Thursday, 23 February 2017

GIFTED

Hello Hi,

I hope you've been great. I'm back with another story. In the spirit of Valentine's day past, I wrote this piece. Enjoy and feel free to comment. Please also like and share with friends etc. xx


GIFTED

The Huffington Post

Amaka had grown to be a wiser woman over the years. Her past relationships and those of her friends had taught her to prioritize what was more important in life. With every wrong relationship she had experienced, she became more certain that she was closer to her prince charming and farther away from her frogs; that was hope to her. She had had multiple heart aches and every time she went through them, she updated her list of qualities that she did desired and those she did not. The interesting thing about her list was that she also had a segment titled “my weaknesses.” This was where she listed the things she had come to realise were her bad habits or things that she felt she needed to work on, in general, as she believed that no one was perfect, including her. She wanted growth, to grow into the woman that the kind of man she desired would also desire. And from all the years, she had discovered that her Achilles’ heels were gifts.

Oh yes, Amaka loved gifts very much, regardless of what they were. As long as they came wrapped or in pretty boxes, she would get excited and very happy. It was not because she was materialistic, she was not; rather for her, gifts used to be a sign of love. Growing up, she grew accustomed to the little gifts she received from her parents, especially her father, and other loved ones on occasions such as Christmas, New Year, Birthdays, from trips and even sometimes on random occasions. She also had no hesitation or problem with giving gifts too as that was her way of showing love and appreciation. However, things had happened over the years to Amaka that made her review her perception about gifts.

These changes started little by little but became more prominent with her ex-boyfriend, Chima. The first time he flew into Nigeria to visit her from the States, he bought her an IPhone which made her ecstatic; the next time, it was an IPad and the time after that, it was an Iwatch. “He must truly love you”, her friends said as they all stared at the gifts in awe. She was also excited but something felt off to her. It was not only because she did not think that he could genuinely afford the gifts but somehow she felt that the gifts were being used to cover up for something that was missing. She just was not sure of what it was but she began to realise that every time he got her upset, he would appear with a gift and then, they would sweep everything else under the carpet like nothing happened. She tried to convince herself that there was no way that he would buy her so many expensive presents if he did not love her. Things got really sour with time in her relationship as cheating rumours were flying around as well as stealing rumours and slowly her trust for him started to plummet. But every time she found a reason to break up with him, he got her a gift to keep her with him. This carried on for a few years until she got a dreaded call one morning. The lady on the other end said she was his main chick and he had run away with some things she had helped him buy without paying her. “Things like what?” Amaka asked, holding her breath; “Many things” the lady replied, “including an IPad, IPhone and I-Watch.” That was the day Amaka’s relationship with Chima ended, after two long years; years that she would never get back.

But time had gone past since then and she had grown although she found it difficult to go into another relationship or accept gifts. It was no surprise that she had developed trust issues and in every new relationship, she wondered if she was the side chick. Now, she was dating another man, Ikenna. They had been together for about 6 months and she was beginning to feel more confident in their love or at least that was what she thought until he disappeared on Valentine’s day. No gift, no cards, no message from him except his reply to hers wishing him a happy Valentine’s day. She had sent him some chocolates and even though she was not expecting any expensive present, she had thought that he would at least take her out for dinner or try to spend the day with her. She was disappointed and when she voiced her concerns to him, his response did not make any sense to her.
“You know that Valentine’s day is just another day and we don’t have to wait for that day to show love” those were Ikenna’s words. 
“Yes, I know that we don’t have to wait but I still think it’s important to spend it with loved ones, just like Christmas, birthdays etc.” she replied annoyed.
“Fine, we can go out for dinner this weekend and we can stop on our way to buy a gift, if that’s what you want.” Ikenna replied.
“That’s not what I want…” and so their argument continued.
Amaka had questions and she wanted to know where Ikenna had been on that day, who he was with and what he had been doing. He had refused to give her any meaningful answer the entire week and every day, they had a new argument.

