I don’t like babies. I never know what to do with them, and that’s just it.  So you can’t blame me when Aunty Norma hands me her fifth child and I hold him (or her, or it? Whatever!) at arm’s length, and stare like it’s an alien from outer space. The squirmy little thing curves into a huge C-shape and I am anything but awed.

“Aunty Norma.” I clear my throat to hide uneasiness. “How much time are you going to take doing what you’re doing?”

I have my uses, and they are plenty, and they are great! But they don’t involve handling babies, nor pretending to like them.

“Abeg hold pikin, I dey come,” she says.

“Okay.” My heart, instead of melting, begins to throttle. My palms sweat, my arms ache, and I swallow. I really don’t know what to do with the baby.

Everyone I know coos at the sight of a baby and gets excited. They carry them, and feed them, and kiss their soft baby cheeks while murmuring a lot of gibberish nonsense that adults love to mutter when they hold babies. I’m sorry, I’m just not made that way. There are babies all around me, from friends and family. Heck, two of my sisters have babies. So I meet them all the time, but my interaction ends on the naming day when I drop off a gift, peek in the crib and wave at the little tots. I usually do not carry them, and no, I never want to.

The baby gurgles and I bite my lower lip. There is curly black hair slathered in copious amounts of nice smelling oil, and a little pink bow by the side. So it’s a girl. My arms are aching, but I can’t put her down.

As we examine each other, we both admit one salient truth. The feeling is mutual. We don’t like each another. While I am good at hiding my feelings, my rival is not. She turns down the corners of her mouth and her eyes glaze over.

‘No!’ I murmur as I watch the face crumple into a state of descending protest. ‘Don’t even… don’t cry.’

She opens her mouth, whimpers for a moment and the sound fades into oblivion. I’m not deceived, there is more where that came from. The sound is coming, and it will be huge.

“Aunty Norma,” I yell and look over at her, “come and take your baby!”

Our Own Christmas

Posted: October 11, 2020 in New Novels
Tags: , , , , ,

Short Story

When two Nigerian best selling authors Magaret Adetimehin (CAMAA), and Glory Abah (creative writing coach) sought to put together a team of Female African writers for their Christmas themed anthology, they reached out to me and Im glad they did. I penned a short story stealing lines from my poem Our Own Christmas, and came up with a beautiful story of two imperfect people who see each other differently.

Jokotade is borderline neurotic about cleanliness and orderliness. Audra is the very opposite of who she is and plus, he hates Christmas songs for a reason she is curious about. They find that first impressions are not always what they seem, and that maybe helping each other might be the way to go.

This, and many other African themed love stories throng the book as we seek to share with the world our version of Love, and Christmas.

So the countdown begins to an awesome book with 20 varied short stories across different romance genres, countries and continents.

Christmas won’t be Christmas, without a wonderful book to curl up on a couch with. And maybe a cup of eggnog, or a plate of jollof rice and chicken!!!

Hell Hath No Fury

Posted: October 11, 2020 in Christmas, New Novels
HELL HATH NO FURY

We thought Christmas would not be complete without a novel to curl up on the couch with. So 19 amazing authors and I, collaborated on creating the perfect African Romance Christmas Anthology….

Lose yourself in 700+ pages of heartwarming African holiday romance!

Christmas is around the corner, but the universe has decided to conspire against Victoria—again. This time, in the form of cocky, Dr Simon.
Amidst the frigid weather, a slow fire builds between Victoria and Enejoh. Would they stoke it to flame or allow the sparks fizzle out?

  • Yuletide Sparks by Christiana Agboni

Jilted women don’t get hurt; they get even. Amanda lives by one mantra in relationships “Leave before you are left” that is until she is left before she can leave. Revenge replaces hurt and a one-night stand replaces love. Tag along on the journey to a Christmas erotic romance tale.

  • Christmas Day Revenge by Omolola Odunowo

When a young woman picked up the phone, she delivered a chilling message to the police.
“I just killed my husband, please send an ambulance.”
When the cops arrived at her doorstep, they found her drenched in blood and clutching a carving knife.

