KELANI, Mercy Timilehin: Mimetic Analysis of “Akintunde, Come Home”

Department of English, UNILAG.

100 Level

“Akintunde, Come Home” is a free verse poem based on its form. The poem is a reflection of the Nigerian society, just as literature mirrors and reflects the society. “Akintunde, Come Home” exposes political ills prevalent in Nigeria; it reflects the malevolence and corrupt practises of African political leaders exhibited in their act of governing. The poet who seems to be more experienced, elderly and politically vigilant than the addressee exposes dubious acts of African leaders. The poem could be said to be a piece of advice or admonishment to young minds who find themselves in this political realm of corruption. The tone of the poet is rather persuasive as he calls political minds back to order. Apparently, its truthfulness to life is portrayed by the themes that can be derived from the poem. Some of these themes are: oppression; corruption; selfish ambitions; repercussion etc. Also, this poem, as an African poem, portrays core African values as seen in the way the persona employs adages to make his point clearer.

The poem opens with a rhetorical question of an African adage; “if a man’s mouth is small must he borrow a bigger one to talk to his child?” This adage brings us to a typical African society where proverbs are used to convey messages of inspiration, consolation, advice and many more, but precisely, the African adage used at the opening of this poem could be said to convey a message of advice and admonishment. The use of this adage portrays the poet as a typical African who is concerned on voicing his intent to his addressee on a pressing issue. Adages are common in African societies as it opens ground for dialogues; great writers like “Chinua Achebe” make use of adages in their works; novels, essays, poems etc. to make it full of wisdom. Africans believe in the truthfulness and effectiveness of adages on dialogues, even “Chinua Achebe” once wrote; “proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten”. Evidently, the adage used at the beginning of the poem shows its truthfulness to life as it shows us a picture of the African society.

In addition, the African society is governed by cold-blooded leaders with selfish ambitions. The poet in a serious manner, exposes the corrupt practises and malevolence of political leaders in the African society. Some of these callous acts by the ruling elites include: unfulfilled campaign promises; disregard for the poor; overpowering the weak, among other things as displayed and carefully highlighted in the poem.

Furthermore, the poem’s truthfulness to life is clearly seen in themes of oppression, corruption, selfish ambitions and repercussion, these themes aptly describe the nature of African politics. Oppression and corruption complements African politics as shown in the poem: “…where life is a race in which the strong trample the weak, dashing for the flattering fragments of stolen trophies”. Corruption takes most part of African politics as African leaders engage in looting of public funds, embezzlement of public funds and the likes. Oppression also is not left out as striving citizens are impoverished through deprivation of some rights. Rich politicians in the society look down on the poor with contempt. All these themes, undoubtedly, are aids that strengthen the fact that Niyi Osundare’s poem, “Akintunde, Come Home”, is one which accurately describes issues that are plaguing the African society.

Niyi Osundare also subscribes to the classical, or rather human law of retributive justice. This belief can be placed under the theme of repercussion. Repercussion, as employed in this poem, denotes that there are always consequences for every human action, be it good or bad. This can be seen in the poem as the speaker admonishes his addressee to quickly return to his roots before he would become a victim of the cases aforementioned. The persona vividly portrays his belief in repercussions in this line: “Come home before the sword you wield turns round to claim your neck.”

In conclusion, the who’ve explanations clearly show the relationship between the poem and realism: its truthfulness to life. The use of an African adage at the opening of the poem and themes that relates to present happenings in the African society evidently depicts the truthfulness of the poem to life. Also, from a mimetic point of view the poem could be said have being written in an attempt to curb political ills.

Discuss the hunt for sexual gratification, using at least two poems that were studied in this course. (ENG 111) INTRODUCTION TO POETRY.

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Non-African poetry, just as the name suggests, is poetry written by poets who come from other continents apart from Africa. These poems often talk about different things, depending on the particular genre the poem in question falls into. By genre here, we mean the type of poem. For example, a lyric poem may talk about love while an elegy, most certainly, will talk about death. The study of these poems is undoubtedly crucial to this course because these poems aid us students in knowing poems that are written by outsiders, and by extension, we know the ways of life of these outsiders by analyzing the thematic contents of these poems.

Of course, the non-African poems treated in this course have a lot in common. Chief of these things have to be the recurring theme of the destructive tendencies of time and the issue of sexual gratification. It is, however, the second of the two themes listed that will be considered in this essay. Hence, it is ideal to state here that this essay seeks to critically examine how some of the poems treated in this course portray man’s hunt for sexual gratification or satisfaction. In a bid to leave no stone unturned, key attention will be paid to the elements of form and content and how they help project the issue on ground.

