Month: December 2010

Do You Believe It?

For years, pastors have been speaking of the coming of a messiah. Prophets all around the world have been seeing visions, dreaming dreams, receiving revelations of the birth of a baby boy. “He’s no ordinary kid,” they say, “He is the son of God!” The world is fascinated, it waits with bated breath. They say He is coming to bridge the gulf that has separated God from man. When will he come? How will he come? Will he be British? African? Nah, probably American. Those Yanks seem to have all the luck.

You turn on your TV one morning. You’re surprised to see your neighbour sitting next to Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams on the BBC Breakfast sofa. “What on earth is she doing there?” you wonder. You soon find out. She says she’s pregnant. You’re in shock. You know she has a boyfriend but she’s always claimed they are both celibate. You certainly didn’t have her down as the type that was getting her groove on. Oh well, it really isn’t a big deal. These days, everyone has children out of wedlock. It’s not the end of world. Just as you grab the remote to check what Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley are up to on ITV’s Daybreak, you hear your neighbour say she’s still a virgin.

“Huh?! She’s kidding right?!”

She says she has never slept with a man. She claims the Spirit of God impregnated her. You double over with laughter at the look on Sian and Bill’s faces. Ever the professionals they are trying not to laugh at this psychotic neighbour of yours. They are finding it really difficult though. Sian’s face has turned the same shade of red as the Breakfast sofa and Bill looks like he’s about to have an aortic aneurysm.

“Really Mary,” you snigger at the image of your neighbour as the camera goes in for a close up of her face, “are you that desperate for attention?!” She repeats the claim. She says an angel appeared to her to tell her she was going to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Sian and Bill give in. They burst into fits of laughter. Mary looks pained but she ignores their laughter. The angel told her she is blessed amongst women. ‘You’re blessed alright,” you laugh, “blessed with an over active imagination!”

Just when you think the story can’t get any worse, her boyfriend, Joseph walks onto the set. He looks ready to murder Sian and Bill. He sits next to Mary on the sofa and wraps his arms around her. She bursts into tears. You can see the steam escaping from his ears. He turns to the camera and speaks directly into it. “I know how difficult this story is to believe. I didn’t believe it either when she first told me. I was going to end the relationship but an angel appeared to me too. He confirmed everything Mary had told me. I believed him and I also believe her. This child, our child, is special. He is the son of God.”

“Oh come on dude! If you knocked her up, you knocked her up! What’s with the farce?!”

You’ve heard enough. “Bunch of jokers.” You wonder how much of your hard earned taxes the BBC paid them to come on the show and tell their ridiculous story. Irritated, you turn off your television, grab your travelcard and keys and dash out of the house. Some people might like easy money but you are proud you work hard for yours. As soon as you step into your office, the first words that come out of your mouth are ‘Did anyone see those jokers on Breakfast this morning?!’

You’ve got to admit, the Christmas story is bizarre. The more I think about it, the more inconceivable it is. When I read the bible I identify with the Jews. I feel sorry for them and I’m grateful I wasn’t alive in that time. Heaven knows I would have been the first person to mock Jesus. Where they really expected to believe that a poor virgin was miraculously impregnated by the Holy spirit, the result of which was the conception of the messiah?!

Imagine for a second that the story is true. That Mary really did miraculously fall pregnant. That she really did birth the saviour of the world. That this God really does exist. That He sent His son to the earth to experience human life so that he could better understand things from man’s perspective. That He sent that same son to die to atone for every sin that every man has committed and will ever commit.

It’s either an amazing piece of fiction or a mind blowing truth.

You decide.

Merry Christmas!

xxx

Waila Caan

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Hello…I’m coming (Diddy Style)

I apologise…yet again. It’s a good sign though, I’m notoriously bad at saying I’m sorry so things are really looking up for me in the character department 🙂 It’s been a busy December as always. Between the guys that pay my wages and my other unpaid full time job (yes, being in my choir is a job and a half…no kidding), I’m struggling to keep up with life in cyber space. Every spare moment is spent catching up on lost sleep. I have many half written posts lying around and I promise I’ll complete at least one, soonest. Thanking you in advance for your patience.

