever so subtle, she never comes with blazing guns or a war cry. No, she comes in with a warm smile, waving a white flag in peace. And I should know it’s not real, I should know it’s a ploy, it’s not the first time she’s pulled this. It’s an old one, but I fall for it every single time. And it won’t be the last time. But like the one before this, “you are wiser, you are stronger. You know her ways, she won’t catch you off guard this time.”

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Those words you whisper to yourself, you know they are not true. But it’s too late, you can already feel her warmth coursing through your veins. And so you lean forward as she brings out her oils- the soothing aroma of those oils.  She did this the last time, you remember. But it feels so good, so you don’t stop her. And so you smile as you watch her reach the rug beneath your feet to pull it out. Your beautiful voice rings out in such ecstasy.

Crashing always feels so good!!! And the after feeling is even better cause she sits with you through the painful pleasure of it all. But you always remember, oh you can never forget what this pleasure is costing you. Him, us, our love. Your shoulders sag once again in defeat, as you look up at her. She knows what’s coming but she’s not sad this time because she knows she’s got you in her shackles. And like the last time, she smiles as she lets go of you, she knows you’ll be back.

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This time, you don’t run back into his arms weeping. You shuffle your feet; waiting just outside the circle. Because falling isn’t strange anymore, it’s become a habit you can’t let go of. Weeping is nothing but an act, or so  you think. But if it is, why do you always find your way back. Maybe falling is something you became used to, but staying on the ground isn’t you just yet. And that’s what gets you moving, back in his direction. Because you don’t want to stay down. Crashing feels good, but living in the ruins?

No, that’s not you. Because a part of you isn’t numb. You still want him, you still need him and his love—your love, it’s what sustains you. And you know somehow, he is still waiting for you. So your steps quicken. Ain’t you so fortunate?

But then there is the voice whispering in your head, telling you, next time you may not be so lucky. Your next crash may kill you. Worse, you may lose your marbles, and be left with amnesia.

Tell me sweet soul, please tell me, what happens when you can’t find can’t remember your way back home?

Adeola O

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I bet you know why I am writing to you. Yes, you guessed right. It’s because I still haven’t gotten the car you promised me since i left secondary school (in 2008!!!!!). It’s 2017 now, and I’m supposed to be a grown woman, but I don’t forget promises that quickly.

No Dad, you can’t get away by claiming sudden amnesia. Remember how you said once I get admitted into the university, “I will buy a car for you“. I remember how you even described it. It was supposed to be one of those cute golf cars. Instead the minute I got into uni, you handed me the keys to your jalopi (remember your blue Camry?). “It’s just for a short while” is what you told me when I gave you the look. Well dad, my brother inherited the same blue camry from me, and just in case you can’t remember- I STILL DIDN’T GET MY CUTE GOLF CAR AND THIS IS 2017.

It’s okay, dad. No, really it is. I just felt the need to take you on a short guilt trip (:-p). I’m not complaining, because you have been an awesome father to me and I feel blessed to have you. I’m extremely glad I have you as my dad.

I still bask in the glory of the tales of how we were inseparable when I was a baby- that is until my evil sister came along, kmt. But let’s go back to the happy days- you know when they asked if I was adopted or if you had married someone of another race because you were so dark and I looked like I escaped albinism (sadly when I look in the mirror today all I see is my burnt face- Naija sun haff finish me).

You are the kind of father everyone prays to have. You are always there for me, most especially those times I went on a splurge spree and I was broke. I didn’t deserve your help half of the time, but you couldn’t stand to see me suffer. (I promise that’s not the only reason I love you).

Remember those times you always called to check up on me, when I was lost in my world and did not care about any other person but myself? And how you labour over me in prayers every day, I probably won’t be here if you didn’t.

Oh, and our ironing lessons! “it’s all in the way you fold…” You’d tell me.  I hate to break it to you, I still haven’t gotten the hang of it- I can’t iron without leaving a single crease.

I remember all the nights I slept off in the sitting room, just so you’d carry me to my room. I never really appreciated it, until the one time you were away, and I woke up in the dead of the night, all alone in the dark-gosh I was too frightened to even move a muscle (I think mum left me out there to teach me a lesson though).