  • Loathing by Timi Waters

An air hostess returns home after discovering her happy relationship has been a façade. A game developer attached to his manipulative ex-wife reunites with his childhood friend who went MIA years ago. It’s Detty December; a time to get loose, a time to forget about the unfairness of the years.

  • Velvet Tamarind by Margaret Adetimehin

Evelyn’s deepest desire was to be loved by the man of her dream. Kelvin was everything she wanted in her man. Is she everything he wanted in his woman?

  • Hidden Desire by Mobolaji Olanrewaju

“She seeks vengeance, he seeks her heart. What would it take to tame the goddess of thunder and prove to her that he is worth loving?”

  • From Your Shadow, With Love by Rosemary Okafor

A masculine lesbian is in between a rock and a hard place when her girlfriend and mistress cross paths on Christmas day.

  • Karma is a Mirror by V. Adriane

Yaw was a happy family man looking forward to the night’s celebration with his young family when the past caught up with them. The intruders were bent on making them even. In his bid to salvage the situation, Yaw only succeeded in stirring up the hornet’s nest.

  • Conjoined by Timileyin Okunlola

When a handsome stranger pretends to be her man, to chase off an unwelcome admirer, Jasmine quickly realises she doesn’t want the charade to end and surprises both of them when she propositions him.

  • Sweet Butterflies by Lara T. Kareem

Romance meets jolly celebrations in this story of a working-class lady living in the ambling city of Port Harcourt.

  • A Jolly Christmas by Jessica Tagbajumi

Jokotade thinks Adura looks like a tout. He, in turn, has summed her up as a super obsessive control freak.
She can’t complain. He’s her volunteer driver for the day and he’s not bad to look at, despite his apparent hatred of Christmas songs…

  • Our Own Christmas by Feyi Aina

How to Break a Woman’s Heart by Glory Abah

Conviction and grief. Do they ever go together? A sitting duck in no man’s land. Regrets and beauty. Does love beget murder? 

  • Reflections by Olamide Agemo

Charlotte is a single mom. Though now Christian, she’s plagued by her reputation of being the high school slut. Everyone is coming together for the 20-Year Reunion, but she’s afraid to go as she’s still unsuccessful on the relationship front, being divorced. But can she overcome her fear in time?

  • The 20-Year Reunion by Ufuomaee

First love; a mother betrayed and abandoned. An illegitimate daughter’s quest for the truth. How far would you go to give your daughter the only gift she wants this Christmas. To see her father.

  • Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mother Scorned by L. Leigh

Elijah Daniels is an up and coming filmmaker living in Los Angeles. But when Elijah loses his job and his girlfriend on Christmas Eve, he is forced to make the best of a bad situation – and a bottle of Jameson.

  • 365 Days by Yaa Asantewaa Faraji

Madu is trying his best to meet the demands of his terminally ill mother. She wants him engaged by Christmas or she signs away his hard-earned inheritance. Never wanting marriage, Madu has limited options; go back to Zara, or find some random acquaintance. Either way, he had a contract that outlined his terms.

  • The Christmas Contract by Uwanma Odefa

Second chances at Christmas are the simplest of wishes.

  • Four Dates Before Christmas by Temitope Omamegbe

When Chinelo loses the only man she’s ever loved, she buries the emotions he aroused in her and decides to live a life of celibacy, with her children as her focus as her family suggested. Then Femi strolls into her life, offering her love, awakening long-repressed emotions, and challenging her to reach within and find the strength to demand for what she really wants.

  • My Christmas Desire by Chidiogo Lilian Ezejelue
  • The Fertile Chick

So watch this space cause it’s coming soon. At least, before Christmas.

As she reached for the muesli pack on the rack above the table top gas cooker, she felt something brush past her feet.

She put the pack down on the kitchen table beside the bowl and stepped back to ensure nothing had fallen down. The napkin was still on the table, and there was nothing on the floor beside her feet. She shrugged her shoulders and reached to open the pack of muesli.

That was when she saw it, the black long tailed, long nosed creature slinking across the side of the kitchen wall trying to find a way under the bottom of the floor kitchen cabinets.

Jaiye screamed and upturned the muesli all over the table and the floor. Then she kept on screaming.