On a random note, what’s with the snow in London?! Should anyone fancy buying me a pair of cute wellies for Christmas, please, don’t be shy. Do it! Heaven knows I need a pair. The number of times I’ve almost fallen in the snow in the last 48hours is insane. I would also like a house in Highgate Village or Hampstead and a car that matches my striking good looks should the wellies be too expensive for you to purchase. Thanking you in advance for you generousity.

On another random note, some of my friends are now scared of me. Two of them in particular finish every sentence with “before you blog about me.” One of the two stayed over at mine recently and after I’d gone to bed, wanted a cup of tea. She was too scared to put the kettle on for fear it would wake me up and I’d crucify her in place of my mother on this blog. She decided she’d rather make her cup of tea using hot water from the kitchen tap than provide me with material. That, I believe, is what they call a self-fulfilling prophecy. Friend, I thank you in advance for your understanding.

Working on some pieces so please keep checking…new posts on their way.

xxx

Waila Caan

Mama and Her Princess

Let me introduce you to my grandmother.  We call her Mama Guy.  Guy as in Pidgin for poser.  The name is well deserved but I’ll tell you why another day. She doesn’t speak or understand much English so it was for her sake I learnt to speak Pidgin. It was easier than learning Urhobo.

Mama Guy has a dog called Princess.

Ihave reason to believe she loves that mongrel more than all her thirteen grand children combined.  The first question she asks when she gets up in the morning is ‘Princess don chop?’ Heaven help you if you say no. 

Princess only eats fresh rice and stew. The rest of us make do with leftovers.

Princess does not eat eba. On the one occasion I expressed the same dislike, I was told I am spoilt and ungrateful.

Princess does not run any errands. All she does with her 24hrs is sat at Mama Guy’s feet eating and getting head and back rubs. The rest of us run up and down the stairs fetching till our knees give way…then we crawl on our stomachs.

Princess sits by the door and whines when she is hungry. Mama Guy barks orders to go and feed her doggy (daw-gee) at the nearest person. Should any of us attempt such antics, our brains will be slapped into position.

Princess was given the name my dear father had the world call me and I subsequently became known by the names on my birth certificate. Upstaged by a dog…a beast.

I decided to fight for my human rights.

Mama, e be like say na princess you like pass for this house.”

Ehen, problem dey?!”

How you go love dog pass your own pikin?!”

She stared at me in disbelief. “You dey jealous Princess?”

“Mama, how I go dey jealous dog? Which kind talk be dat?!”

Oya no vex. U sef siddon for ground make I begin rub you.”

Pursing her lips, she let out a loud whistle. Princess came bounding through the door and settled at her feet.

Join am for floor now, make I follow una two play.”

The insult. I plunked myself down on a sofa, turned on the TV and ignored the dog and its mistress.

Dog suya anyone?!

p.s.

The real Princess isn’t that cute. Trust me, she isn’t.

Romacing Romance

The other day I spotted a teenage girl reading a Mills & Boon (M&B) romance novel on the train. Words cannot describe how sorry I felt for her.

I read my first Mills & Boon (M&B) novel when I was in Primary 5. It was a Betty Neels novel and those in the know, know that the woman doesn’t do action. The only physical contact between the lovebirds was a peck on the cheek just before the words “The End.” About a year later, I spent the weekend at my Aunt’s house and in a corner of the guest room, discovered a carton full of M&Bs. The carton once housed a deep freezer. Oh the excitement! I grabbed one and tucking myself under the duvet, began to read. I was so engrossed in it, I didn’t notice when my Aunt walked into the room.

“What are you reading?’”

Busted!

I was so sure I was in trouble. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that the book I was reading was inappropriate for a 9year old. I was still trying to come up with an excuse when I heard her exclaim ‘If I’d known you like M&Bs I’d have been sending them to you!’

Huh, no flogging?!

When I felt my Aunt’s house at the end of the weekend, it was with a case full of romance novels and it was then, the obsession started. Yes it was exciting to read the naughty bits but what I really liked was how sweet the writers made love seem.

