Thursday, July 26, 2007


GOD FLICKS HIS WAND... ( in the Nigerian Part of heaven)


ANGEL INSPECTOR: well u r at the manufacturing facility. u just got made. here is your spare-parts sheet. As you receive your parts and functions, u get the dispatcher to tick them off. oya,come down.



CATWALQ: (WALKING ABOUT, COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY) wow, oh my God...look at that...and that...and that... wow. my goodness. wonder what that is...hello, bye, excuse

SOME RANDOM SOULS LIKE THIS: Hello, what is ur name.

CATWALQ: catwalq. what are yours?

RANDOM SOUL 1: random soul 1

SOUL II: random soul II. where u just made?

CATWALQ: no oo, i was made this morning (notices an exchanged glance) why, what is it?

SOUL II: why r you incomplete? are your parts made to order?

CATWALQ: what do u mean?

RS1: look around. u notice anything?

CATWALQ: (LOOKS AROUND. REALISES SOMETHING IS AMISS) everyone looks different. what is going on?

RS1: u were supposed to make the rounds at the departments and collect your things. What do u have tamped on your paper?

SOUL II: what were u told that the paper floating around your head was for?

CATWALQ: Oh gosh, I completely forgot...

SOUL II: (RETRIEVING PAPER) mm-hmn, obviously. all she has is speech. no brain, no limbs, no eyes...nothing (TO RS1) am even surprised she has not fallen into a ditch all day.

RS1: (TO CATWALQ) where have u been? what were u doing? what were u thinking?

SOUL II: I must say that that last question is quite daft considering her brain item is not ticked...

RS1: shut up!

CATWALQ: (STARTS TO CRY...NO TEARS COME...NO GLANDS). what am I going to do? what is going to happen to me.

SOUL II: I guess, u can be one of the cleaners here...shucks. u need limbs for that.

RS1: Soul, waka far, right now....

SOUL II: (walks away chuckling)

RS1: (LOOKING AT THE PAPER): let's see. where r u being sent to?

CATWALQ: (HICCUPPING) I think to Yorubaland by way of Benin.

RS1: it says here that u r going to be a girl, so let's first make sure that u have those parts covered.


HEIGHT ANGEL: ah, sorry o. i just gave the last few inches to that one going. If u can come back tomorrow, maybe they would have brought a new batch of clay.

RS1: what about all these ones in the basket?

HEIGHT ANGEL: abi, u wan put me for trouble. no be d same place dem dey go. na d one wey remainder from since more-reen, na im dey dere. see dis yansh, as e big so, the leg wey co carry am don finish. see this hand, look am, u see sey the colour na one kain. i don tell u say i don finish d one for toh-day. if una come tomorrow, i fit find proper one for u.
when dem say make u comot?

CATWALQ: this night.

HA: abi, dem give u something chop? where u bin dey since more-reen?

RS1: no mind am o. as im collect im voice, na tori im knack till im waka go d other side. na for brain department we just dey commot since. dey even don pack commot for office.

HA: na wah o. oya, make I look my supplies. I fit get weting I go combine, make im face no kill im mama when e land.

(they burst into laughter)

CATWALQ: are u mocking me? I have a feeling that I am being ridiculed.

HA: shuo. na oyinbo pikin?

RS1: no o, dem just talk say, im go go school.

HA: dosgbe. I don see like five hundred today wey go go school. na so all of them dey knack English for here. One of them even vex me sef, na im make me wan keep im left leg. I con remember my former oga wey try am one time, na devil shit in dey take hand carry.

RS1: o ti o

HA: oya, Cattie-qwal, abi wetin be ur name?

RS1: (TO CATWALQ) he is talking to you

HA: leave am. im battery neva charge complete. e go slow for some time. oya take. manage this one. I no tink say u go too tall. but as u be woman, u go take koko shoe correct am.

To be continued.

Friday, July 20, 2007

That fateful day...

Venue: Eck African Seminar, PH, Nigeria, August 2000
Catwalq is at the Seminar Services desk welcoming people. Both Francophone and anglophone.

French Guy: Allo

Catwalq: Hello, Bienvenue.

French Guy: Oh, Merci, ou est le bureau de change (where is the bureau de change?) I here, Ivory Coast. No naira.