A week had passed since the event but Amaka was still not satisfied and became more doubtful. She brought up the issue again and this time around, Ikenna walked away and came back into the room a few minutes later. “I know what will cheer you up” he said, “I have a gift for you.” Amaka instantly turned away. “Don’t think you can buy me with gifts!” she snapped without looking at what he was holding. She refused to look at him or receive anything and insisted on finishing her conversation. So Ikenna was forced to keep the presents away and answer her questions. He was shocked by her attitude and so was she, although she also felt proud of herself for rejecting his gift, whatever it had been. For her, she had succeeded in achieving a milestone in overcoming her major weakness and she had shown Ikenna that she could not be distracted by material things; something she felt like she should have done with her ex-boyfriend. They had a long conversation that night and Amaka came to the conclusion that Ikenna was not being honest with her. Although she did not mention it to him, she knew that she had to break up with him soon and just before she fell asleep, she told herself that she would do it the next day before she left his place.

It was just past midnight when Amaka woke up to use the bathroom. As she walked back to the bed, she saw the wrapped present. Ignore it, a voice said to her but she wondered what harm it would do if she just took a look; after all she had already made her point clear to him about not being able to be purchased with gifts. She was just curious to know what was inside. She took a look at Ikenna and he seemed to be fast asleep. So she carefully unwrapped the gift as quietly as she could. She covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming when she saw what was inside; it was a Rolex diamond wristwatch and she stood there in admiration until she was startled by Ikenna’s voice.


“Do you like it?” He asked; she almost dropped the watch in shock. She was speechless and confused at that moment because she had been so sure that he was asleep. She was not sure of how to respond so she just smiled. He got up and kissed her “I knew you would like it” and then took her back to bed. That night, Amaka cursed in her mind “Damn curiosity, Damn gifts!” she said to herself. She was very upset with herself because she knew that once again, the breakup which she had scheduled for the next day was no longer going to happen on that day.

Thank you for reading; don't forget to leave your comments and share please and follow me on:

IG: @ugochiukah
Twitter: @vivio_gogo

Have a beautiful remaining week!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2016 HAPPENINGS AND 2017 EXPECTATIONS


Hello hi,

Happy New Year! I’m so excited for 2017. 2016 was quite eventful and went by quickly but I am extremely thankful. I felt like I experienced a lot…from getting and giving heart aches, to anxiety, to romance, to travelling, to health matter, to peace! Sometimes, it was so confusing but God always had a way of showing me his presence. There were times I could literally feel His favour around me such that I could almost touch it. I got to spend time with some of my family members, made new friends, rekindled old friendships, and dumped a praying mantis (ooh! I almost wrote a story about that!). And speaking about stories, I know I have not written in a very long time, not because I did not want to, but I was engrossed in other types of writing and duties. I have missed writing stories a lot, it was like a therapy for me and a way of expressing myself so I hope to get back to business this year. I’m definitely adding it to my goals for the New Year.





And that reminds me of my 2016 goals – I had quite a few, including things like getting my learner’s driver license (I achieved that in November, ha ha, better late than never). I love to plan things and write them down so I had written some goals at the beginning of the year and I took a quick look at them recently. My other goals included things like:

  • ·       Publishing X number of articles (To be continued)
  • ·       Weighing X kg (± Xkg) (I went in and out of the scale but at least I was conscious of my situation, which is the key)
  • ·       Learning more French (oui, je l’apprends encore)
  • ·       Ride my bicycle (to be fair, the weather was not always good; in fact it snowed today :P so TBC)

And last but not the least:
  • ·       Getting married! (I didn’t even try for this one)


Lol! When I was reviewing my accomplishments and things I needed to work on based on my list, I realized that this was written at the bottom, with a pencil, and in a smaller font. I do not remember why it was so, maybe I had added it at the last minute to my list and maybe I was too shy and did not want others to see it since I put the list up in my office next to my desk. Perhaps, this was why I did not achieve it, lol, so I will work on it next year. Nah, I’m sure it was just not yet God’s time for me. J

I may not have achieved everything on my list but I am happy I wrote them down. Just like a popular saying “Planning is everything but plans are nothing”, I think it’s a great idea to plan and so I’m making a new list for 2017 including carry-overs from 2016.

Overall, I am thankful to the Almighty and hopeful for next year. Three of the things that I ask God for next year are Love, Faith and Peace. A summary of my year:

January – I found myself singing “fool again” by Westlife and “survivor” by Destiny child
February – Family time, whoop whoop!
March – Lenten season; prayer mood
April – had my annual ice cream cake
May – Established good friendships
June – Anxious, confused, worried (much ado about everything)
July – Regain of hope
August – Worked like a bee
September – Gulliver’s travels
October – A Brazilian experience
November – Had the best poutine in Montreal
December – Got to experience common side effects of morphine and I pray I never had to take it again!