Many asked, “Aren’t you tired of reading these books? The story is always the same!’”

Yes…but no.

The characters never like each other at first meeting, then they fall in love, then something tears them apart and eventually, with a healthy dose of melodrama, love saves the day. That said, every half decent story teller has a way of putting their stamp on a story. The difference is in the telling.

I always read the books with a handful of salt. I wasn’t naïve enough to believe that that was how romance really played out but I was foolish enough to let myself hope.

I’m still waiting for a heir, prince or sheik to fall in love with me, the ordinary girl his aristocratic family do not approve of.

I’m still waiting for a used to be poor bad boy done good billionaire to re-fall in love in the process of exacting his revenge on me, the used to be rich girl who broke his heart.

I’m still waiting to go on a work trip with my millionaire boss whom I’ve had a crush on for years. I’m waiting for him to discover, out in the middle of nowhere, that what he’s been looking for all his life has been right under his nose the whole time.

I’m still waiting for a man to whisper sweet nothings in my ears. Sweet nothings that make my knees buckle…literally.

Staring at the girl on the train, I wondered how long it would take her to realise that the book she pulled off a shelf marked romance really belonged in the fantasy section. Powerless to educate her, I picked up a copy of The Metro to depress myself with the harsh realities of life.

You Would Run Too If It Happened To You

In most major cities in the world, I imagine it is common place to find people with mental health problems roaming the streets. In Nigeria, there are hundreds of them and we don’t bother with political correctness, we call them mad men…or women.

One afternoon, I decided to take a leisurely stroll from my house to the Texaco petrol station just opposite Bar Beach.  I was going in search of a tub of FAN Vanilla Ice-Cream. I had been walking for less than 5minutes when I spotted a mad man across the street. I tried not to stare at him but I quickened my pace.

‘My wife, come!’

Oops. Mr mad man was calling me. Did he expect me to answer? I think not! I carried on walking, my pace quickening even more.

‘I’m calling you, come!’

I ignored him.

‘Small girl, be careful,’ I heard someone shout. I turned around to find the mad man sprinting towards me. I bolted down the street and spotting an open gate, ran into a stranger’s compound, slamming the gate shut.  10minutes, it took 10mins for the people on the streets to get the mad man to abandon his quest for my love and keep walking.
I was petrified. Any normal human being would have turned around and headed back home. Not MEE. I wasn’t going home without my ice-cream. I resumed my mission.

As I approached the junction of Bishop Oluwole and Ahmadu Bello, I spotted a mad woman sitting cross legged, drawing shapes in the sand. People were walking past her but she didn’t seem to care. Believing myself safe, I sauntered past.

‘Are you looking at me? Ki lo n wo?’

Aha, did I look at you?! I thought to myself. I beg leave me o! I stared straight ahead and kept walking.

‘Mo n ba e soro, ki lo n wo? What are you looking at?!’ She shouted after me.

Wahala.

I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned and found myself staring into the eyes of the mad woman. Fear gripped me. I took to my heels!

‘Where are you running to? E duro jo!’

Wait for what? I carried on running. Next thing I knew, sticks and stones were flying past my head. The woman was playing target!

A few yards ahead, I spotted the petrol station. I sprinted onto its forecourt and grabbed one of the attendants.

‘Please help me, that woman wants to kill me!’

It took three attendants to restrain her. The station manager took me into the minute mart and gave me a glass of water. I sat there for 30mins nursing my fear. I stared at the tubs of FAN ice-cream sweating in the freezer.  After all my efforts, they weren’t even frozen! Melting ice-cream in hand, I cautiously hit the streets. I kept looking around nervously, waiting for the were to re-appear. She didn’t disappoint me. As I approached that cursed junction, I saw her singing and laughing like she hadn’t a care in the world. I tried to make myself invisible. No such luck. As soon as she saw me, the smile on her face faded. She bent down, grabbed the hem of her sutana, and like a flash of lightening, bolted towards me. Kicking off my slippers, I ran for dear life and didn’t stop till I reached my house.

It wasn’t till I was safely behind my locked gates I realised I’d dropped the tub of ice-cream en-route.

Yes, it really did happen.