THE MAN ON THE WALL

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I looked at the picture, dangling from the dusty wall. The face looked tired, with pale lips and weak eyes. I was told he had taken the picture just days before his death, I found the information satisfying, because the picture stank of death itself . For some reasons I did not move, I used the cane in my hand to support my tired body. I had seen several pictures in my lifetime, from the ones that hung in the church hall way, mostly white men with smiling faces, to the masquerade paintings by the road side. Yet this was more.

The man na good man, dem say na him build this domot, even the council building, na him do all

I turned around to find my escort behind me, he must have noticed how attached I was to the picture, and felt he had to come up with the tale. It came out of him battered and broken, but his easy flow and hand demonstrations made his story mind gripping.

The man na great man wen in day, e do plenty plenty things for area, my papa tell me say na this man even carry oyibo come”. My escort continued.

I do not know why, but I felt the story lessen in my ears, it dissolved into the background. My mind was still fixed on the eyes, I began to think I had seen it somewhere. I raced through my head, thinking of where I could have seen the long chin and short nose. The more I pondered and searched, the more confused I got. I took my eyes away for a brief moment, I looked in the direction of the escort I had come with. His bald head and stumpy figure complemented his role, the way he swung his hands as he talked had a way of selling his words better. When I first met him at the bus station, he had smiled, displaying his stained teeth. His handshake was very firm, as if he meant to assure me that I was safe with him. But as competent as he was, my mind still wondered to the old picture on the wall.

“What year did the man die?” I asked.

ah, no be now o, na 1886, look the date wey dem write for the bottom of the picture, e dey dere

I took a closer look at the picture and saw the date scribbled at the bottom of the frame.

RIP -1808-1886-

The man had lived and died several years before my parents were born, yet he still looked very familiar. I wondered if it was a picture from Mama Mbonu’s album. She was my grandmother and had owned several albums that she stacked neatly by the edge of her bed. As a kid I had gone through her albums a lot, I wondered if perhaps that was where I had seen the old man on the wall.

I made to turn away, exhausted by the fact that I had been thinking too much, when I saw the scar on his left cheek. The horizontal line that spread down to the tip of his upper lip. I felt the Goosebumps on my skin.

I turned to my escort almost at once.

“What was his name?”

oh, e no get who no know him name na, the man popular well well, e name na Edolphus Kiriba.

I almost fainted, the escort had just called my name, I was the man on the wall

Photo Credit : http://www.dailyrash.com

Copyright

© Ceeflod.com . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this blog and website without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ©ceeflod.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. e-mail: Dumebiphil@gmail.com

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The truth is rarely pure and is never simple – Oscar Wilde

It all came to me, in its fast rhythmic sway like the wind. All it took was a little boy, with his worn out shirt and kind eyes. Then I remembered life. Children seem to have that effect on me, the glimmer of life in its most simplistic form. Maybe I think of innocence when I hold a child in my arms, but my mind is never an innocent place. So once again I might be wrong, very wrong. But then I end up considering the opposite…Death. I’m full of memories, some have me shivering when I think of them, I know they will never go away. Like the windy night in high school, when I’m asleep on my bed, till I hear the boy beside my bed gasping for air. Everybody jumped up at the sound of my screaming, they jumped to the inevitable silence. The cold corpse of the boy was taken away. The night never goes away; it stays with me till the sun comes up.

Everybody runs from the truth. The truth isn’t such a bad place, although it’s dressed in a bad way. The truth reminds me of the strict head teacher, the bald headed, dry skinned man that sent two girls away for looking for their erasers underneath their pants. He kept ranting, with emphasis on the word “Abomination”. Some weeks later they found the old man with the science mistress on his desk. Same desk that had seen so many dismissal letters, and listened as people begged for forgiveness. Bottom line is…. The truth is a bitch. The kind of bitch that’s scared nobody will find her attractive enough for the night. Yet we should listen to it, the bitch never lies.