“Jaiye?” Toye called. He had stopped his fiddling when he’d heard her first scream and had stepped away from the table to stare through the doorway of the kitchen.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!” She shrieked and jumped around for some more time before she ran out of the kitchen and leapt at him, flinging her arms round his neck and wrapping her legs around his waist. “Get it out!”

“Jaiye,” he murmured grabbing her and shifting his head back so he could look at her. She was shivering from head to toe and squeezing him tightly. “You said no sex,” he finished with the first hint of a smile she’d seen on his face in days since they’d returned from Ikirun.

She stared at him in disbelief, eyes wide with fright. “Are you freaking kidding me? There are rats in your kitchen and you’re joking around.”

“Oh,” he replied cradling her closer, “had I known that it would make you jump at me, I’d have let them in much earlier than today.”

“Toye!” she shrieked. “Get rid of them!”

Read and enjoy the full book at

www.okadabooks.com/book/about/loves_indenture_/17006

Love's Indenture by Feyi Aina | OkadaBooks

OKADABOOKS.COM Love’s Indenture by Feyi Aina | OkadaBooksJaiye’s favorite pass time, is antagonizing her father in ways that embarrass him. More than fed up with her, he… Get more Nigerian stories on Okadabooks

Coming Soon…..

TITLE : Love Happens, Eventually

AUTHOR: Feyi Aina

GENRE: Women’s Fiction

PUBLISHERS: Love Africa Press

RELEASE DATE: To Be Communicated

So the story is told in the first person and dives into my female lead’s complex family life with her three sisters in various stages of marriage and she nowhere near it.

Nifemi Ajayi is single, not searching and not expecting to ever get married. She hates babies and weddings and being asked when she’s getting married. When her younger sister trips at a family wedding event, a visit to the hospital puts her in the sights of Dr Esosa Aghomo. There is instant chemistry. Esosa ticks every box on her checklist and there’s no reason not to invite him to her grandmother’s 60th birthday celebration.

Then her uncle, Toba, shows up at the party, tall, handsome and grown out of his teenage awkwardness. He is much cooler than Nifemi remembers and is sporting a sexy new girlfriend who is the cynosure of every eye present.

A death in the family and a will reading reveals a big family secret and the truth about Toba’s parentage. This raises many questions for Nifemi, topmost of which is how to handle an uncle who is no longer exactly an uncle. Even more when she finds she can’t trust Esosa.

Love Happens, Eventually is full of musings about life, love and the usual Nigerian life drama as seen from the eyes of a single girl from a huge Yoruba family whose least favorite question is when she is getting married.

Thank you for giving my book some publicity….

Literary Everything

Love's Legacy

An audio book review of Love’s Legacy by Feyi Aina. Fiction: contemporary romance.

Review

Suggested song: For Sure by BOJ feat Simi

You can buy Love’s Legacy on Okadabooks.

Other titles by Feyi Aina

An Unlikely LoveLove's IndentureThe ConfessionThe SurpriseThe Workmen

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Driving with Decorum

Posted: September 8, 2018 in Articles
Tags: , , , , ,

Ten Ways to Insult Other Road Users in Lagos.

Driving on Lagos roads can give you a headache. Horns are blaring as cars whizz by,

action asphalt black and white blur

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

dilapidated trucks are emitting strong green house gasses from rusty exhaust pipes, and people are shouting curse words at one another. Occasionally, some people are raising the middle finger. Throw in a hold up of unknown origin and you have a literal stampede across the streets of the largest metropolitan city in West Africa. Driving in Lagos is a test of will and fortitude and at least fifteen million people living in Lagos, do it daily.

It’s hard to drive with decorum amidst the many annoying road huggers and rude high-way code illiterates. It’s especially difficult because the decrepit roads we travel daily are punctuated with holes and pits that wait to ensnare one.

