The Priestess (I)

There was  loud drumming, the thump of a primordial melody, accompanied by a frenzied stamping of feet and the stifled murmur of a hundred voices on the beach, as the dying sun, red as maiden’s blood, sank slowly towards the shimmering rolling steely grey horizon of the sea.  The surf crashed onto the shore with a display of white foam.

The chaotic energy swirled and eddied towards a tumultuous climax; the dancing got more and more frenzied, the shouts and groans got more and more ecstatic and the whirling abandon of the sweating participants got wilder and wilder.  Glistening black bodies swayed,  long limbs flayed the air, white teeth flashed in trance slackened faces.

Suddenly, as if on some concealed signal, all motion ended with a single drumbeat. A tall and regal female wearing only a raffia loin skirt with a waistband of beads, her hair radiating from her head like a peacock plumage, stepped slowly and sinuously into the beach clearing. Her erect naked breasts swayed as she still moved rhythmically in time to the now silent drums,

She looked majestically around the frozen tableau, before she picked her way delicately over the now still dancers lying prone in the sand; her metal anklets clinked together as she made her way down to the water’s edge.  There was total silence on the beach, not even the sound of the sea birds interrupted the scene. The air hung heavy and brooding over the assembly as darkness softly stole over the coast.

At the water’s edge she faced the fading sun, threw back her head and raised her arms as if to hold it an embrace to keep it from sliding beneath the horizon, a look of longing on the chiseled features of her heart shaped face.  She swung round, picked up a dove loosely tied to a stake in the sand and in one swift motion cut off its head with a ornamented knife she drew from her waist band.

Blood spurted out of the severed neck and seemed to mix with the red of the dying sun. As the dove twitched and the last blood drops fell into the sea the sun disappeared, swallowed into the deep blackness. She recited an incantation and the drummers and dancers leapt back up into frenzied motion. The sun had gone to bed down inside the sea! The gathered natives danced fiercely as if to appease the sea gods and ensure its release to rise tomorrow.

The regal lady stood still, legs wide, head back, arms down by her side the dying dove still in her left hand. A lone dancer, wearing an elaborate carved wood mask broke away from the others and danced towards her, as he approached she threw the dove into the sea and turned to face him. The moon finally liberated from the suns dominance shrouded everything in its silvery light.

 

 Angel of seduction

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25 Things You May Not Know About Mz Agams

  1. Her favorite color is fire engine red
  2. Her favorite perfume is Aromatics Elixir by Clinique and she’s used it for more than 3 decades (when she likes something she tends to stick with it :D)
  3. Her favorite book of all time is ‘The Mill On The Floss’ by George Elliot, she read it more than a dozen times before she was twelve and always identified with Maggie (the tragic  misunderstood heroine)
  4. Her second favorite book of all time is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, she’s Alice of course always trying to make meaning of life’s wonderland
  5. Her favorite writer is Dr. Seuss because his simple rhymes are always so profound
  6. Her favorite cartoon character is Snoopy because he always believes he can do it
  7. Her favorite Sesame Street character is Ernie because he’s so irreverent
  8. She used to collect Marvel Comics and her favorite super hero is the Shadow
  9. Her favorite movie of all time is ‘Serpico’ a 1973 movie about an incorruptible New York City cop starring Al Pacino  (he was young, amazingly beautiful and gave an intense performance.)
  10. Her favorite singer is Seal,  when she listens to his songs she says her heart swells and threatens to burst
  11. Her favorite band is Guns & Roses, their single ‘November Rain’ is her favorite song after Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t want to Miss A Thing’ and Freddie Mercury’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Okay she just loves rock n’ roll and might have been a groupie or a rock star in another life
  12. She loves the trill and heart stopping excitement of being in love (or even infatuated!)
  13. She loves to dance and wanted to be a prima ballerina, she’s still a bit of a diva (sometimes) and she can still dance all night long
  14. She loves fast cars, motor sports and racing but doesn’t feel as much need for speed as she used to
  15. Her favorite quote is “to thine own self be true” and she tries to live her life accordingly
  16. She’s a nomad and an adventurer that gets antsy if she lives in the same city for more than 5 years in a row and hasn’t ever in her entire life
  17. She was born in Moscow Russia
  18. She had a pet squirrel named Squeak that used to ride around perched on her shoulder
  19. She likes to play with pythons
  20. She owns a black cat named Felix
  21. She loves Monopoly and is learning to play chess, but thinks Scrabble is for the birds
  22. She is very determined although some folks call her stubborn and she is extremely competitive, watch out she always has something to prove if not to you to herself
  23. She loves comedy TV  and satire and is currently obsessed with John Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’, Steven Colbert’s ‘Report’, ‘South Park’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’
  24. She cried when she had to pack up her super sexy designer stilettos because years of tottering around on high heels damaged her feet (she’s vain like that)
  25. Occasionally she  channels her domestic goddess and thoroughly enjoys cooking, gardening and decorating
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2 A.M. Photo – Creative Writing Challenge