Catwalq( nodding seriously): Excusez moi, je ne parle pas francais. un moment ( i am sorry, I don't speak french. One moment. let me get someone)

Catwalq: eh, Naija French Speaking Bobo, can you please help this guy from Ivory Coast? You speak french abi?

NFSB: yes, where is he from?

Catwalq: Ivory Coast.

NSFB: Aaah, Cote D'voire.

Catwalq: No, Ivory Coast.

NSFB: (tone very superior and patronising) yes, cote d'voire is french for Ivory Coast.

French Guy: (nods in agreement. looks at catwalq funny)

Catwalq: (looks at ground. it doesn not open. Counts number of witnesses: about twelve)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I thought I was in love. I was knocking twenty and had never had a boyfriend. I desperately wanted this to be real. My adoloescence was leaving me and retreating to a distant memory devoid of all the silliness and carefree living that all my girlfriends had experienced.

Whilst they were swooning over improperly penned love letters and saccharine sweet romantic dalliances, I was poring over university brochures and countless novels. I was always odd amongst my friends even though I fit in with the crowd. Fiercely outspoken and intensely imaginative, I always wished that I too could have a very generic type tale to tell whenever my friends and I gathered for a hang. I never did. Even as I feverently prayed that things would change.

He was everything I wanted in a man. I was young, had no references against which I could compare him but I knew he was what I wanted. He was intelligent, suave and extremely funny. He and I shared a kin sense of humour. He got my jokes. I got his jokes. We read the same books. He was intrigued by all the things that I told him I had seen as well as those that I was planning to see. He lived alone, was working after having sailed through school abroad (where I wanted to go) on a scholarship (like I wished for). His mother was the woman I wanted to be when I grew up. His sister was an architect like I was planning to be. He was a youth leader and advisor in church.

He was tall, and his black skin shone like only a man from the river belt could. His hands were large but gentle; I knew because anytime he touched me, whether just to get my attention or to help me after I slipped in shoes that were not made for walking, I burned the feeling in my mind; my unexplored desires bubbling up to the surface like the inferno of a volcano.

My mother noticed it. Maybe because she had never seen me that animated around anyone before. neither had she seen me suddenly taken with my appearance. i was suddenly worried if he had seen whatever I was planning to put on that day. For the first time in my life as a female I fantasized about what it would mean if we could nurture our relationship till when it was right and we got married, what my first name would sound like next to his. Luckily, my mother was half itsekiri, half Yoruba, so I had access to and experience with his culture. i wondered if I could endure the dressing. I started trying my hands out at preparing what I had deduced was his favorite dish.

I confided in my best friend who was stunned that I felt that way. I had been pegged in school as the "most likely to beat up her husband herself". I hadn't liked the title but I was kind of glad that people were able to deduce that I was a no-nonsense person. My friend got to work trying to find out if he was involved with anyone. He was 25 going on 35 and I was 19 going on 30. We were going to be perfect together.

Then, at a party that I had spent ages getting ready for cos he was going to be there, he introduced me to his girlfriend. I died as I shook her hand. That was the day that I knew without a doubt that I had a chance at acting. My mother was sure she had been hallucinating about me and my friend felt she had imagined our past conversations about him. The girlfriend was perfect. She was just the kind of woman I knew he would have picked. She was funny, lively and very beautiful. I hated her because I liked her alot. He watched for my reaction, like he was anxious for me to accept her. He introduced me to her as his baby sister. he was the last child of his mother and so, he had always been the baby. Everyone thought that was cute. My stomach was churning.

Why would he want you? I asked myself. You are too fat, too dark, too short, stoo chatty, too young....every flaw I felt one could have, I drummed up as a reason why he could not be mine. I was so pained, i was numb. I began to tell myself that what they had would not last. I wondered if I prayed, maybe God would bring him to ME. Then, I realised that was an insult to God and to him. he was happy, clearly that is why God had brought him and her together. I even fell ill. My mother blamed it on my erractic eating habits. She tried to talk to me, to get me to talk to her. I brushed her worries aside and blamed it on my quest for admission. She bought it. i was studying for A levels, Jamb and SATs. I had alot on my plate.

Maybe, they would not last. Maybe... I'll wait.

I am sitting in front of my computer. His email is short as usual and filled with all I want to hear,except... he as proposed and she has accepted.