So that’s it, you might see some stories titled as some of the phrases above, coming soon. Once again, I am thankful to God and my wonderful family and friends for a special year and I look forward to a better year.
Happy birthday to my amazing little sister (who wants my handbag). I pray God continues to show you favour abundantly and bless you accordingly.
 I wish you all a very happy new year. Please tune in for more stories this year; I promise that I will try to be good.
And follow me on twitter: @vivio_gogo and Instagram: @ugochiukah

xx

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The 21st Century Relationship(s) by Ngozi Okoroji

Hello Hi,

I'm back again! This time around, the story is from a friend sharing some interesting thoughts...:

pic source: forfriendsforever.wordpress.com
The 21st Century Relationship(s)

As a child I watched my folks and how they related with friends, most of which were bosom and from childhood. They chatted about growing up, what the village was like, walking to school, farm, market to sell goods with mama, going to the stream to fetch water, wash, and play. How they all grew up, got married and are scattered around the world. What amazed me was how they all supported each other and gathered together every time there was an event (good or bad). I picked a lesson from their relationship - sacrifice keeps true friendship.


The English dictionary defines a friend as a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations. The bible in Proverbs 18:4 defines a friend as one who sticks closer than a brother. With these definitions let me talk about the 21st century friendship.

I like to use myself or people around me as examples. Since birth till date (least that I know am an adult now), I can count how many friends have come and gone. I am compelled to write this based on experiences with friends; speaking to others made me realise that everyone had a thing or two to say about friendship.

The 21st century friendship is a carnivorous one. We feed off each other, we can only be friends when there's a need or benefit from it. Unknowingly, the 21st century friendship can be described as ‘use and dump’. My realisation from the old and new generation is that as technology evolved so did friendship. It grew from making sacrifices, trusting each other, sticking up for each other etc. to convenience, lies, being two-faced etc. Someone once told me that friends could mar or make you. So it's important to choose wisely. A school of thought says that like minds attract each other. I think it's become something material that attracts one (money, beauty, brains, contracts,
wealth, influence etc.). I once knew that friendship had these few characteristics: Trust, sacrifice, tolerance, sticking up for each other etc. The modern day friendship is filled with lies, deceit, jealousy and so much negativity.

This even applies to relationships. A young man meets a lady his attracted to and all he thinks of is how to sleep with her and all the many things she has to offer physically as opposed to getting to know her (personality, background, temperance, religion, beliefs, ideologies, intellect) etc. I once met a young man who went with me to meet my friends for our Friday night hangout. It was our (I and the young man) first time of meeting and I appreciated the gesture of taking me to meet with friends and bringing me back home. In my little head, I was thinking that maybe we will do this again - just the two of us and get to know each other better, but of course he ruined it when he kissed me. At that moment, I froze but since the car was off, I played along and kissed him back. Maybe I shouldn't have kissed back, but at that moment I couldn't think straight. I guess that's the price to pay for hopping into free rides. I can't get that scene out of my head, every time I reminisce about the world we live in, I can't help but think we live in a rotten age.

With all my research and experience from failed relationships, I ponder what will be left of this generation and the future generations if relationships are based on all of the above listed.
I pray someone who reads this learns to savage relationships. Let’s add a little spice from the old generation friendship to our new school friendship and make the best from it. I drop my pen here, till next time when my thought takes me elsewhere.


I am not a conventional writer but I felt inspired to this. I hope it enriches someone.

Thank y'all for reading and as usual, please comment, share with a "friend" :) and remain blessed.

Follow me on twitter: @vivio_gogo ; Instagram: @ugochiukah

Monday, 1 August 2016

THE ONLY BLACK WOMAN

Hello Hi,

Happy new month! I cannot believe that it is already August, wow! I know that it's been ages since I wrote and posted on my blog. I have missed writing but to be fair, I have been doing some other types of writing :). Just a reminder that my last BellaNaija post can be found here and hopefully you will get more from me soon. I also hope to resume writing more often so watch out please. Today's story is something I hope many can relate to so please read, comment and share with your friends. I wish you a lovely month filled with beautiful things.