I felt myself pulled back from the edge of sleep just as I was sinking into its sweet oblivion. The phone was making that persistent beeping that told me I had a message. I groaned and wondered how come I forgot to turn it off before going to bed like I usually do.  Another night of insomnia loomed ahead, I never could get back to sleep once I was interrupted at that crucial moment.

I opened my eyes, the LED light of the phone cast strange shadows on the walls of the room. I reached for the offending instrument and looked at the time; 2 a.m. Who the hell was sending me a message at 2 a.m. in the morning?  ‘Message from Gina’, I sighed, Gina the travelling gourmet and my goof friend was almost seven time zones away right now. I wondered if everything was alright and opened the message. It was a photograph her about to cut into an amazing chocolate cake !

Trust Gina to send me a picture of a chocolate cake in the middle of the night from thousands of miles away.  It wasn’t her birthday it wasn’t her anniversary it wasn’t her wedding, Gina was a foodie and she had obviously found or baked a chocolate cake that she was so impressed with that she had to share it with me regardless of the time. Okay so I’m a foodie too and always on the look out for a perfect recipe myself.

As usual the Instagram picture looked so perfect. The colour of the cake was a dark velvety brown, the strawberries that decorated it looked a rich ruby red and the stalks a deep emerald green.  The inside of the cake looked so moist and the chocolate frosting looked so creamy and rich. I forget to be upset as my mouth started to water.  There was no question of going back to bed now.  I had food on my mind, a dark chocolate cake.  I imagined it laced with brandy.

I got up, pottered into the kitchen and made myself a mug of think sweet cocoa.  Maybe that would help me fall asleep again.  As I sipped it I closed my eyes and imagined I was tucking into that sinfully wicked chocolate cake in the photograph.

 

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast!

I can fly! I jump off the edge of the roof outside my bedroom window and land in the pile of hay below!  There in the field beyond is a Unicorn I roll out of the hay jump to my feet and dash across the court yard towards it.  The Unicorn looks up slowly as I run up to it and gets down on one knee to let me climb up his back.  I hold tight to his mane as he shakes his head, paws the ground and takes off. I can fly!

As we flew over the tree tops the birdies flew up with us to say good morning. Together we were quite a formation! The birdies chirped and the bees came out too and joined us and together we flew high over the treetops and the  cows and the sheep and the people that were just waking up and kissing the day good morning. They looked up and saw us and their mouths turned into perfect o’s. I waved and we flew on and away.

You see every morning before breakfast the unicorn, the birdies, the bees and I all flew together to the very edge of the forest where the little old lady lived in her hut made of shortbread walls and a sugar crisp roof. She was a kind little old lady and she made perfect bird seed cakes and planted perfect flowers in her perfect garden. The birds ate the perfect bird seed cakes and the bees ate the perfect flowers and the Unicorn munched on the perfect grass that grew in  her perfect garden.