  • It’s insulting to be blamed for an accident that was not actually your fault. It’s even more insulting when someone hits you or nearly causes an accident and doesn’t even stop or show a gesture of apology. It’s worse when a driver hits you, stops, gets out of the car and can’t even open his mouth to make an apology. It’s either our morals have finally hit rock bottom, or some people are just plain slow.
  • Avoiding road rage is what a lot of Lagosians need to burn into the bank of their memories. No human being, no matter how wrong he is, deserves to be told in sign language that ‘His or Her head is not correct’ or that ‘Their mother is mad’. It is not right to insult anyone because no one is perfect and we all make mistakes on the road. No human being deserves to be screamed at or abused at on the road.
  • It is wrong to feel that everyone queuing on the line is not nearly as smart as you are, and so therefore you cut out of the line and drive further down creating an extra illegal lane. Even worse, is the driver who heads in the opposite direction to oncoming vehicles in the bid to jump the queue. No wonder the state government needed traffic offenders taking psych evaluation tests at one point in time.
  • It is insulting to horn behind a car in front of you, and ask them to get out of your way. The courteous thing to do is to overtake a slow driver. It’s just as bad to horn behind a car in front of you, when there is an obvious hold up ahead or the traffic light is still on amber. Even a nursery school child knows that amber means get ready, and not go.
  • It’s insulting to know that a driver needs to get out of one lane into another, and he/she is trafficating, and you push your car forwards and block the space. Do let another driver into your lane even if you think they do not deserve it. Extend grace to other people because one day, you will need someone to return that favor to you.
  • Be civil enough not to drive your vehicle into the gap in the lane so that vehicles driving perpendicular to you and going in another direction can come out of the compound, street or a filling station that they are in and go on their own way. Especially if the line of vehicles ahead of you is at a stand-still. It won’t hurt to let someone else go on their merry way.
  • Be patient enough to let the person buying fuel in front of you, shut his fuel tank, receive the extra change with the petrol attendant, start his/her car and put on the seat belt before you start honking in an annoying way. It’s rude and unfeeling.
  • It’s insulting to stop in the middle of a narrow road of two lanes to drop off a passenger or buy something from a road side seller. The appropriate thing to do is to park to the side and let the cars behind you pass on unhindered.
  • It is insulting to think because you drive a larger vehicle than most people, you have the right to hug the road especially when coming in the opposite direction. Other vehicles must respect your car enough to scoot to the side or nearly fall into a ditch because of you. It’s wrong.
  • It is insulting to insult anyone via words or hand gestures for any reason be it a wrong driving move or an accident. No human is perfect, and we do not measure up to the standards we often judge others by. Let your words be seasoned with grace and respect, even if the other guy is at fault.

In, conclusion, I will say that life is difficult enough without us making it worse for each other. Many drive on our roads worried, anxious, distressed and confused about one aspect or the other of their physical, social and emotional lives, and with the economy in the shape that it’s in, it doesn’t hurt to show a little respect to them on the road.

Do drive with decorum. Decide to be civil on the road. You never know if your civil gesture, will brighten up someone’s dark dreary day or prevent an accident. Stay safe, and save a life in the process.

via Love’s Indenture (an Excerpt)

Quote  —  Posted: August 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

The strong, sweet smell of well brewed coffee and muffins in a chilly atmosphere is one of the first things you encounter when stepping out of London’s Heathrow airport on arrival. The hurried ambiance is intensified by the sound of marching feet and silent bag trolleys trailing an array of different colored people heading everywhere imaginable. The pace is quick and everyone minds their business, but you still get the feeling of being welcome.

There might not be that friendly drag of extended greeting or horns blaring down the street with the ever present call of street hawkers that epitomizes Lagos life and makes home what it is, but there is drama of a different sort by a people of a different culture. Almost everyone is holding Styrofoam cups filled with star bucks coffee, or hot chocolate and almost everyone has a bag, be it a trolley or knapsack. It’s a society where men wear suit jackets over shirts and blue jeans to work, and old women truck around in Addidas canvas to no raised eyebrows.

You might not meet someone who’s ready to chat about the weather and the current political issues on the bus or in the underground trains. You will however encounter people ready to stop and give you accurate directions or point out how to get to where you’re going if they know or politely tell you who to ask if they don’t. There is no time for chit chat, and everything runs with clockwork precision. The people are not sociable, and their ingrained work ethics and life habits make them bother on being curt, and somewhat aloof.