photo credit: thegoodhairdiaries.blogspot.com

THE ONLY BLACK WOMAN

It was good news! Hali had just received a scholarship to go and study abroad. She was excited and looking forward to a new opportunity but at the same time she felt sad because she would have to leave her friends and relatives and go far away. Presently, she did not live in her country, Ethiopia, but she still felt at home in Kenya. Not only were the two countries close to each other, she had friends and relatives living there too and she could easily find her native foods to eat. In fact, there were so many similarities that it felt like she had never left home.
Hali had made the perfect friends; she always thought to herself of how lucky she had been. There was the talkative Hewan, the sweet and gentle Liza, the event planner Kibre and the religious Temar. They were all course mates and had just finished their Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. From the first day they met, there had been a strong connection and although it was unintentional, they had formed a girl squad with themselves. They were always together and very protective of one another and barely spoke to their other schoolmates. None of them had a boyfriend and unknown to them, they were seen as snobs, with rumours even being perpetuated that they were a lesbian cult group. However, they never noticed as they were engrossed in each other’s life throughout their four years of study. Hali’s travel was therefore a big change in their lives. Of course, Temar, Hewan, Liza and Kibre were happy for Hali but they were also sad to say goodbye. Hali was not just leaving Kenya but she was going far away to the United States of America to further her education and get a Master’s degree in Pharmacology. The other girls were not yet ready for a second degree; Hewan wanted to work first and earn some money; Temar wanted to become a business woman; Liza, who was an only child, wanted to get married and start a family; and Kibre was not yet sure of what she wanted and wanted to take a year out. That was the beauty of the group; even though everyone else outside the group saw them as the same kind of girls; they all had very different personalities and goals.

The night before Hali left the country, the other girls threw her a farewell party. It was no surprise that only a few people attended since they had not exactly been friendly with other people. Nonetheless, it was an emotional party. They exchanged gifts, recounted their favorite moments and made plans on how to keep in touch. Towards the end of the night, Hali became more nervous as reality dawned on her that she was leaving indeed to a new continent, where she knew no one and especially to a state where she heard that there were barely any black people. As the girls packed up to leave her apartment, Hali grabbed Kibre’s hands, the most outgoing one amongst them whom she trusted to continue to organize their friendly meetings.
With tears in her eyes, she said to Kibre “Promise me that you will keep in touch and you will make sure that the others do, please.”
Kibre made the first promise and with that all the other girls made their vows too. It was not going to be difficult, they assured Hali. She would quickly make friends, but their friendship would remain solid and once they got good jobs or husbands or figured out whatever they wanted to do with their lives, they would get US visas and pay her a visit hopefully within a year. They also promised to Skype regularly during the weekends, since they all had access to the internet and with these, Hali felt more confident about their friendship. The next morning, she left with the earliest plane for the state of Vermont in the USA.

As soon as she alighted from the plane, Hali could feel the difference. Nothing was similar to where she had come from and nothing looked familiar. There was no East African at the airport or in her school hostel, or in her classroom, or in her church. Everywhere she went, she looked around for East Africans but as the days went by, she began to realise that she was being too optimistic. Any African would do, she eventually thought to herself and after weeks with no success, she wished for any ‘black’ person. When months had gone by and she had still found none, she settled for looking for any ‘coloured’ person. It was not because she had any problem with making Caucasian friends but she just wanted somebody that she could share her spicy foods with and someone who understood her afro hair. She had become so spoilt in Kenya that now it was difficult for her to do certain things for herself like making her hair and doing her own make up. There were times that she considered going to the neighbouring city as she heard that there were more diversities in the population but as time went on and with the increasing school work, she gave up on the chase. She became used to being the only black person there and she even nicknamed herself “the only black woman”.

Hali tried to keep in touch with her friends in Kenya from the day she arrived in the states. She already had a lot to tell them but the time difference was a barrier as when she was up in the morning, they were already going to bed and vice versa. Their first group skype call was scheduled for the weekend after she arrived. All of them attended but the call barely took place as the internet connection was horrible for some reason on that day. Only Temar showed up during the next meeting scheduled a couple of weeks after, because Kibre had begun her travels, Temar was having a training for a new job and Liza had just gotten a new boyfriend with whom she was out with. Hewan, she learnt, had fallen out with the group shortly after she left for the states. Hali and Temar spoke for a short while; the conversation was awkward and that was when she realised that she had never really had anything in common with Temar and they had never spent time alone before throughout their college years. Somehow spending time in a group was different from spending time alone. Therefore, Hali looked forward to the full group meetings but that never took place because one weekend after the other, there was always an excuse for it not to happen. Hali tried to reach out to them individually via Facebook, WhatsApp and other apps but after a while, it seemed like she was the only one making the efforts and nobody else was interested. Thus, after some months, she was no longer in touch with any of them and it was via Facebook that she found out that Kibre and Hewan had gotten married, Liza had returned home to Ethiopia and Temar had started her small business in costume jewelry.