Have you shared a conversation with a hooker? Not the loud screams as you smack whatever your hand comes across. Not that. Have you asked her for her name, if you haven’t then you could never ask her what she thinks you should do with your life?(does it sound crazy?) Well, guess what….. I have. Her words spiraled my imaginations. I listened and listened. Ended up handing her all the money in my wallet. Do you think I’m deranged? But I discovered the truth in that stuffy room that stank of sex. The hooker saved me. I found solution few meters away from cheap bottles of alcohol, and a basket loaded with used condoms.

Now, the hooker, the headmaster, the girls, you and i will remember the truth. It’s perhaps the most unwelcome visitor. A very unattractive bitch indeed, but she will come. Has she told you about death yet? About coffins and the soft cushions within it? It shouldn’t scare you my friend. A mind that doesn’t think of death can never achieve. It reminds us that we are not super humans, we never were. It tells us how much good we need to do while we can. A man that grips to life alone will definitely be reckless, selfish and dishonest.

Finally,

This piece is purely fictional. But death isn’t.

KINGS AND SUBJECTS

it will always be with us
it will always be with us

A very short word, yet it’s probably the most significant. It is something we all seek and eventually treasure once we possess. Acutely insatiable, it comes with its gregarious patterns. It attracts itself. It’s called Power.  From the beginning of creation, there has been a tussle for authority.  It is quite attractive and is never easy to attain, but in every generation, certain people must own it. Ride with me, as I carefully dissect the phenomenon called power. Haven’t you wondered how millions can die in a battle? Fighting for a cause they probably didn’t quite understand. Then, while the tears and anguish flow in. one little man, in a French suit, holding a rumpled paper in his hands climbs to the podium. He offers his condolences to the families of the departed. He doesn’t look remorseful, even though he created a war he didn’t fight in. That’s power.

Society has been carefully crafted. People have been made to see power as farfetched. Seeds have been planted in the heads of the masses, a certain level of false realism. People often believe power is not for them, yet, every day of our lives, we grapple with the inexhaustible urge for power. The only difference is that we are small fishes in small oceans. Let’s not limit our horizon by citing religion as a reason for our lack of thirst. Or perhaps our drinking from small streams.  Even religion enjoys power. People might say power is only in place to maintain order, but what is order? In my opinion order comes with a high level of control. And whoever holds the power to control holds our very breath.

Afro-maestro Fela realized how power was being misused in Nigeria. In one of his songs, he said “dem wan give us human rights. You can’t give us human rights”. As simple as the phrase is, it encapsulates everything I’ve been saying. Once you are at the opposite end of power, everything received is a gift. Water supply, electricity, food, shelter and clothing. These things are our rights, but we can see how every figure head promises the masses these things, just to get a feel of power. The masses will wait, till minds go weary, and eyes weaken.  All he wanted was power. Then some more power.

Not everybody can control substantial amounts of power. The inequality will always be with us. All we can do is recognize that certain people hold large amounts of it, and we can only benefit appropriately when we try to close the gap.  We can correct the system by speaking out, by giving ourselves a voice.  Remember this; there is no king without his subjects. The power mongers need us after all. We form the kingdom. Remember the Arab springs? How people changed the very cycle of power, by speaking out. What about the fight to end slavery in America. We can narrow it down to the small streams. Wherever we are, regardless of how little power we have.  The cycle can always be changed. May the odds be in your favour.

Recently worked with UNESCO world book capital and rainbow book club on an anthology.(see picture below) . It”s available in bookstores close to you. If you want the PDF file. contact me– dumebiphil@gmail.com. Cheers!

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FEATURES-DOMINO

Dominoes falling

 Der Führer (German: “The Leader”), the Absolute Dictator, so was the legendary Adolf Hitler called. Six Million Jews died at the hand of one man. Would this have been avoided? Someone once said that ‘imagine if a car had knocked down the Seven year old Hitler, that one unplanned act would have saved millions from Satan’s spawn. You notice how one action leads to another. Hitler was an ASPIRING ARTIST; he tried to enter into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna(remember this), but was rejected, in that frustration he drowned himself in chains of anti-social behaviour, and this formed Hitler’s underlying vile lifestyle. Many years later he volunteered for the German army as the First World War started; he joined the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, served excellently for many years, and rose to the apex of German Leadership.Now imagine if he was accepted into the Academy of fine arts years before, reckon the domino effect. No action is inconsequential, not even inactivity.