Meanwhile the little old lady and I ate perfect pancakes covered with sweet purple maple syrup, fluffy pink whipped cream and candy blueberries and drank sweet tea. Of course by the time I got home on Mother would be cross with me because I was so full up that I didn’t have even a little bit of room left for her lovely breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash browns.  Till today I still can’t eat before noon time!

A Sunday Afternoon in Sussex

What does an African feminist writer do in Brighton & Hove on a Sunday afternoon?

Well a friend and I packed a picnic and took a drive through the English countryside out of  Dichling taking the B2116 through Albourne and Henfiled towards Steyning. Along the route were lots of cows, horses, sheep and adorable English Inns and tea houses which to a visiting city dwelling African were all quite a delight to behold.

As a beer connoisseur I just had to stop at a local wine shop and buy some local beer. They have incredibly quaint names like ‘Old Knuckers’, ‘Sunburst’ and ‘Honey Dew’.  The Sunburst was quite good and as refreshing as it promised to be. Brewed by Dark Star Brewery  in Partridge Green where you can book a guided tour. This you must book online first tough, one disadvantage of spontaneous excursions.

Bramber Castle Entrance
Bramber Castle Entrance

Just before Steyning we came upon Bramber Castle  built by William de Braose First Lord of Bramber Castle in 1070  during the reign of the Norman King William the Conqueror.  It sounds grander than it looks, just a pile of old stone work really but  St. Nicholas Church which he also built around the same is still in use.

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St. Nicolas Church at Bramber Castle
St. Nicolas Church at Bramber Castle

The castle grounds are rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of William Braose III’s children who were starved to death with their mother, Maud de St. Valery at Windsor castle in 1210 on the orders of  King John  who was jealous of his popularity. This act of cruelty encouraged the Barons to force the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

I didn’t see the child ghosts but I could have sworn I heard the Lady Maud weeping the loss of her home and family. Couldn’t help but think of the women that history ignores, surely she didn’t just sit by and let tragedy befall her household but who tells her story? The male line of the Braose family died out in the 14th century and no one bothered to record what happened to the women heirs.

Remnants of the living quarters at  Bramber Castle
Remnants of the living quarters at Bramber Castle

A short drive away in Bramber village is St. Mary’s House an enchanting 15th century house that Elizabeth I and Charles II visited during their reigns.  The entire village of Bramber where its located reeks of history. As does Steyning, the entire county is a historic site. Definitely worth a visit.

We drove back through Devil’s Dyke which has spectacular views and just over the top of the hill is the Brighton and Hove Golf Club. The views from the club car park are amazing, I fancied that I could see the French coast line  just across the English Channel.  I’m sure on a clear day maybe I could.

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I couldn’t help feeling a touch sad tough, at our rather dismissive and nonchalant attitude to history in Nigeria. At the same time I’m more deeply committed to preserving such of our history as I can personally. Back to the Agwubuo chronicles!

The Path to Silence

She loved him. There was no logic to her love she just did but she could not tell him. Her vocal cords freezed up every time she looked at him and felt the love.  Her heart froze. She could no longer speak of her love, of her feelings.

Why did she love him she asked herself, he treated her badly. He hit her and cheated on her. He called her names and ridiculed her. When she displeased him he would starve her of love and approval and even a smile.

Still she loved him because when it was good it was really really good. It was the best she had known any way. She was used to being abused, she had always been abused even as a little girl, he said he loved her but he abused her.

He told her she was no good, that she was worthless and useless. She had to be or how else did she wind up with him. Surely someone would have come to get her if she was worth it.

No one came and the days turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months and the months turned to years and the years turned to decades. It was obviously a life sentence. A life sentence to worthlessness.

As the years passed she stopped talking till one day she woke up and she was mute and no one knew why or how it happened and no one really cared because no one had ever really listened to her when she had tried to tell them.

Her eyes grew big and round and bigger and rounder as the days passed. The less she spoke the more she saw and she could no longer speak of the things that she saw and her heart struggled to beat in her chest from the weight.