Hali had not been invited to any of the weddings and even when she tried to reach out to congratulate her friends on their accomplishments, she received bland responses. It became clear that she had either been ostracized from the group or that the group did not exist again. There were moments when Hali felt lonely and she would sit in her room, going through her picture albums and the parting gifts from her former friends. She reminisced on the great times they had spent together and she wondered how things could have changed so quickly. She cried whenever she remembered the promise that Kibre and the other girls had made and how no one had cared to keep them. She made up her mind to be strong and get used to her new life or else she would get depressed.

Almost two years had gone by and Hali was rounding up her master’s program. She was looking forward to moving out to a new city and finding a job immediately after she finished. She was in the final stages of her Master’s thesis and had to spend long hours in the laboratory, thus making her return home late at night sometimes. It was on one of those nights as she was going home that she passed by a lady. At first, she did not notice as she had been absent minded but she looked again and there she was - it was another black woman! She stood in shock as the woman continued her way in the opposite direction. She felt the urge to run after her and say something but she knew it would come off as creepy so she just stood there until she could no longer see her. When she got home that night, she slept well for the first time since she arrived in the country. It was as if the new woman had brought a new hope into her life. She prayed that she would see her again and her prayers were answered a week after. She ran into the woman again just about the same time and same place and that day, she decided to say hi. They spoke for a few minutes. Her name was Mirabel: she was from Jamaica and had moved there recently with her family. She was quite older than Hali and was married with two children. Hali tried to contain her excitement and continued to ask many questions. The woman was on her way to work; she was a night nurse at the nearby hospital and so she had to leave.


After that day, Hali ran into the woman almost every week that she worked late at the laboratory. They would greet each other pleasantly but briefly. And although, Hali would have loved to build a stronger friendship with her, she did not want to start something that would leave her heartbroken again like her former friends. She also did not think that they would have many things in common given the age difference or the time to hang out as much as they were both busy. However, every night that they passed by each other, Hali would feel a strange feeling of joy and would sleep like a baby. Somehow, Mirabel’s smile reminded Hali of Liza, her hair style reminded her of Kibre, she had the same colour of eyes as Temar and the way she walked reminded her of Hewan. In Mirabel, she had found happiness and began to feel less lonely and although, Mirabel would never know, Hali had made a new nickname for both of them and every time after they passed and greeted each other, she would whisper “the only black women.”

The end

Please follow me on IG: @ugochiukah and twitter: @vivio_gogo.

Stay blessed xx.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

IN HER EXPERTISE BY ETOH COLLINS

Hi all,

I know it's been ages but I have been super busy! Oh well, I shan't bore you with details because today I've got a nice story from the write - Mr. Etoh. So enjoy, share and please comment. Thank you:)


IN HER EXPERTISE

“The very reason I stopped, later became the sole reason why I decided to push, and I mean ensure that I got to the bottom of the whole thing. It was taking over me; I couldn’t think straight anymore, and one time I almost burnt down my apartment after I left an empty pot on the gas cooker for more than an hour.”
I stopped to look at Ms. Funmi; she didn’t seem like she had taken her gaze off me.
“Yes…yes go on, I’m with you” she said without me even asking her anything.
I really wasn’t used to telling people my worries or problems, I just felt they would only end up laughing at me in their judgmental minds, and worse still I wouldn’t get any close to getting back my lost life. But something about Ms. Funmi seemed different, she said little or nothing, and she smiled at almost everything I tell her, and then she would say “it is well”, well I just hope she isn’t as insane as I thought I was.