Thanks for having my back when I did the most crazy things and for not ratting me out to mum. I won’t forget that time you came home earlier than usual and you met a boy with me in YOUR HOUSE!!! I can’t imagine what was going through your head even as you walked the boy calmly out of the house, and without raising your voice asked me if I was ready to get married (lol). I was so ashamed and I was mentally ready for you to scream the roof down, but shockingly you did not. Just in case you still don’t believe me, I SWEAR WE WERE NOT DOING ANYTHING!!!

Dad, you are still one of the few kind men I know. You always waited on me and spoilt me silly when I was ill. I still don’t know how you do that, I never know what to do when people around me are ill (I think I got that from mum).

Most importantly, thank you for letting me choose my own path and be myself, even when you did not approve of some of my ways. I can still hear you muttering under your breath about how adding weaves to my hair is demonic (lmao). You never complained or berated me when i took over your car stereo and played songs that you didn’t approve of.

I know Father’s day has since passed, but I hope you know I love you Dad. I hope I make you a proud father.

Your only  first daughter

Toffy

P.S.: Dad, I really won’t mind that car right now. Adulthood isn’t what I thought it would be.

Just kidding… Hahaha.

Candle in the Wind

You are probably wondering, “what’s with the title?” Oh well, truthfully I we I don’t know too. But I do know that we are sorry to have gone AWOL for so long. Nope we don’t have any excuses. We just got too busy trying to set our lives in order, we stopped doing some of the things we love. We sincerely apologise. And to make up for our very long leave of absence, and since we have never done this (I bet you are curious too) we decided to talk about what ILEMONA really is about. Let’s start with the name.

Ilemona means light in one of Nigeria’s favourite languages- Oh well, sort of. To us it means a variety of things- light of the dawn (that made more sense in my head), light, candlelight, dawning light… you get the drift, dontcha? But you see, when we came up with the name, we didn’t realise we were murdering the language (I can’t even bring myself to mention what language it is out of shame-Some of you smart ones must have figured it out by now), we thought we did a real good translation, seeing that we are pretty smart ourselves. Sad to say we didn’t. But the name sounded cooler than the real deal, and it grew on us, so we stuck with it. Plus we feel like it gives us a different identity. So, there, you have it.

And then, what is ILEMONA about? Like we said before, Ilemona is a blog about random stuff- your worries are our worries- we talk about any thing and everything. Let’s call it an open diary.

Now, to the difficult question of the day- Who are “we”?

WE ARE MANY!!!!

Okay, that doesn’t read so funny on paper.

Seriously, there’s the owner of the blog, Toffy (those who know, know) who is the key function here. And then there is her friend, who likes to pretend she’s not into this idea, let’s call her “the Friend”. And most importantly, there are the variety of other individuals who give the blog the occasional “random” spice it needs (it could be you, yup, you read right- YOU!). Now you know it’s not a one man business, that’s why it’s so difficult to stick to one pronoun (you must have noticed that by now).

Soooooo, it took us long enough… (insert drumroll here), but we are open for business😊. We ain’t going anywhere this time, but you should know, we can’t do this without you. So tell a friend to tell a friend, we are back and taking our business very serious.

P.s.: remember that part we said you can be one of those people who add random spice to Ilemona? So if you have a story you want to tell or feel should be published on a platform somewhere, and you don’t have such platform yet or you want to do it anonymously, please write to us at ilemona@gmail.com. You shouldn’t worry much about rights, we got you 😉. We would love to read from you soon.

THE BREADWINNER PROBLEM

 

You remember when we Nigerians used to think that we were the only sane ones and oyinbo people were just plain crazy when it comes to marriages. Oh yea i forgot, we still think that. Sadly, it seems we Nigerians are not any better, our African mentality of marriage is quickly disintegrating. The “African mentality” (just in case you don’t know) is the belief that once you have entered” a marriage, you have “entered” it!!! It is strictly till death do you part. And the worst part is that you hear the most flimsy excuses- remember the one about the wife who could not stand her husband pressing the toothpaste tube from the middle (I hate that too btw). Although I am not sure that story was legit. But i must admit that there are some legitimate reasons for divorce.

The one major cause that still gets at me is the money problem. It’s funny the way things are going really rosy till the man’s “oil well” dries up and you start wondering what happened to the declarations of love and the submissive wife.

I’ve come across some appalling instances in my line of work. There was this woman whose child was sent home and his mother refused to pay even though she could afford to. Well, according to her, the rule is that the husband pays the children’s school fees (who comes up with these rules anyway). She went as far as stating this to her son’s hearing and even calling him useless!!! (who says that in front of a child…*sigh*)

There was also the woman who blatantly refused to pay rent her husband could not afford. It did not matter that she could afford it and save them the embarrassment. And oh yea, the one that packed all the interior decorations and the furniture in the house because… I think I’m digressing.