So I was deeply astounded, when a complete stranger parked her car and stopped to help me drag four travelling bags down one end of a parking garage to the other with a genuine smile and unfounded enthusiasm. She then proceeded to help me load them in the elevator in an unhurried manner. I do know she had things to do, but it wasn’t too much for her to stop for five minutes  to give a hand.

It took me by complete surprise when an elderly man, graying at the temples, offered me the last seat in a coach on the underground train one day. I didn’t want to take it because our own culture mandates respect for the elderly, but this elder was wearing his shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the ends tucked in faded jeans over a nice pair of boots. He carried a knapsack on his back, but I was sure he was in his fifties. Truth be told, there is a dying breed of people with authentic compassion and pure etiquette. However, I still find them in Britain.

One day aboard a United Airways airline in Atlanta Georgia bound for Lagos, Nigeria, I struggled to push my hand luggage into the over head cabinet above my seat. After a couple minutes of arranging and rearranging and turning the bag to get it to fit so I could shut the door, I finally did it. Just before taking my seat, I looked around and saw myself surrounded by many gentlemen seated in their seats, talking to each other or flipping through the magazines stuffed in the pockets of the airline’ seats’ back-rests and I wondered very, very briefly, why none of them had gotten up to help me. I found myself unconsciously recalling a similar situation on a plane bound for an European country from London. I had my small bag ready to place in the cabinet when a young white man promptly snatched the bag from my hands and slipped it into the cabinet for me. He smiled cheerfully as I said my thanks and continued down the aisle, searching for his seat.

It is appalling, that Nigerians will rush into a line and push each other out of the way in order to get in first. It doesn’t matter, that the airline has reserved a seat for them that practically has their names written on it. It doesn’t matter that the item they are queuing up for will be enough for everyone. There is this ‘me first’ ideology swathed in the ‘scarcity mentality’. And everybody rushes for everything.

I have been in waiting rooms, where men were seated and women were standing. I have had to give up my seat so an elderly man wouldn’t wait on his feet. Forget sounding biased, but some men don’t even help other men. My husband and I were at the bottom of a staircase in an underground station in London one day and we were going home from a shopping outing. An European I do not know from Adam, reached from behind, slipped his fingers in mine and ran up the stairs with my bags. I ran after him, wondering if he was trying to make off with them, but he paused at the top and handed them back to me. My husband, who was lifting two heavy bags, was propositioned by a guy around his age who also offered to help him. But being the typical macho man, he refused. The point is, people were ready to help.

I will not say that we do not have gentlemen in Lagos but they are a rare breed, an endangered species and we must, should, be alarmed.

While waiting at the Ojodu branch of the Federal Road Safety office for the issuing of the new driver’s license, I saw a young Nigerian man give up his seat for a heavily pregnant woman. There were other men present, but he was the only one who offered. I could not resist the urge to say thank you to him. I do not know the woman, but she could have been a friend, or a sister. Back in the day, children washed cars for free or struggled to help push a faulty one to start. Today, a tip is a bribe given upfront, and hardly will anyone offer help without a tip.

Chivalry has been kidnapped by selfishness and ignorance. Etiquette has abandoned our society and left us with a nation full of people who no longer care for themselves. No one is prepared to be inconvenienced for the good of others and in the light of armed robbery, kidnapping and swindling hoodlums, it is understandable that people will be hesitant to offer or receive help from strangers.

We must however, rescue our society from these bad ideals. Our sons must be taught to respect women and hold open the car doors for them. Our daughters, taught to wear kindness in their hair and clothe themselves with ready hands and willing smiles. Children must be taught to give up their seats for the elderly and say their “Please and Thank you”. If there is anything we should emulate from the Europeans, it is the art of being gracious, cordial and polite to one another.

We have a rich cultural heritage of mutual respect that is slowly being eroded by the mix that comes with western civilization. But there are still a few things we can imbibe. So in a crowded room with few seats, will the real gentlemen please stand up?

 

Oga at the Top

Posted: June 17, 2014 in Flash fiction
Tags: ,

Oga at the Top.

If you are a Nigerian, then you will enjoy this flash fiction. If you are not a Nigerian, the story may be hard to follow as it is written in one of our colloquial languages. But you could still try,

Don’t forget to share it.