All the same, everyone had wanted me to speak to someone, someone who would advice me on my current dilapidated state of well being. And after months of refusing, and after my wife left home citing marriage breakdown as her reasons, it became pertinent that I solve this problem that I probably think has left me looking cancerous to others.
“At work I couldn’t do little tasks like write memos or draft a course of action, something I originally had been doing for over three years.” I had continued after she gave me the go ahead, “I started to get angry at every slight thing that wasn’t even supposed to make me blink, and I think what I noticed was that I started to get irritated easily by anyone who ventured to ask about my well being.
“Ok, let me cut you there” she interrupted for the first time since we started conversing for more than three hours now.
“I need you to tell me how it all started, this whole change, like can you remember?” she had stopped talking before I knew it, and I had forgotten what she talked about.
I motioned to her, trying to understand if she had asked me a question.
“Gbenga!!!” she shouted straight into my face.
“Yes” I replied looking away from her.
“I really do not want to assume you’re sick or suffering from something only God knows. I decided to help you because I believe everyone’s got a second chance at bettering their lives, so I urge you to come out of your shelf so we both can help you out of this mess.” Then she stopped talking, and bent her head so that it rested on her right fist.

The room was quiet for about twenty seconds, I didn’t know what to say, I had gotten used to her starting off a point, my own was to give a reply to her questions, and ensure I followed exactly her procedures. She then she got up from her chair, went behind me, placed her hands on my shoulders and so fast she started to caress them, soon to my back and then down my hips. After about a minute of intense massaging and body touching, she bent that her mouth was directly proportional with my ears, and then she whispered “let me help you relax…..ok?”
I had no idea if she expected an answer from me, or if she needed a thumbs up in respect of her question, I was indifferent, especially when I actually didn’t major in psychology, so I really didn’t think she expected me to have any clue as to how she would make me relax.
“Ride on Miss Psychologist” was all I could say deep down in my heart.
“So tell me about your sex life, were you having enough of it?” as she spoke her hands found their way into my shirt.
“I really can’t say, but my wife wasn’t exactly the kind that loved frequent sex, she preferred it occasionally and well prepared kind of sex” I could swear I knew nothing of what I had just said, Miss Funmi hands were causing so much havoc in my mind.
“Ok” that sounded like she was dozing off.
I never cared to turn to look at her, all I was sure was that she was the professional here, and for me, getting back my life was most fundamental at the moment, and not how she got to the end.
“And were you against having routine sex or should I say were you the everyday sex kind of guy”
“Yes and No…emm…sometimes I come home so tired and wouldn’t venture into sex. But other times I really would be a hundred percent ready for it.” And again I didn’t know how that came out of my mouth.

Miss Funmi had her hands already caressing the part of my trousers where the zips were tailored to. At first it was great and I felt the moon on my ears with the clouds giving me the soothing of a lifetime. Miss Funmi’s touches were unconditionally eccentric, and I started to float as soon as possible, and my lips became so dry so that I began searching for something wet to infuse into it.

Everything happened so fast and I didn’t know how to tell her that this was exactly my problem. That I was HIV positive and the knowledge of my predicament had made me a ghost of myself, because as it is, I was simply awaiting death and a very cruel one indeed. But only if my psychologist would have been so professional enough to have understood that I needed help from my imminent destruction, instead of becoming trapped in it. We had a very hot and long romantic evening that lasted for about four hours, and everytime my realities came flashing its ugly head at me, Ms. Funmi would kiss my lips and say to me “put that behind you, lay all your worries on me.”

And yes indeed, I did lay all my worries in and on her, the bad thing was that it never left me, but I succeeded in passing it to yet another person.
As we lay on the bed after a breath taking performance, she started to say how much she had enjoyed every piece of me, and how she wished we never stopped. I looked at her with pity, funny enough she thought my eyes were so sexy, and every time she would kiss them, and say that my eyes were capable of making her happy for life, only if she knew the truth that lay beneath it. I was seconds away from trying to live my life at least for another week, but Ms. Funmi the psychologist had come along, and taken me back to where I was a week before I was introduced to her. What kind of psychologist was she anyway? Instead of helping me, she has eaten a great chunk of my worries.

How will I break this news to her, how on earth will I say to her that I am HIV positive, and that was the reason why I have been living like a country plagued with famine and war. All because of pleasure, and my love for ecstatic feelings, I have plunged yet another soul into total catastrophe, and I know she will live never to forgive me. And although I think and feel pity for her, Funmi still finds my manhood so attractive that she cannot stop putting it inside her mouth like she was promised gold in the Olympics for it. The same object that has caused me an avalanche of pains is what Funmi treasures and wishes she had it in her bedroom, to play with every night she gets home from work.
I regret meeting Funmi today, just the same way I have regretted meeting every woman that I eventually slept with, because up till date I really do not know who had given me this Greek gift. I want to think about my life, and I wish Funmi will let go of it before it kills her in my presence.

