‘If we cannot now end our diversities, at least we can help make the world safe’
John F. Kennedy.
This post is inspired by Olutimehin Adegbeye from her ted talk Who Belongs in A City. She’s one of the most brilliant women I’ve ever listened to speak, that is asides my President CNA (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) who is the queen. Not a competition, because I love it when I see my women winning.
Also Read: 5 Black Women You Should Follow.
Who belongs in a city.
Who lives in the neighbourhood.
From Solo, the barber who does business in his brown, rusty container.
That square corner has become a home to some, therapy to many, and just a phone charging spot for some others.
He stays opposite my house, just right in front of my gate.
With only but a few potholes away, and overgrown grasses that serves as a separation.
About 3 poles away from solo, is Mma Chinedu.
She does business in her zinc sheets kiosk.
Early mornings the aroma from her Akara draws people from far and near to her corner to take deep bites into the hot, spicy rounded delicacy.
By the sharp curve on the left is Madam Black in her restaurant, those flabby strong arms turning the Jollof rice in the pot while shouting at Chijioke (and the mute, sluggish girl no one knows her name) to serve the customers.
‘Are you deaf ehn’?
Her voice echoes from her little green container with a sign on the black board right in front that reads ‘Food is Read’.
What happened to the Y in the Ready though?
On the left turn by the T Junction, opposite one of the dozen churches we have within this area, is The Pharmacy.
Occupying the ground floor in the sparkling white duplex. You see, no one really knows the full name, it’s just addressed as ‘The Pharmacy‘. Serving as an alibi when I want to see one of my boyfriends waiting for me there so I say ‘I’m going to the pharmacy to buy drugs, I have sore throat’, so loudly as though I’m trying to convince myself
A little bit further is Aunty Ngozi, the tailor. She’s pregnant every year and since I moved in here 4 years ago,I’ve watched her birth 4 children. Her stomach is always big so I never know if she’s pregnant again or just post-natal belly. It’s no wonder she takes forever to make an A-line skirt. Must be a lot.
Aha! Then there’s the market. The only market in town, complimented by aesthetic unique shapes of potholes in all their beauty. Some are as wide a mini river and so on rainy days, unfortunate feet and ankles swerve through this thick puddle of mud. Asides the occasional earthworms and rarely the stings, it moisturizes your feet. But if your phone falls in there, you might need to purchase a new one as those -pedes need to post on Instagram too.
Every Saturday there’s always a voice that screams ‘condemn motopatss‘,and sadly I never get to see the owner of the voice. There’s the woman who hawks hot Okpa with her infamous slogan ‘okpa di oku‘ too.
There’s also Musa who owns a mini provisions store, a diligent family man who rides a bicycle, smiles at all times and everyone adores.
These are the realities of the average Nigerian rural settlement. Just somehow we learn to co-exist regardless of profession, skills or class – everyone needs one another. Therefore we value the relationship with one other and keep it going.
This is My City.
This imagery was coiled from my immediate environment where I live. This is a piece I hold very dear, as I see bits of myself immersed into it, a familiarity that feels like home, because it is home. Not their original names though, but I tried to recreate the storyboard that comes to my mind occasionally when I think about it. The feelings and the general vibe it gives me.
Nevertheless, I feel blessed to live in an environment where the people try to be of assistance to one another. To support, to tolerate, to work hand in hand to achieve a common developmental goal in times when the Government had failed us which happens to be often.
Can you relate? What makes up your environment? Who are the people?
Please leave a comment and share as much as you can,let’s preach unity and equality at all times.
Photography: Yagazie Emezi
Meanwhile I just got 10,000 hits on he blog. Ten thousand guys. This means that somehow, somewhere this blog has been visited 10,000 times. Wow guys. Thank you so so much. I am extremely grateful for all the love and support. I decided to start blogging professionally sometime last year and developed some hiccups sometimes early this year, but still found a way around it and now I’m back – Bigger and better.
Thank you ❤. Thank you ❤. Y’all are too sweet.
What should I do to celebrate this new feat? I’m thinking a blog post on something very helpful, interesting or yes, maybe a feature. Maybe not! But expect something worth it!
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