Sexual gratification, as expressed through both poems, can be seen in the way both personas try to woo their ladies in a bid to have sexual relations with them. Both personas give several reasons why they believe having this amorous affair is important. Andrew Marvell’s persona uses the shortness of time to buttress his argument by telling his lady to cave in and enjoy the moment instead of rejecting his advances because very soon, she will not be as attractive as she is due to the effects of time on beauty — old age. John Donne, on the other hand, uses an incident of blood sucking by a flea to pass across his point. He tells his lover to be more accepting to their union because the flea has successfully sucked blood from both of them; thereby, metaphorically linking them in holy matrimony. He goes on to point out that since nothing happened to the flea, nothing will happen if she decides to consummate their union.

Of course, the theme of sexual gratification is a predominant theme in poems such as Andrew Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress” and John Donne’s “The Flea”. This theme is highlighted through the technicalities and content. For example, one can assume that their use of regular iambic metrical patterns — iambic tetrameter in “To his Coy Mistress” and the alternation between iambic tetrameter and pentameter in “The Flea” — suggest lightheartedness. And this lightheartedness, by extension, explains the two poet personas’ love for pleasure derived through sexual contact. Still on the technicalities, one can also say that the use of sonorous couplets in Andrew Marvell’s poem and John Donne’s regular rhyme scheme are significant to the building of sexual tension in the poem. This point can be reinforced by paying close attention to the musical quality they both express through their rhymes. Conclusively, because pleasant sounds such as music aid seduction, we can say the the rhythm and rhymes employed in these poems play a huge role in illuminating the theme of sexual gratification.

Also, these poets present man’s hunt for sexual satisfaction through their choice of words. The choice of words in both poems is simple enough and this makes much sense because their intentions are clearly stated to the objects of their affections; thereby, making it impossible for the ladies to misunderstand them. John Donne, for instance, uses the event of a flea sucking his persona’s lover’s blood to try to influence her to be intimate with him. To John Donne’s persona, the flea takes his lady’s blood without having to ask her out; thus, they should be able to have sexual contact without having to go through much troubles. The persona’s point is made manifest through the line below:
“Yet this enjoys before it woo…”
Furthermore, the use of words such as “maidenhead and marriage bed” help to reinforce the fact that the persona seeks to consummate the union with his lover.

In Andrew Marvell’s “To his Coy Mistress”, the choice of words betrays the persona’s seductive tendencies. He presents a conditional situation where time is not a factor as seen in the lines below:
“Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.”
To the persona, if such a situation were to be possible, he would spend hundreds of years, patiently trying to win her love. But realistically speaking, such situation is hypothetical and thus does not portray life so he urges the lady to quickly accept his advances by stating, in no uncertain terms, what time does to everything — that is, very soon, the beauty of the lady will fade and all the things she holds dear will be no more.

Most certainly, one cannot fully discuss the issue of sexual gratification by paying attention only to the form and technicalities of the poems. To succinctly put it, the content (most especially the themes) is equally as important. In both poems, we have themes that help reinforce the issue on ground. Some of these themes are: seduction, lust, and marriage. All these themes will be briefly explained with regard to how they help highlight the central theme of sexual gratification.

Obviously, one theme that stands out is the theme of seduction. Logically speaking, the first step of many sexual relationships begins with seduction, and both poet personas are aware of this fact; thus, explaining why they go great lengths in the bid to win over their ladies. Andrew Marvell’s persona makes use of hyperboles in order to impress his lady, as seen in lines 7 to 20. When it seems like flowery words will not do the trick, the persona stoops so low by mentioning to the lady how time will destroy everything she holds dear if she refuses to spend her best days with him. John Donne, on the other hand, attempts to use a flea, which has successfully sucked blood from him and his lover, to convince his addressee to have sex with him because the flea symbolizes their union. So, one can emphatically say that the theme of seduction is crucial to understanding the theme of sexual gratification.

Closely following the theme of seduction are the themes of lust and marriage. Both personas are guilty of lust in that they view the ladies as sex objects. To them, premarital sex is not a big deal, so they implore the ladies to lose their virginities. Andrew Marvell’s persona is obviously the more ruthless of the two. He just aims to enjoy the moment with the lady and perhaps move on to someone else when he has satisfied his sexual urge. John Donne’s persona is not much better but he, at least, offers to marry the lady even if her parents are against the union.