I could go on and on. But I’m pretty sure you get my point. And in all these cases, the men are tagged “unfortunate”  and are suddenly not good enough to be called husbands anymore. And what’s next? The woman moves straight out and may decide to go with some choice items in the house as well.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be so bad if the woman takes over financially. But I’ve learnt time after time, it takes only a superwoman to step up and be the breadwinner (without any necessary hassle) even for a short period of time. And a super super man to allow it and wholly recover from his setbacks. Unfortunately, not all men can deal with this. Most will feel emasculated and suddenly become emotionally abusive or it may lead to something even worse and of course the marriage breaks down irretrievably.  Then, there is the woman who will wonder why she has to bring home the bacon; many thoughts are coursing through her head. If she has to provide, doesn’t that her make her the boss of the home? Or worse still, she begins to think the man is taking her for granted- i mean she feels she’s doing so much and all he does is he keeps taking everything from her.

I wish we would see marriage for what it really is or rather what it should be.
A contract-A partnership!! It’s why you are both in it together, it’s not  a one party thing. It’s so you can cover each other’s rear ends, depending on who is wearing the torn dress. It is about striving to be perfect together. It is holding onto each other and ensuring that one is there to be a support when the other trips, when one partner falls the other lifts up. At the end of it all, you both shine together. So if today, he is going through a hard time, it doesn’t mean that you (woman) can’t step up and do a few things. And it doesn’t also mean that you (man) have been emasculated, it just means it’s time to step up your game- you don’t want to be that infidel Paul referred to, do you?

Don’t sit in the mess and grovel.

 

 

A woman’s place (repost)

There’s still one thing my mother says that grates on my nerves every time. I’m not so sure i’ll ever get over it. It’s that sentence she utters when i do something really good for her, those 5 words;

oko olowo wa fe o” ( you will marry a rich husband)

Maybe I just don’t understand the wisdom of the old. But why can’t she just pray for me. Why can’t she simply say, “omo mi (my child) you will be rich.” How did my husband whom she’s yet to meet even come into the conversation. But of course if i dare voice my thoughts, she’d ask,”so you want to be richer than your husband?”And my smart mouth won’t be able to help but reply, “duh…  why can’t I be?” You can imagine the look of horror on her face when she shakes her head and says “omokekere n se e.” (you are just a child)

Please don’t get me wrong. I do want my husband to be rich. What I don’t really care is which of us should be richer.

To most people, a woman is nothing more but a help- a caretaker, her “lord” will buy her the necessary things, and when he deems it fit (only when he deems it fit) bestow her with luxury. Here’s another example; on a random day, I was talking cars with a couple of friends and i remember saying my dream car was a mustang GT (the latest model at that time) and one of the guys looked at me and said “well your husband will buy it for you.” I was shocked because i never thought about it that way. I’ve was always thought ‘I’ will buy the car when i have the money. Instead, it was automatically assumed my husband will pay for it. I just don’t get it. Does he think only my husband will be able to afford? Or that my husband “should” be the one to get it for me?

What caused all this soul searching you might ask? Well, a while ago, I saw an episode of the TV series scandal where Olivia Pope was trying to convince Melany Grant to talk about why she stayed with her husband even though he had a mistress. What she said (if you are lost, please just go and watch the whole of scandal. You will thank me later.) pointed out a woman’s place in this world and actually inspired me to write this.

Let’s face it, it’s a man’s world and we all just live in it. Someone once said that, as blacks we are very low on the totem pole, but to be black and a woman is even worse. Albeit, sad but true. Most women juggle a whole lot that’s enough to drive some people crazy, but they do it without complaining. Yet we always play second fiddle; we will forever be defined by who our father is, who we date, who we marry…. God forbid we are viewed as our own selves. We are like our husbands appendages, his handbag to be seen and admired not heard, to just sit there and be pretty ( okay maybe i’m going a bit overboard. There are many women in the limelight).

I remember telling a close friend of mine, that i might keep my name and not take my husband’s last name. Oh my…. that did not go down well at all! The popular opinion is that it will be an affront to my future husband- like i’m undermining him… emasculating him blah blah blah. Is it so bad if i just want a little bit of me to remain since everything i am will cease to exist once i sign the dotted line?  Is it so wrong if people stop considering how our male counterparts feel and their silly egos? Instead think of how to some women, marriage is a loss of identity. 