September 2014, I redeployed my service from Jos to Calabar, I got to Calabar primed for the surreal experience but it didn’t start so well. In my second week in Calabar I was mugged by two knife-wielding thugs. If I tell you how many aspects of my life that near-fatal experience changed, you would think I was playing. The focus it gave me, I got back to writing, I got back to my God, I suddenly felt the urgent need to achieve greatness before the next mugging, serious, I spent five months without a smartphone, before now I fancied this to be impossible. Now imagine if I wasn’t attacked, I probably would have continued with my carefree life, the domino effect transformed a horrible event into many functional occurrences.

The cycle of action and reaction requires us humans to be tactful with even the smallest of detail, for fate connects our actions.So if today I present to you a Time Machine, to change that one action that can change everything, what would that be? Platitudes like “no regrets”, “the past is the past”, really express the counterpoint. In Men in Black 3(2012), Agent J (Will Smith) had to travel over 40 years back in time to stop a potential alien invasion, a fictional illustration about how actions connect. In reality,we may not be able to travel back in time to alter the present or future, what we can do however, is shape the present into a future with little or no regrets. I’m not a “que sera, sera” person and I don’t advise anyone to be. Every action has a reaction, sooner or later. So that so called inconsequential deed you are doing now, can either raise or ruin you.

Bad things happen, I know, and no one wants bad things to happen, not me, but sometimes that’s the exact wake-up call your mind needs; you get what you give, you give what you get. One High School teacher told me something I would never forget, “if you would not learn from other peoples’ experiences, Fate would give you your own experiences”. The very moment you choose to be static and stunted, fate takes over. It’s simply the cycle of life, improvement is non-negotiable; even Dangote wants more money, if you refuse to improve, life demotes you,there’s no room for mediocrity only improvement, no vacuum or the stationary lifestyle. You are either going up or coming down.

Yea I’m blunt, it’s the new cool, but really, you need to get back on track now, pick up the pieces of that broken house and start rebuilding, you must, not because Jv says so, but because it’s the only way to go. The domino effect multiplied my one bad event into many favourable events; imagine what it does with purposely done good deeds, magic! Today, be purpose driven; take charge of your life. They say the best way to predict the future is to create it! let fate watch. The future is here; play now, win now, don’t wait till extra time, the referee might blow.

Written by John Iyoha @Jonhelsing.

FEATURES- LITTLE BITS AND A RHYTHM

the little bits...
the little bits… 

There was this guy

He found me while he was looking for himself. We exchanged hearts and got wasted. High off of our own fears. One night he took me to a meadow and kissed me under the moon. His lips pressed upon mine, as though he needed to lubricate his words to say goodbye. He handed me back my heart and apologized. He said he hasn’t found himself as yet and shouldn’t be falling for an angel when he might turn out to be a devil. Angels needed to be with angels.

There was this guy

He barged into my life. I paid no heed to him at first, because he seemed not so different from the rest. But he demanded my attention. He took my hand and walked me through his world, his past and present. His interests, hobbies, bonds, and his heart.
I swear, I fell for his everything. He promised me his love if I gave him a tour of my world. I wanted love. I wanted it so bad.
But as time went by, he lost interest in me. He left and I was the last to know.
Drunk texts were sent to him and he didn’t care. So I built a shield, and I wore a god damn mask. I rewired my heart and I spent my days surviving.
I’ve written so much about this hurt that I actually ran out of words.
I became different. An ugly side of me surfaced and I felt okay, even though it wasn’t the way for angels to heal.

But then there’s this guy

I can never get enough of him. When I thought that everything was over for me, he came in and listened to every word I had to say. I tried to shut him out, but instead, this amazing soul found the only hammer that could break down these walls. The only weapon to destroy my shield, and the only tool to peel of my mask. He made peace with my demons, and all he had to do was smile like the devil.