Indeed, one cannot miss the various hints that point out at sexual gratification in these poems because they are clearly stated through elements of form such as meter, rhyme and diction, and through the themes projected in the poems. In fact, it is these elements that help make the argument, that these poems derive their origin in the hunt for sexual satisfaction, sustainable. In conclusion, this essay has made an attempt to analyse how the non-African poems treated in this course portrayed the issue of sexual gratification.

Examine the persona’s view of ageing in Lennie Peter’s “The Panic of Growing Older”


There is always this fear that grips a person in the course of growing older — a period a person is exposed to the world and its responsibilities. “The Panic of Growing Older” is a poem by Lenrie Peterson which centres on the mortality of human existence. He paints a picture of a contest between youthfulness and old age, between hope and expectations, between optimism and dwindling satisfaction, between physical strength and mortal weakness. We are born, we move about with various ambitions but at the end, we are left with dwindling satisfaction. This essay aims to explain Lenrie’s view of ageing in his poem “The Panic of Growing Older”

This poem is a realistic poem. It is one which the poet uses to present an ever-present problem plaguing humanity — that is, old age. The poet depicts this problem and all that it comes with through the different stanzas. He, not only, captures the ephemeral fruitful years of a person’s life — age twenty (At age twenty, still by hope of gigantic success..) — but also, describes the unproductive years — from thirty years upward.

Through the poet’s choice of words which describe the poet’s feelings on the subject matter and of course, the pessimistic tone of the persona, one can without any iota of doubt say that the persona has a pessimistic view about ageing. This is reinforced by the title of the poem, “The Panic of Growing Older”. The use of the word “panic” undoubtedly expresses the poet’s fear of ageing and all it entails — that is, one has no choice but to be in a state of sheer panic and misery as old age looms. In fact, the persona describes this panic as being overwhelming because it grows stronger by the day. This is exemplified by the lines below:

“The panic
Of growing older
Spreads fluttering wings
From year to year” Of course, the persona cannot adopt a pessimistic without having cogent reasons. One of the reasons for the poet's pessimistic stance as regards ageing is that old age comes with fear and anxiety. The "panic" having to do with growing old is tied to what one has set out to achieve and the reality of his life. Although they are people who have achieved a lot in a short life span, Lenrie Peters writes on behalf of the people who live to their old age with no inner satisfaction. The initial excitement in youthfulness does not often last into old age. Peters does not appreciate this. Perhaps, this fear and anxiety may be as a result of one's closeness to death. Although Lenrie Peters does not make mention of death in his poem, we can only infer that an old person's looming death will only increase his panic when he remembers the plethora of things he failed to achieve during his golden years.

Another reason for Lenrie Peter’s pessimism is that old age comes with stressed responsibilities — more things to do. Before we go into Peters’ view of ageing as regards to stressful responsibility, let us put it in a more realistic form. At twenty, one is free and young and one can easily engage in any social activity, plan one’s day-to-day activities and make decisions. To summarise, you have your personal space and the poet acknowledge this fact as exemplified in stanza 2:

“At twenty
Stilled by hope
Of gigantic success
Time and exploration”.

He even points out that youths have time to explore and have fun. Life is like a bed of roses to them. However, this excitements never last. At thirty, you feel this “…sudden throb of pain”. This is not unusual because it happens as a result of the heavy burden one bears. Responsibilities reach its maximum and you lack time for yourself and dreams. One marries and is involved in raising a family. Now, you are tied down. The poet persona thus puts it this way:

“Legs cribbled
In domesticity allow
No sudden leaps
At the moon now”.

To crown it all up, these burdens are there to stay forever. When your bones are too weak and you are drawing closer to death, you think of the years you have spent on this earth only to realizes it cannot be equalled to your achievement. You see yourself helpless with a dwindling inner satisfaction. Therefore, one can be justified to say that the poet takes this pessimistic view as a result of the stressful responsibility attached to ageing.

Lastly, pessimism is highlighted in this text through the theme of failure. The persona presents his life as one with a lot of unfulfilled dreams. The optimism that was present in his early life has suddenly evaporated; and now, he is faced by a reality of failures. He has nothing to show the world as his achievements except his family (children). Even at that, the poet is aware that procreation requires no specialist effort so he truly has nothing to show in terms of achievement. The realisation that his life has been one of multiple failures undoubtedly contribute to the poet’s pessimistic view on ageing.

In conclusion, this essay has comprehensively commented on the way the persona views ageing in the poem “The Panic of Growing Older”. This essay described the persona’s view as one which is deeply rooted in pessimism as a result of several factors that come with ageing. It is believed that the simplistic methods and words used in this essay have been able to pass the message across.