And oh yea, I’m not leaving that out. That notion the world has, that we can’t be fulfilled until we get married or rather except we marry at a certain age 😒. I’m not saying it’s not okay to set goals or marry early, I’m only saying we should not put too much pressure on ourselves. (Although, after hearing my mum give examples of friends of hers who are not married till now, i’d say “please do marry when the opportunity presents itself”) Most of us are not even mentally prepared for it. The point is one day i will be referred to as his wife, his personal cheer leader, to hold his hand, to build him up, encourage him, care for him, referred to as someone else’s mother but never as my own individual.There are days i look forward to marriage and dream about all the beautiful babies, my husband and i will have. But there are days … (sigh).

Anyways, (after this crazy random rant) I’m calm and sitting on my bed. And I’m thinking; I have changed-I’m starting to be less of a feminist and more of a  realist. I’ll just follow the crowd, at least for my mother’s peace of mind and my sanity.

MCQ: Common mistakes to avoid

By Tobi Amoo.

 

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The Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) exams is part of the final bar examinations. It contributes 20% to your overall grading in each course. Basically, you will be required to answer multiple choice questions by selecting and shading the most appropriate answer.

You must however be careful to avoid some common mistakes that have been seen to re occur over the years. Here are some:

  1. No practice.

The student who excels in the MCQ is one who can achieve speed without sacrificing accuracy. The accuracy is a big one, however the speed can be practised and mastered.

You’ll be required to answer 100 multiple choice questions in 5 courses within an allotted time (60minutes; but prepare for 50). There will be scenarios to comprehend in order to answer the questions. There may also be registers which will involve selecting correct options to fit into an incomplete passage. Within the same period, you have to shade properly on the answer sheet. As you can see, the MCQ can be nicknamed ‘Need For Speed’.

The best way to overcome the challenge is to simulate the MCQ and practise for speed. Note that I did not say you should study the questions. No, please don’t gather past questions so as to predict likely questions. It won’t work!

Pick past MCQ papers; select a year; move to a place without distraction; put off (or put away) your phone; set an alarm (or countdown timer) for 60minutes (although 50 is better); note the time you start; START; if you finish before your alarm buzzes, that’s awesome, note the minutes you used; if the alarm buzzes while you’re still answering, stop yourself, note how many questions you still have to cover, practice again using other years till the alarm buzz no longer stops you; either you stop before the alarm buzzes or the alarm stops you, practise over and over till the exam day.

Please do not assume that you’re fast and you have speed in writing exams. It’s better to practise. And even if you are fast, you lose nothing in practice. Truth is you may be fast and all, but once in the exams hall, everything changes, time stops running and starts to fly. I had practised the MCQ so well that I was using about 35minutes to answer the 100 questions (oh yeah! 35), but in the hall I used the exact 60minutes we were given. As a matter of fact, as soon as I shaded the last box, the invigilators announced ‘Time Up’. So I wonder what would have happened if I had not practiced.

You still have to read your books though. Don’t use all the day practising only. Balance is key.

  1. Going late.

As clearly shown in no. 1, the time is not enough as it were, so you can’t afford to cut it short the more. I know you may be wondering how someone can go late for such important exams. But it does happen. Not because students sleep off or are nonchalant (although that can’t be ruled out) but because they want to read up some more or as they say “Make I just check one or two things. I dey come” and they end up going late.

A person who goes late has lesser time (i’m sure you know there’s no extra time) and is already unsettled from the start. So, ensure you’re punctual.

Also, make sure you know your exam hall before the exams day as it is another cause of lateness. A student who assumes he’s in Hall A only to arrive and discover he’s in Hall B which is on the other side of the campus, will end up arriving late. Don’t assume.

Then, in the event that you want to take a nap on the exams day, after your brain has been saturated from reading (which is not bad), please make sure you are not alone in the room and let your roommate(s) know so they can wake you up in case the nap becomes a celestial adventure.

  1. Using the wrong answer sheet.

Each candidate has an answer sheet with his/her exam no. printed on it. Normally, your answer sheet would have been placed on your desk before you enter the hall. However, you should ensure to cross-check and confirm that the number on the answer sheet on your desk is correctly yours before you start to shade.