Her heart grew heavy and big and heavier and bigger and the more she saw and the less she could say and the more she died from all the things that she saw that she could no longer say anything about.

Still no came for her and she felt less and less worth it. Still she loved him. every time he told her how worthless and useless she was she loved him more because surely he must be right and he knew what was best for her.

But he loved her. He told her so therefore it must be true. It was true he didn’t treat her with love and he didn’t show her much love but he told her all the time and constantly that he loved her. So it must be true.

One day she didn’t wake up in the morning and he came and stood over her and told her corpse how worthless and useless she was and her spirit hoovering yet in the corner of the room heard him and she still believed he loved her true.

There was nothing else to say and the silence was now forever and all the things that she wanted to say to him and to all  the people that she knew she could never say it again.

 

 

Death (The Epilogue)

IN THE HEADLINES SEPTEMBER 21, 2011

OPC Leader Dies of Gun Shot Wounds as Bullet-Proof Charm Fails

It was a sad end for Yisa Anifowose, the leader of the Odua People’s Congress, OPC, at Shasha, Akowonjo, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, when his friend, John Taju, shot him dead while testing the efficacy of his newly acquired bullet-proof charm.

The charm could not prevent bullets from penetrating into his body as he reportedly boasted before he was shot.

He slumped and died as a result of the injury he sustained during the shooting.

His corpse has been deposited at Igando General Hospital, P.M.NEWS for autopsy.

The late Anifowose was married and had six children.

Anifowose, 54, popularly called Baba Kazeem, was shot in the chest by his friend and member of OPC, Taju, a one-eyed man. The suspect has been arrested.

The incident happened at the OPC tarmac, Zone 5, Orisumbare, Shasha, Lagos, the family home of the deceased.

On returning to Lagos, he was invited by his friends who are members of the OPC, to their base to celebrate his newly acquired power and the purchase of a new car by one of his members.

It was while they were celebrating that Baba Kazeem asked Taju who had a locally-made gun on him to shoot him to test the efficacy of the new charm.

Taju reportedly shot Baba Kazeem and the bullet tore his chest. He died on the spot.

His death threw the residents into confusion and his friends fled the scene.

Some residents of the area quickly locked up their houses and shops and relocated from the area to avoid being arrested by the police.

The matter was reported at the Idimu Police Station. But before the police arrived the scene, Taju had escaped.

Policemen at the station confirmed the story, adding that the suspect was later arrested, interrogated and transferred to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

“Investigation is ongoing in the matter,” a source at the station told P.M.NEWS.

When P.M.NEWS visited the residence of the late Baba Kazeem at 12, Ejigbo Road Orisumbare, Shasha, Lagos, his wife, Hafsat Anifowose and her relations gathered in front of the house to mourn the OPC leader.

She lamented the death of her husband and appealed to the police to investigate the incident and bring the culprit to justice. “I cannot just stay and watch my husband killed like a chicken. The government should intervene and arrest those involved in his death,” she cried.

A brother of the deceased, Adedeji Ajanaku, described the deceased as a courageous man. He called on the government to release his corpse to the family for burial in accordance with Islamic rites.

Following the death of the OPC leader in this circumstance, P.M.NEWS talked to some traditionalists on the efficacy of the so-called bullet-proof charm and whether such exist or it is just in the realm of the imagination of the believers.

Dr. Bunmi Omosehindemi, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board said he has been hearing of the existence of such a charm but quickly added that he has not seen it.

“Some people say it exists but I have not seen it. I am a scientist,” he said.

A traditionalist, Chief Samuel Oluwasola Dedeigbo, however, confirmed that a bullet-proof charm indeed exists, adding that it is not easy to come by.

“Bullet-proof charm exists but it is not easy to come by. On the OPC leader that was killed as a result of using the charm, the one they did for him was fake. He should have tested it first on an animal before asking someone to shoot him,” he stated.

PM News