He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong. Discuss this statement by Creon in relation to autocracy, theocracy and divine justice.

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Department of English, UNILAG.


1. This essay should simply serve as a guide to those who have no idea about how to attempt the assignment.
2. No part of this essay should be copied by any student as his or her own. The reason for this announcement is that the department of English does not tolerate plagiarism. The penalty for this is failure. Please, do not risk it.
3. Please, do not screenshot or copy and paste this essay because I really need the “clicks”.
4. Feel free to text me if you have issues with the essay. Let us have a scholarly discussion. (09090953414)


The play Antigone is a Classical Drama which captures the struggle between the eponymous heroine — Antigone — and the dictatorial king, Creon. This conflict between these two characters arises based on ideological differences. Creon, for example, is a proponent of man-made laws while Antigone is a supporter of the divine laws — laws made by the gods. These ideological differences make Antigone to defy Creon’s law which forbade the burial of Polyneices, a traitor, and this action leads to a tragic end of the play.

Obviously, tragedy, in the play, is orchestrated by several factors, and one of these factors is Creon’s statement. The statement — “He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong.” — is made by Creon to Haemon, his son when Haemon tries to intercede on the behalf of Antigone. This statement is highly significant because: it displays the autocratic nature of Creon; it showcases Creon’s disregard for the ways of the gods; and of course, it instigates a reprisal from the gods. In light of this, this essay will focus on the critical explication of how Creon’s statement can be related to autocracy, theocracy and divine justice.

Of course, Creon’s statement depicts his autocratic nature. Autocracy is a system of government whereby the ruler possesses unlimited power. Creon, as a ruler, typically exemplifies this autocratic mannerisms through his acts. He single-handedly forbids the burial of a man because he (Creon) is of the belief that the dead man is a traitor who does not deserve burial rites. Creon also sentences Antigone to be buried alive when she defies his decree, and this act is, of a surety, the biggest irony in the play — that is, the dead was left unburied while the living (Antigone) was buried alive. Creon’s decision to punish Antigone can be seen in the lines spoken by Teiresias below:

Teiresias: For that thou hast entombed a living soul,
And sent below a denizen of earth,
And wronged the nether gods by leaving here
A corpse unlaved, unwept, unsepulchered.

Obviously, the statement he makes to his son simply reinforces his autocratic tendencies because it succinctly summarises Creon’s disregard for the opinions of others.

Another idea which Creon’s statement brings to the fore is the concept of theocracy. Theocracy suggests or encompasses the rule of a country by a priest or the rule of a country based on the sacred laws of the gods. The Classical Greek society, as portrayed by many an author, is one which strongly believes in its deities and also depends on the gods for guidance; thus, it is expected of every man to respect these gods and their priests. Due to this dependence on the gods, Creon’s statement is relevant to this analysis because it exemplifies Creon’s disregard for the ways of the gods. Creon shows utmost disregard for this when he decides to contravene the law which states that the dead must be buried. He even goes further to ridicule the priest, Teiresias by describing him as a sell-out — one who takes bribes. By so doing, Creon defies the status quo which places the gods as superior and this act of blasphemy or blatant disrespect leads to the retribution of the gods — that is, divine justice.

Divine justice, as mentioned above, has to do with the penance the gods place on individuals who defy them. Obviously, Creon’s vile responses to the prophet’s warning, alongside his belief that the leader of a country is the highest authority to be consulted or obeyed in all matters, counts as an act of insubordination to the gods. This insubordination may also be regarded as “hubris” — excessive pride. Pride, as we have been made to know, brings about the downfall of a noble character in classical tragedies. Creon is not exempted because his actions make the gods to pronounce doom on his family though the Prophet Teresias. Tereisais’ pronouncement can be seen in the lines below:

Teiresias: I prophesy. For, yet a little while,
And sound of lamentation shall be heard,
Of men and women through thy desolate halls;
And all thy neighbor States are leagues to avenge
Their mangled warriors who have found a grave
I’ the maw of wolf or hound, or winged bird
That flying homewards taints their city’s air.
These are the shafts, that like a bowman I
Provoked to anger, loosen at thy breast,
Unerring, and their smart thou shalt not shun.
Boy, lead me home, that he may vent his spleen
On younger men, and learn to curb his tongue
With gentler manners than his present mood.

In conclusion, this essay has comprehensively examined how Creon’s statement — “He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong.” — is relevant to the themes of autocracy, theocracy and divine justice. All these were discussed with textual evidence to back them up.

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Department of English, 200lv.