                                                    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


 Have a happy weekend!

IG: @ugochiukah ; twitter @ vivio_gogo 

Monday, 28 March 2016

HAPPY EASTER

Hello Hi,

Happy Easter Monday! I hope you had a wonderful Lenten season and Easter break.My last article on Bellanaija is here.


Photo source: www.50img.com

For Christians, Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the church. This is because we are reminded of how we became saved by the Grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The 40 day period preceding this event is a time to reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus Christ and to become closer to him. Many Christians especially Catholics try to fast or at least abstain from certain things; one of the key messages is to give up something loved to share in the suffering as well as to do good unto others. This year Easter came quite early, in March, because many times in the past, it fell in April. I know it has fallen on my birthday before, in 2011. Anyway, I just thought to share a reflection of my Easter season:

For me, Lent this year was one of the most serious one for me. I tried new prayers, new habits, tried to give up old habits that were not the best (including coffee, lol). In retrospect, I do not remember attending any stations of the cross this year L…I’m sure they had some at my church but maybe I was busy working. However, I felt really grown this season, both physically and spiritually by His grace. Physically, I felt more mature because I did not try to sit down during the long ‘Passion of Christ’ reading read on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday! Usually, halfway, I would sit or kneel or squat or keep flipping through the pages…..because that reading is very long, from the trial of Jesus to his death and burial. But this year, I was calm and I even enjoyed the reading.

Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday was an interesting day as the washing of feet of his disciples emulated by the priest is always humbling. I believe that the message here is that for you to be a leader or master, you must learn to serve. I have been blessed to have my feet washed previous a couple of years ago and  this year, the priest said that we should learn to was the feet of our partners, family, loved ones and even enemies!

Good Friday service was another good one for me. It was as sullen as usual, without the sign of the cross or sign of peace. The veneration of the cross always reminds me of the crucifixion of Jesus. If you’re a germaphobic like one of my siblings, you will find it hard to kiss or even touch the cross. I remember my mum had to send my brother one year to go back to kiss the cross as he had just gone to the front and turned around without doing anything, hee hee. During the reading, I was reminded of and medidated on the last words of Jesus on the cross:

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34…this was when the soldier and some others were mocking Him on the cross.
"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43…He said this to this thief who believed that asked to be remembered in His paradise.
"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son." Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother." John 19:26-27… This was when He handed his mother to John for care. 
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34…I can’t even begin to imagine the pain He must have felt.
"I thirst." Gospel of John 19:28…this was to fulfil the scripture of giving Him wine to drink.
"It is finished.” Gospel of John 19:29-30…I believe his work on earth as a being was finished.
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Gospel of Luke 23:46…unto God, we should commit all things.

After the service, everyone was asked to leave the church quietly as usual and Saturday was a quiet day.

Easter Sunday came yesterday and once again, we could sing Alleluia and dance and make the sign and kiss of peace. I always love Easter Sunday as I fell liberated after all the quiet lent season. The mass was beautiful with singing and to add to it, I ate jellof rice yesterday (although it was Ghanaian jellof..ha ha!)

So this is a summary of my celebration. In as much as the Lent season is over, I hope that we continue with whatever good work that we started and stick to better behaviours. I wish you a continuous wonderful Easter celebration and a blessed April.

PS: Does anyone know the origin of Easter bunnies and eggs and most importantly, what rabbits have to do with eggs?? I’m just curious. Please share if you do, thanks.

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

THE LAST CONFESSION

Hello hi,

It’s been a while; very busy year already but I trust you have been good. I thought I would share a story with you before the month of February ends (I cannot believe how quickly the year is going!). My last Bellanaija post can be found here and today my writing is titled:


THE LAST CONFESSION


picture source:www.calledtocommunion.com

It was the season of lent, a period of solemnity for Catholics. Adaobi was a staunch catholic or at least she came from such a family. Therefore, for her, this was a time to be in a ‘state of grace’ and holiness. Although she was a regular church-goer, she felt guilty for not going for confessions for over a year. The problem was not that she could not find the time to pour out her sins or a priest to absolve her from them but she did not feel comfortable revealing some of her deepest secrets to the parish priest, Father Joseph. Father Joseph was a nice and humble priest but he knew her family and thought the best of them. He also thought of Adaobi as a responsible, charitable, young woman with a strong faith in the Lord. It was his high regard for her that had made him entrust her with more responsibilities in the church including leading the Sunday morning mass readings, Bible studies on Wednesdays and counting the offering money from the congregation. She was also a member of other renowned church groups as well as the choir even though her voice was quite below mediocre. Father Joseph always sang her praises to his parishioners and even referred other young women to Adaobi whenever they seemed to be going astray from the Lord.