I believe

I know

I have never loved like this before, and if he were to leave,
I can never love like this again.

The truth is, angels belong with devils. Chaotic but fucking beautiful.

Macy Maywalall is a new contributor on Ceeflod!
Macy Maywalall is a new contributor on Ceeflod!

I am Macy Maywalall, 18 years of age. Born and grew up in Georgetown, Guyana.
Coffee lover and I may have a slight obsession for cats.
Writing is the only gateway to serenity for me. It is like a world away from the one we live in.
I have always been a fan of poetry mainly because I found bits and pieces of myself in them

THE STORY AS IT IS

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These hairy and brown skinned hands are never the same. It is not about fingers being equal, it’s a lot more. They all look alike, one fat thumb alongside four well partitioned fingers. But would you say your hands are like mine just because they move alike, and do things that mine would?  We can flip through every part of our body, every substituent that is fused together. Everything is similar, if it isn’t then you’re tagged abnormal. So even from the genesis of things, we were meant to be the same. But the truth is that characteristics are a constant, it is probably the only thing that is mutually shared between the elitist and savages. It’s a birthright. It is very easy to blend into the crowd, to spend every day thinking that two hands, a head and two legs are all you need to keep going.  You readily buy into that notion, after all almost everyone thinks the same.  That’s a lie that’s big enough to cripple your very worth.

I will not deviate today; I will not let the budding ideas in my head lead me away.  We would never be the same, because something stronger defines us. I can stand on a hill; I can watch the sun rise from its slumber. I can be in awe of nature and look on till the skies go dark. Yet I can never be like the man next to me. The both of us are savoring the moment together, we scream in unison as the lions roar from the dry lands just below us, he holds my hand as we climb the steep hill. I feel like I had met him somewhere before.

“Are you from Kigali. “I ask at last.

He looks at me for the first time; I see the scar below his eyes. I see that he has no teeth in his mouth.

“I am from Kibungo.”  His voice is hoarse, his mouth doesn’t move an inch, but I hear the words.

We are devoured by nature itself, the perfection of every edge and spot. I know he is also excited, even though he doesn’t say much. I do all the talking. I tell him about Mary, the prostitute from Gisenyi I had fallen in love with. I tell him about my inn at Byumba, I keep talking.  The smell of fresh leaves is so pleasant. I want to call him brother all of a sudden. I want to know much about him, but he barely says a word.

“What do you do in Kibungo?”

“I do nothing exactly.”

“Don’t you have a family?”

“Everyone has a family.” He sounds irritated now.

“How many children do you have?”

He sits on the ground. He draws his legs on the sand, and then he looks up at me. I see tears in his eyes now. His words are muffled up.

“The soldiers raped Sarah, they raped her while I watched .I could do nothing, I was helpless. I…I…saw it all. They slit my little girls’ throat…Oh…Oh…. They tied me up and set the house on fire. I was left to die.”

He stands up, he is still in tears. He doesn’t look back at me. I felt the tears run down my face. This man who had travelled several miles to have a feel of nature was not like me. We bonded so well, but then he had been through so much. He was stronger, he was tougher.

“You are not my brother.” I say.

He doesn’t hear me.

FEATURES-THE NIGGA IS A H***

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She looked quite exotic, everyone watched and admired her because she easily stood out.  Her true story was veiled behind her perfect make up and designer clothes, many assumed she had it all. But behind closed doors she had to deal with two shadows, his and hers. She wondered when he would throw his next aggressive stunt.  He did soon enough. That evening, once he walked in, she saw the cold stare and knew trouble wasn’t far away.

I hope he doesn’t touch me!

Just a short while later, after he had descended on her, she felt the pain flow in. she felt the anguish sweep through her, it came in different sizes. But she had to make everything look perfect. She couldn’t let this secret slip out.  This scene always came back. The beating was continuous and as constant as oxygen.

Then this warm afternoon, he sent heavy blows her way, he pummeled her till she couldn’t take it anymore. The pain came with adrenaline, she felt motivated yet she begged him to stop. He didn’t. She got up with all her strength and ran, he chased her fervently. She ran till her knees felt numb, she fell just as she got to the road. Onlookers watched, obviously excited at the free show before them.