*The Standard Essay*

Extracts from: *_HOW TO ANSWER LITERATURE QUESTIONS_* (A work in progress)

A standard essay should have three parts namely: the introduction; the body; and the conclusion. This is applicable to every essay in every discipline. These three parts must be present when one is drafting one’s outline. Hence, ensuring that one’s essay is properly divided into paragraphs.

For an essay to be considered as standard at this level, the essay should have at least five paragraphs — that is, one paragraph for the introduction; three paragraphs for the body; and the last paragraph will be for the conclusion. It is important to note that only one idea should be discussed in a paragraph. For example, in an essay titled “The Effects of Drug Abuse”, you may outline at least three effects and discuss them all in different paragraphs.

The different parts of an essay perform different functions. The introductory part, just as the name implies, introduces the essay. It contains the thesis (What the essay aims to accomplish.) and perhaps, the definition of the concepts. An essay should have a good introduction that is catchy enough to attract the reader. The body of the essay is the point where you discuss your points while the conclusion is the point where you summarise and round off your essay.

Aside having the proper form, a standard essay should also show one’s authority in the use of language — that is, the grammatical construction of words and the correct employment of punctuation are keys to writing good essays. On this note, it is advisable for students writing literature exams to master topics such as: The Rules of Concord and The Correct Ways to Use Punctuation Marks.

Knowing the aforementioned topics is important because most literature teachers usually assume that these things have been taught in English so they do not waste precious time trying to teach the students basic things like subject-verb agreement and where to put the punctuation symbols when writing.

Another important skill to have while writing is the ability to ensure the smooth flow of thoughts from one sentence to another or from one paragraph to another. This is otherwise known as cohesion. Cohesion can be achieved in an essay through the use of connective such as: firstly, lastly, in conclusion, however, furthermore, nevertheless, conclusively etc.

To summarise all that has been said, one needs the following in order to write a good essay:
1. An outline.
2. Proper paragraphing.
3. The correct application of grammatical rules.
4. Mechanical accuracy — the correct use of punctuation marks.
5. Cohesion between sentences and paragraphs.

Below is an example of an outline and essay on the topic: “Why Youth Empowerment is Important for National Development.”


Paragraph 1: Define the concept and list out some points that will be discussed in the body. State your thesis.


Paragraph 2. Youth empowerment reduces the dependency on the government.
Paragraph 3. Youth empowerment reduces poverty.
Paragraph 4. Youth empowerment reduces crime.


Paragraph 5. Restate your thesis. Comment on what your essay has been able to achieve.

Why Youth Empowerment is Important for National Development.

Many of the developed countries of the world today are where they are because of the efforts the governments of these countries have made in terms of empowering their young citizens to be self-reliant. Self-reliance simply means the state of being able to provide for oneself the basic needs of life — water, food, housing, clothing and pleasure. Because the youths in the developed countries of the world are self-reliant, there is less dependency on the government, less poverty, and of course less crime. The word “less” is used before all the aforementioned because it is impossible to have a country whereby there is zero crime and no poor citizens etc. On this note, this essay will discuss the importance of youth empowerment to national development.

As mentioned in the preamble, if the government of Nigeria decides to invest in its youths by teaching them various skills that will make them to be able to fend for themselves, there will be less dependency on the government. If this is done in Nigeria, there will be an upsurge in the economy because the people must have learnt the skills needed to produce some of the things which are usually imported and subsidised by the government; thus, providing more funds for the government to carryout other tasks. It is no news that when people are happy and healthy, the government of the country will not have much problems; hence, doing this provides an opportunity to the government to pursue other pressing needs that will also aid national development.

Empowering the youth of Nigeria is surely going to reduce poverty. Due to lack of any official data at hand to back up claims that many Nigerians are poor, I will be giving a subjective description of poverty in Nigeria. Going through the slums of Ajegunle, I cannot help but feel nauseous when I see the poor living conditions of the people. Their houses are often old and dilapidated, usually without running water and proper toilets. To summarise, the places many a Nigerian lives is not worth living. Sadly these unhealthy environments and accommodations are what most can afford due to the high rate of poverty in the country, and in fact the ones who can afford these houses are often considered as lucky when compared to those who sleep on the streets. The high rate of poverty in the country will easily be reduced if only the government can train the youth to be self-reliant by conducting different workshops that will provide a platform for people to develop their skills and make money from it. If this is done, the standard of living of the people will increase significantly.