While one could have thought that these actions would have made Adaobi feel more at home in the parish, they almost had the opposite effect on her. She found herself pretending when she did not want to, attending church service where she was barely paying attention and receiving Holy Communion even when she did not feel worthy to do so. She only hoped that the Lord would understand and not punish her too hard for her actions. She desperately longed for a confession as she had been carrying some heavy sins in her heart for over a year but could not bring herself to tell the parish priest. It was not that she thought her sins were unforgivable but she felt that her reputation was at stake in the church. Yes, she knew that priests were not allowed to judge people making confessions or even tell another person about them but she still felt that he would not see her in the same way if he knew what she was capable of. And so she had made up her mind to never confess to Father Joseph unless she was about to die and he was the only available priest.

The week before Easter came and her prayers seemed to be answered. Father Joseph had travelled to attend to some urgent family matters and a priest from a different church was in charge of Mass that day. There had been other guest priests visiting her church parish in the past but Father Joseph had also been present always and so would still be the one doing the confessions. This day was different as he was away and this new priest, who looked quite old, announced at the end of the church service that he would wait behind for anyone who wanted to confess. He was a funny, elderly man who claimed that he was partially deaf and so would not even hear most of the confessors, which was a good incentive for them to come forward. Adaobi decided to take this long awaited opportunity and sat behind in church after the service was over.

She was the first on the queue but she decided that she would go last because she had a lot to say and assumed that the new priest would give her a long list of things to do as penance for her sins. She remembered long ago when she had heard about some priests asking people to cut grasses or do hard labour as an act of penance. She did not mind and was willing to do anything to atone for her sins. Her only prayer was that the priest would not ask her for details of anything that she was going to tell him. Her turn quickly came and she went into the confession room.

“Bless me Father for I have sinned” she started while he began his prayer.
 “It is now 18 months since my last confession.” She paused, waiting for a reaction but got none and so she continued.
“Since my last confession, I have not been very trusting in the Lord. I have told several lies and I have been disobedient to my parents.” She had decided to start with the lesser sins.
“I have also fornicated, not once, or twice or thrice. Actually, I have fornicated a lot especially last year with my boyfriend.” She took a deep breath before she concluded her confession.
“For these sins I have confessed and the ones that I have not (she whispered) and the ones I cannot remember, I am truly sorry.”
 “Are you still together? You and your boyfriend” The priest asked.
“No, we have broken up now.” Adaobi replied, hoping that he would ask her no more about the topic.
“It is good that you have ended your ungodly relationship and returned to God. The good Lord has forgiven you so try not to enter such relationships again in the future.” He said.
The priest then gave her some short prayers for her penance to her surprise and then she was asked to say an act of contrition which she did. Afterwards, he prayed for her sins to be absolved and permitted her to go.

Just as she was about to leave, she added in a low voice “Oh, I also had to abort his baby which I was carrying after we broke up.” She paused and she heard the priest grunt although he did not say anything. She took his silence as a permission for her to continue.
“I also stole some money from the church offering to carry out the abortion.” The priest was silent.
“I am very sorry for that too.” She said.

He remained silent.

She hoped that he was not annoyed with her for almost starting a new confession after finishing one. After a few minutes of silence, she assumed that his partial deafness had returned and he probably had not heard her. So she repeated the latter sins a bit louder but there was still no response. It was then that she looked closer at him and noticed that he was no longer breathing. The new priest had died during her confession! Adaobi was confused; she ran out into the church but no other person was left there since she had been the last one to go in for confession. She did not want to be caught in the middle of a scene in the church and so she ran away. On her way home, she wondered if her sins had given the priest a heart attack and killed him but most importantly, she wondered if all her previous sins had been forgiven because she knew that she would never confess those ones again.


Thank you for reading and as usual, please leave your comments below and kindly share with friends. Have a blessed week and follow me on: 

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