”you’re a b**tch” she screamed
her words only puzzled the crowd. They were used to arguments, and swear words. But her choice of words stunned them.

“You’re a h*e” she continued

Now, Mayweather wanna be felt so embarrassed, but she screamed the words, repeatedly. Some laughed, some watched keenly. She felt vindicated. A man that treated her like he did, was a ho*, any day, any time.

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Vanessa Morris is half Ghanaian and half Nigerian

A nurse and Writer

#THERE IS A PLACE

CEEFLOPIN

Take me to the gallows
Where my very guts slip off
Let my blood lead me away
For in this place life is pain

There is a place where nothing exists. It is desolate and encroached by its very nothingness. Its walls stink of silence. This place is not on any map, it is not deciphered by geographical expertise. Yet it is very popular. Many people see it as an involuntary tourist spot, a place where they have to be. So they flock in their numbers, heading towards the unknown . It would be all colorful but for one simple fact. Everyone that visits is soon entrenched in this silence.  This is just a monologue. My simple view of this very complex spot, I have been there before. I felt the silence; it killed the very sound of my heart beat, and muffled up my words. This place is a feeling, a surge, a large vacuum. It is called depression.

The disjointed neck, eyes popping from its sockets and dangling legs might be tagged a suicide. But this man visited the place, and was consumed by the silence. So he is swinging from the chandelier, while his widow and children cry their eyes out. The sorrow is stringed with questions, a life that shared an affinity with wealth and satisfaction. A content and charming man could so easily turn his back on life and hang himself. They did not see him at the station, but he bought the ticket and visited the place, the silence.

It starts with the withdrawal; it is very gradual, very gentle. You feel a sense of desire for things you can’t tell.  You laugh and tell a million jokes, you fool everyone . Your superficial is an excellent artist. The emptiness gets dense. Alcohol only sedates the beast for a while, but then it rears up, as fierce as ever. I forgot to mention that this place chooses who visits it, the station comes to you.

The freckled lady, on the leather chair, with piercing eyes and rather thin lips thinks she knows the way out. She is a shrink. She thinks words can liberate this strangled mind. You stare at her, wondering why she feels omniscient. But her words and listening ears do not do much. Death looks so charming and dignified to a depressed mind. To him, death is peace. Death is silent; its silence scares even the emptiness of this place.

If you are already on a train, headed towards the silence. Do not order drinks yet, don’t wait for the next stop. Just jump right out. Your ticket out is happiness. The pure type that comes from you. It is not streamlined to people and possessions, it is created within. Find it now; do not see that trip through.

THE STINK

Hi fam! Sorry for the long absence, was quite busy at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital Writers in Residence program. I’m here now, let’s get it rolling!

WHAT DO YOU STINK OF?

The lady says “you stink of cigarettes!”

The dude says “seems you’ve got cow dung in your bag, you stink!”

Ehm….. Not what I mean.

My number one turn off is body odour! That’s just a NO for me. There’s no excuse for smelling so bad as early as 8 am! That’s appalling!

Yes, that’s just nasty… but still not what I mean

I don’t mean the Ralph Lauren or Givenchy perfumes! That’s all superficial; it doesn’t go deeper than your skin. I’m referring to something deeper, and stronger. It’s the kind of smell that is perceived with the nose and then the eyes, legs, hands. The stink comes from your aura.

Every individual smells of something. Our five senses are interrelated in every way, I taste the soup with my tongue because my eyes have seen that it looks good, my nose has smelt it and it smells good, my ears have heard that there aren’t fights happening around; so I can pounce on the food.

Almost there now…….

Let’s shift the soup aside now. Will I be sounding ridiculous if I say happiness has its smell? The same for bitterness, malice, anger, depression, envy… they take control of your other senses anyway. You see the way an angry person behaves? Screaming, fighting, kicking things, breaking stuff……that’s just the five senses reacting to the smell.