Finally, training the youth in skill acquisition will surely reduce crime in the country. In Nigeria today, crime — both high-profile and low-profile crimes — is the order of the day. Many youths involve in different vices in order to cater for themselves. The adage — “An idle hand is the devils workshop.” — is, everyday, proven to be correct in Nigeria because it is only those who are not gainfully employed that can find the time to involve in vices such as stealing and prostitution etc. All these will definitely reduce if only the government could provide a genuine means of making money for the youth in the country.

Youth empowerment is important for national development because the youths are the future leaders of the country. If those who will lead the country in the nearest future are responsible and self-reliant citizens, we can rest assured that the country will continue to grow and will soon be at par with the “Japans”, the “Germanies” and the “Chinas” of this world. In conclusion, this essay has discussed the importance of youth empowerment to national development.

Your feedback is required. Thanks.

*UDE, Chiedozie Orji (Atomic)*


Finding the impossible True Love | GBAMLOG.COM

Paris watched Blaise as he slept. He was a restless one alright, even in sleep.
There was a faint frown on his face, like he was solving a puzzle. Maybe
teaching advanced calculus in the university would do that to you.
She traced her finger from his temple to his jaw. He stirred and caught her
hand. He kissed her palm and pulled her close. As she snuggled against him,
she felt it was the best time to broach the subject she had been agonising
over in the past few weeks.
“You have classes today, don’t you?”
“Hmmm,” he replied, holding her tighter.
“You have classes. That means you need to go home and change.”
“Not for an hour or so,” he responded, caressing the love handles by her side.
That was one of the things she loved about Blaise. He never complained about
her recent weight gain.
“You know you could save yourself the trouble of running back and forth by
moving in.”
There! She’d said it and it wasn’t so hard to do. She and Blaise were both 31
and taught at NYU, she in Physics, he in Mathematics. They’d met at a cafe on
campus and had been dating for a little over a year, with him often sleeping
over at her flat close to the Greenwich Village, Manhattan campus. The first
time was when she invited him over to celebrate their one-month anniversary.
He lived in an efficiency apartment on campus and always went back to his
place the mornings after their nights together to show up bright and early at
the Courant Institute where his office was located. Every single time.
This is the story of a young woman’s pursuit of love and emotional healing.
Paris had hinted that he leave a few clothes at her place but he didn’t. So she
bought him some, hoping with those he’d spend two or three days at a row in
her place. But he packed them back to his apartment and continued his
practice of spending a night with her, then skipping two or three nights before
showing up again. The raw situation reminded her of the saying, “You can take
a horse to the stream, but you can’t force it to drink.”
Paris wanted more but Blaise wasn’t giving it. So she decided to make the
offer that she just did. There never seemed to be a right time to talk about
commitment with Blaise which was really what she yearned for. And her
immediate past relationship had taught her not to assume anything with a
boyfriend. But his silence now proved that Blaise didn’t like her suggestion.
“I do need to get going,” he said, rolling away from her and off the bed.
That stung like a slap. She wasn’t going to pretend she wasn’t hurt. Blaise
stood up and began to put on his trousers.
“I just made a suggestion, Blaise.”
“I heard you.”
“Isn’t it obvious? I don’t think it’s a good idea.” He wore his shirt and began to
button it.
“Can’t you guess? You’re a smart woman, Paris. And besides, now is not the
best time for this conversation. I need to get home and prepare for work.”
“No, I say we have this conversation RIGHT NOW!”
Blaise became annoyed at her insistence. “Fine,” he said, sitting on the bed to
wear his socks. Paris came around to face him.
“I love you, Blaise. Why can’t we be together?”
“We are together, Paris.” She noted that he didn’t echo her love declaration
and he called her Paris, as he always did. “I just don’t want to lose my own
life. I gotta have my own space.”
“I don’t understand. We have 750 square feet of space in this flat. You can
have as much personal space as you need.”
“It’s not the same thing. I’m perfectly satisfied with the arrangement we have
“Well, I’m not. It’s either we’re together or we’re not.”
“I can’t give you what you want, Paris; I can’t go beyond what we have now.”
Blaise stood up and slid his glasses on.
“I think you’re selfish and afraid of commitment.” Paris was on the verge of
“And I think you’re needy and clinging.”
“I thought we were good together but I guess I was wrong.”
“Watch what you say before you have to eat your words when this blows
“You’re such an arrogant pri#k! I think you should leave now and never come
“Get over yourself, Paris. Why would I want to come back? Next thing I know,
you’ll be begging me to marry you.”
“Get out at once!”
“Gladly!” Blaise declared, slipping on his shoes and picking his blazer from
where it hung in the closet and leaving.
The moment he left, Paris dissolved into tears.
That would be the fourth man to walk out on her. What am I doing wrong?