You should also be careful not to soil or damage your answer sheet in anyway, as you can only have one and it is irreplaceable.

  1. Shading in the wrong order.

Be very careful and observant when you start shading. The order in which the courses are arranged in the question paper isn’t usually the same with the answer sheet. For instance, the Question paper may start with Criminal Law while the answer sheet may start with Property Law.

Confirm that you’re answering a course in the corresponding shading box on the answer sheet.

  1. Taking your answer sheet out of the hall.

At the end of the paper, you’ll be required to place your answer sheet on the desk, and leave the hall with your Question paper and exam no. printout slip. However, the sheet is very light, thin and may be a little sticky. So take extra caution to ensure that you do not mistakenly take the answer sheet out.

The implication of taking the answer sheet out and returning it for submission, is that it may have been ‘tampered’ with and therefore becomes ‘inadmissible’ in the court of the invigilators.

Hi, sorry we did not publish anything last week, even bloggers need to take a break !!! thanks for bearing with us. As usual please like and share the link, don’t copy and paste!!!

 

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

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By Ayo

Have you ever witnessed (or heard of) someone do something unbelievably atrocious, or so vile, you  pause and wonder how he/she could be capable of such despicable act. And of course, the next thing you hear out of their mouths is, “the devil made me do it.”

From fathers who defile their young daughters; grown men raping toddlers to the serial killer;  there is that one being who features in every evil act- the devil. The first image that comes to our imagination is the physical manifestation with the red horns, two-pronged pitchfork and the arrow shaped tail (raise your hands if you saw that one in Tom and Jerry)Heavenly_Puss_1949_08_devildog

If you are like me, you may have realised that the image is probably a metaphor for his decadence. And if you are a Christian, you’ve probably  read that passage of the bible where Lucifer is described as a very handsome  and angelic being with a beautiful voice, and was the leader of the angelic hosts and God’s favourite before he caused over a third of those angels to fall and got them all banished (some say to hell, while some say or still believe they still roam this earth, oh well…). Lucifer was drop dead gorgeous, in an angelic sort of way. Okay maybe I’m overdoing it but even his name makes you think of a pretty boy, doesn’t it? think about it……. ‘Lucifer Morningstar‘ the light bringer yada yada!!!

Back to the crux of the matter, blaming the devil can be traced right back to the beginning of ages. Let’s do a little history, shall we? When you think of all the evil in the world today, don’t you sometimes find yourself tracing the blame from your forefathers to Adam and Eve. Yup! Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Remember the story of the fall of Man (it’s more than just a story anyway, but let’s not get to that today), how the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When God quizzed Adam, his reply was:

‘…the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and i did eat’

So the blame shifted and it was the woman’s turn to be quizzed and of course she said,    ‘the serpent beguiled me and i did eat

There, you have it!!! Do you see the pattern of blame? Adam blamed Eve, and she subsequently blamed the serpent. Trust me, we can make that tree longer: you do something bad–>you blame a friend–>friend blames parent–>parent blames evil great aunt–>evil great aunt blames the evil world–>it goes on and on till it comes down to that one story–>Adam and Eve–>And then you get the ‘not so poor’ serpent

This is not some theological debate or a reminder of the one story no one seems to ever forget. The whole point to this is that Eve, like most of us, forgot she had that one thing that other beings (even supernatural beings) covet- Free Will. Free will is nothing more than the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion. Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action. It is closely linked to the concepts of responsibility, praise, guilt, sin, and other judgments which apply only to actions that are freely chosen.

The serpent did not make Eve do anything, it just made a “subtle” suggestion. It’s just like when you are about to *insert worst possible act you can do/or have ever done* And you go to your best friend for advise and she says, “gosh you are too uptight, just do it already! go be a slut” or she says with profound wisdom, “why do you want to? It will mess up the whole of your life“. Basically, you have two options. You could choose to go with her advice or, choose not to listen to her and do the exact opposite. In the end you absolutely cannot go back to her and say, “you made me do it” She did not. She did not hold a knife to your neck now, did she? Even if she did, you could have chosen to die… okay that’s so not the point

So…  maybe, just maybe we need to accept the blame of our own actions and stop trying to distribute the blame like it is some emotion to be shared. The devil may have whispered into your ears, but hey, I’m pretty sure he did not tie a rope to your leg and drag you all the way. Let’s accept that we can be really depraved and stop believing the devil is that much of a genius.