Now if you say you don’t stink, then that means you stink of nothing! That’s really not good, it means you’re empty and you’re really not living life to its fullest. The stink just shows that you’re human.
When you stink of bad stuff, how do you think people around you feel? Here’s a practical example you can try out. Buy some garlic, get a friend to chew some, and let the friend stick with you for the rest of the day. Try to interact, you can reminisce on stuff…. By the end of the day you’ll get the scope.

Now we decide the perfume we wear, I decide mine. I’m a Calvin Klein dude, I’m sure you have your brand. You don’t feel the same way if you wear something else. You love your stuff and your stuff loves you, so you deliberately use it.

DELIBERATELY

The same way you can decide your character stink for the day. You can choose to stink of love, kindness, happiness. You are the pilot of your stink. Believe me, when you smell good you attract the right things and people to you.

LET’S WEAR THE RIGHT STINK!

You can read about my experience at the residency here

http://ngrguardiannews.com/artnew/184103-we-were-aesthetically-tortured-to-be-better-writers

Copyright

© Ceeflod.com . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this blog and website without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ©ceeflod.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. e-mail: Dumebiphil@gmail.com

CONFESSIONS OF A JONAH-LIST

I am a chronic talkative but it’s something I tell people with pride, I always jump into people’s conversation whether they mind or not. I am also a journalist. Journalism has been a contrast of my true self, I now have to listen more and talk less, and I was once of the opinion that my career was gradually transforming me into a mannequin of some sort.

Five years ago I was a freelance journalist in Lagos…yes you heard me right, Lagos A.K.A Lasgidi! .Life then was very tough for me, I had to hop from one BRT bus to the other, I also had to beg people to share their opinions on events that had occurred, and I had to try to be nice .

Saying I am a nice person is like saying H.I.V doesn’t exist but you have nothing to worry about……I am an exceptional actor. I can laugh at the worst joke; I can keep a straight face even when my hidden laughter has my pant soaked in urine. I don’t freelance anymore and I am now a stable journalist, I don’t have to run around to get interviews, my boss is well connected and hooks me up with politicians, celebrities and everybody that matter in the country. I also have had crazy experiences and I think I should talk about my interview with a certain Governor.

That morning my boss called me on the phone and told me the Governor was expecting me in his office by 10am………I was shocked and exited at the same time! I quickly had my bath, put on my trouser and T-shirt that had become my uniform, I picked up my recorder and quickly drafted out some questions. As I made to leave my room, I glanced at my mirror and realized that I looked too tough, my muscular arms didn’t complement the top that I had on, so I changed into a gown that showed a bit of my cleavage (it wasn’t intentional) and then I dashed off to the government house. By the time I got there I was sweating profusely, I had to go through his rather strict protocol and at last I was ushered into the rather controversial Governors office.

“Good morning miss” he said

“Good morning sir” I replied

He stretched out his hands for a handshake and help unto my hands for quite a while.

“You are glowing miss Matilda; I certainly love what I’m seeing”

I wondered how he knew my name but then I remembered that I told his chief protocol officer my name a while ago. He kept his eyes fixed on my breasts and I could have sworn that I saw tears run down his face. I placed my recorder on the table, and started with the interview.

The governor turned out to be a very interesting man; I was laughing in no time and even abandoned the questions I had drafted. He kept his eyes fixed on my boobs all through the interview and kept taking deep breaths like he was drawing inspiration from them. To cut the story short, it’s been two years since then and I have let the Governor suck my breast several times……please don’t ask me why! With all sincerity I love what I do, with every story I learn, I feel my heart perforate and my soul connect in ways unimaginable. I could be covering a car accident, I could be interviewing a suspected fraudster and I often wonder if my little recorder and shrill voice is worthy enough to tell stories so big, stories that could make Zeus cry and Apollo laugh. My research before an interview has given me so much insight and knowledge…..I love my job. The Governor is on the line now……hold on….I have to pick his call…so bye for now!

Copyright

© Ceeflod.com . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on this blog and website without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ©ceeflod.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. e-mail: Dumebiphil@gmail.com