Why can’t I get them to stay? I just want to get married. Why do I keep
hooking up with all these commitment phobes?
Blaise said I’m needy and clinging. How is that a bad thing? Shouldn’t a man
love a woman who makes him feel so important, whose life seems to revolve
around him? All this is so confusing. I think I’m just not cut out for this
dating game.
She remembered what she had been taught when she was growing up.
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. … Flee youthful lusts. … Pursue
holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”
She really believed and practised that stuff till after her graduation from
college. She had been a typical book worm in school and had made a clear 5-
point average, which earned her an academic position in her alma mater and a
scholarship to do postgraduate studies in Europe. She ended up at Uppsala
University in Sweden, where she got a teaching position for additional funding
and pursued a doctorate degree in theoretical physics.
Opting to study abroad deepened her loneliness and her inability to cope with
it drove her into the arms of one of her professors, Katz. She began to
fantasise about settling down in Sweden and raising a family with Katz, only
for her to wake up one morning and learn he had accepted a position in
Norway. He left a note apologising for letting her down. She was young and
beautiful, so she would find someone else soon, he had assured her. (Katz
was twenty years older than her.)
Sex is not a guarantee of longevity or commitment in a relationship.
Then there was Gilberto, the Italian painter she had met during a trip to see the
city she was named after. Just when she had finished rehearsing the speech
with which she would invite him to go back to New York with her, he
preempted her by saying he was going back to Italy, to join a monastery!
Upon getting back to New York, she decided to avoid the artsy crowd and go
with more cerebral folks. But a romance with a marine biologist, Chad, lecturing
at a community college in Brooklyn fell through. She discovered he was
married and confronted him. He said he didn’t know singleness was required
in their relationship and that he still loved his wife. Paris wanted to ask if he
didn’t mean to deceive her, why he hadn’t mentioned his wife in the two years
they’d been together. But she decided it was too late – pointless. She later
learned his wife was a fashion model and constantly travelling. No wonder the
guy could come and go as he pleased. She also recalled that he never invited
her home, claiming that the view of Washington Square Park from her place
was therapeutic.
And finally, Blaise! Charming, handsome, funny, smart, Blaise! Blaise didn’t
know his family. He was raised in an orphanage, same as herself. Although
they were taken into foster care as adolescents, they didn’t build close
relationships with the families they had been placed in. Paris had assumed
she’d found a kindred soul and together, they could heal each other. But while
being an orphan made her crave love, it had the opposite effect on Blaise. He
embraced his aloneness and maintained superficial relationships with others.
Their differences actually ran deeper. Paris grew up in a church-run orphanage
and always had a deep longing for God. She accepted Jesus as her Saviour at
the age of ten. Blaise, on the other hand, mocked her religion and told her to
grow up, implying that to him, belief in God was an infantile notion.
All Paris was looking for was love. She felt if she got a man who loved her,
she would rededicate her life to God and begin to serve Him well. She didn’t
think she stood much chance of finding an interesting guy in church. The
church folks she knew from her childhood were “stuffy”. But as she wept over
the disastrous way her romance with Blaise had ended, it occurred to her that
she had been disobedient to God all along. She was living by her own rules
but that didn’t make her actions right. She had been seeking love and
happiness but she had only found heartache and pain. It was time for her to
retrace her steps. She needed to get back to who she was before she travelled
abroad. She needed to quit the dating scene. She needed to allow God to take
over the saddle of her life once again. His love was superior to any other. It
was what she really needed and in time, if He willed, she would have the love
of a man under the right circumstances.
It is best to seek emotional healing in God, not in the arms of a fellow human
As she was about to kneel beside her bed in prayer, her cell phone rang. It was
Blaise. Paris was confused. Should she pick the call? What did he want? She
didn’t want to fool herself into thinking Blaise would apologise. Even if he did,
what would it actually mean? He certainly wouldn’t be granting her request. If
he did, he would resent her in the long run. He could only want to restore the
status quo, which would mean hurting her again in the near future. But all this
is conjecture. I really don’t know what he wants.
Much as she loved Blaise and was very curious about why he called, she
decided it wasn’t nearly as important as what she was meaning to do. It was
harder than she imagined (not just ignoring his call but giving Blaise up) and
she succumbed to another bout of weeping. She knew the tears would still be
flowing intermittently for weeks, maybe months. But for the moment, she
pulled herself up from the floor to kneel by the bed and find her way back to
-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2018

A Critical Essay on Condomnairing by Chiedozie Ude.

Condoms, however basic and insignificant they may appear, are highly important when it comes to avoiding pregnancy and other sexual-related infections. Buying and using condoms may be quite tricky due to several factors. It is not uncommon for many a guy who wants to buy condoms to whisper silently to the seller because the buyer does not want other customers in the shop to view him with reproach. Well, if you are scared of buying condoms or you do not know how to properly wear one, this essay is for you.

Firstly, if you are underaged or if you are well known for decency, you might not want to buy condoms from a vendor that is in your area in order not to spoil your reputation. You never know, words may reach your parents or pastor. Now, that will make a juicy scandal. So, the solution to the fear or shame of buying condoms can be solved if you buy it from a place where you are not known. Better still, buy it from an aboki (trust me, these abokis sell everything sellable — that is, they are the true definition of a Jack of all trades) because an aboki will sell to you without asking questions. Do not ask me how I know this.

Having bought the condoms (I used the plural form because I do not think anyone will buy one, and rightly so.), the next issue will be how to keep them away from the wrong eyes. The wrong eyes include: younger siblings (Trust me, your younger ones cannot keep a secret to save their lives.); your parents (especially your mother); and your nosy elderly female neighbours who serve as CCTV for your mother etc. Rest assured that you are safe if you can avoid the set of people mentioned. Being caught by your parents, guardian or mentor is not ideal. Imagine how they will squeeze their faces, expressing their disgust in no uncertain terms, forgetting that they were once teenagers or youth who embarked on a plethora of erotic adventures. Trust me, African parents do not understand the concept of safe sex because total abstinence is their style. Therefore, do not be deceived by thinking they will understand why you keep condoms because they will never even try to understand; so, below are the ways to avoid being caught with the wonderful rubber:
1. Hide the goods in one of the hidden pockets of a standard wallet and never you let your wallet enter the hands of any of those classified as the wrong eyes.
2. Place the goods in an empty Milo container “pangolo” and bury it while facing the west. To be certain that you do it properly, do it while the sun is about to sink into its vest (Permit my floweriness, I mean sunset.). The essence of doing this is because burying a condom is a sacred festival that must be done with a mountain of sacredness.
3. Simply buy the condoms whenever you are about to use them. No need to keep incriminating evidence of your fornicating habit for your beloved and righteous parents to find.

No matter the precautions one may take, one may still be exposed. Little wonder the Pidgin English proverb states thus: “When breeze blow, fowl nyash go open.” Should you ever be caught with the contraband, here is a list of what you should do:
1. Admit to your parents that you are a “fuckaholic” so that they can conduct deliverance service for you. However, if your mother is a Yoruba woman who possesses the immanent or God-given ability to shape destinies with her resounding slaps, you may not apply this method. Do not say I did not warn you.
2. This rule is a tried and tested rule because it works every time. Whenever you are caught, just act casually by saying in an offhand manner that you attended a seminar on sex education and you were given condoms as souvenirs. After you say this, shake your head and say: “Silly me, I forgot to throw that shit out.” Then, you whistle loudly as you go out to discard the material. To appear more real — that is, to make them know it was an honest mistake — take out the trash can and empty it because doing this will remind your parents of how responsible you are. Applying this will save you from answering a lot of questions.

The previous paragraphs have dealt with the issues of buying and hiding condoms, and also the issue of escaping a scolding or a righteous sermon when you are caught with the goods-you-should-not-possess. Having learnt these, the next step will be to guide you on how to properly wear a condom. This stage is the most critical because if it is not done properly, you may end up becoming a father in the next nine months. As a student, you would not want that or would you? So, below are the things that should be done in order to ensure you are not violating the sacrosanct rules of condomnairing:
1. Do not wear the condom on your joystick the way you force your skinny jeans into your yam legs. Doing this may get it broken. Remember, you have to treat a condom with utmost respect and care — the kind of care you will give to a fragile baby.
2. Blow little air into it, place it on your Iroko tree and gently roll it towards your sack of coconuts (Pardon my use of euphemisms, my righteousness does not give room for sexual explicitness.).
3. Rule three is very important because it is where legends stand out. You may know how to wear a condom but are you a condomnairing legend? Read on to find out. Always leave a paragraph at the beginning of your Jack hammer when you put on a condom. This paragraph is important because it is going to store whatever you bring out during copulation. Remember, what separates the best from the rest is simply paragraphing.

In conclusion, you now know where you stand as a guy or where your boyfriends stand for the girls. Some of them are condomnairing legends while the rest need to up their game. Finally, it is believed that the unconventional methods suggested in this article will go a long way in ensuring that boys become legends.

Literary blog. Critical analysis of texts. Everything literature.

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