Queen.

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Closure.

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I Love Music: The ‘Born To Do It’ by Craig David Edition.

 

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Craig David. Image: discogs.com

 

Hey, Everyone!

 

A long time ago, back in the early 2000s, people used to buy music on these things called Compact Discs/CDs and played music from these CDs in devices called CD players.

 

It was a magical time.

 

‘Born To Do It’, the first album released by British Musician Craig David, was a show-stopper.

 

Who was this guy with the well-carved beard and beautiful voice singing RnB music with catchy lyrics and unique melodies? This album was wonderful because it was one where I can say that I liked 95% of the songs , which is not something I can say about a lot of albums.

 

5 Reasons Why I Loved Craig David:

  1. Despite the fact that he apparently spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME crafting, shaping and perfecting his beard, I didn’t mind looking at him. The designer beard added to his allure.

 

2. He really enjoyed wearing wool hats, no matter the weather.

 

3. His music videos were entertaining to watch.

 

4. He really loved his hand gestures, which served to emphasise his emotions.

 

5. Of course, he has amazing vocal abilities. Whether the song was a dance track or a ballad, his delivery was always very nice and pleasing to the ears.

 

My favourite songs from ‘Born To Do It’ are

Fill Me In.

Rendezvous

7 Days

Last Night

Walking Away

Time To Party

Booty Man

Once In A Lifetime.

 

Are there any Craig David fans out there?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Short Story: Nanny Duties (Part 3).

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(Read part 1 here!).

(Read part 2 here!).

 

That evening after her shower, Kunbi sat on her bed and thought about the events which had led her to take up the Nanny job. Aunty Chidera had met Kunbi’s Mum at a women’s church meeting some months ago and had mentioned how difficult it had been for her to get a reliable Nanny for her children during the long vacation period. Kunbi had completed her third year in university and was idle at home at that time, trying to be positive and hoping that school fees money would miraculously become available by the time ASSU called off their strike.

 

The money which she had earned so far as a Nanny went to her parents for the upkeep of their home. Her parents, who had been made redundant from their teaching jobs earlier that year, were on a daily pursuit to receive their rightful terminal benefits.

 

As she put on her shorts and t-shirt and got ready to join her mother in the kitchen, Kunbi wondered if she was really the sort of person who would accept a bribe.

 

She and her mother ate their dinner of beans and garri by the glare of the rechargeable lamp, since there was no electricity that evening and it had been agreed that the generator was only to be switched on every other day to conserve diesel.

 

Kunbi felt responsible for her parents and she knew how pained they were when they told her that she had to stop her University course.

 

As she watched her mother eat hear meal, looking regal even in the harsh glare of the rechargeable lamp, Kunbi made up her mind about what action to take.

 

***

On her way to work the next day, which was Friday, Kunbi felt very tense, even though it was usually her favourite day of the week. Her stomach kept rumbling even though she was not hungry, and she was scared that she would throw up in the cab. She wondered how she would frame the words which she needed to say:

 

‘Yes, I will take the money’.

 

‘Okay, I will accept your bribe’.

 

‘Just give me the money’.
Before now, Kunbi prided herself on her integrity.  She never lied, never cheated during examinations and was content with getting an honourable ‘C’ grade rather than paying any of her lecturers for an ‘A’ grade.
As she rang the doorbell of the Osifo’s home, Kunbi felt stressed out, and wondered about people who collected bribes regularly without batting an eyelid.

 

‘Kunbi! How’re you my dear? Come in!’ Mrs Osifo said as she opened the door. She looked radiant and colourful in a multicoloured robe. Her dark skin always looked luminous and smooth, while Kunbi was fighting a losing battle with acne scars and other blemishes on her face.

 

‘Aunty! Good Morning Ma!’ Kunbi curtsied out of habit and followed her into the house, shutting the door behind her.

 

‘I thought you were coming back next week, Ma’ Kunbi asked, since she felt she had to say something. Mrs Osifo smiled. ‘My dear, I just decided to come home early; the conference was soooooooo boring. Who knew Accountants could be so boring?’ She laughed at her own joke. ‘I mean, London wasn’t too cold, but I couldn’t bear to be away from my family any longer, so I just changed my flight time’. Kunbi had learned that she could communicate with Mrs Osifo for hours on end simply by nodding every few seconds; the lady liked to talk.

 

Mrs Osifo led her into the kitchen, still chatting away about London and Accountants. Kunbi thanked her for the clothes, and Mrs. Osifo wove off her thanks with her dainty hand.

 

‘The girls are upstairs with their father. Oh, I have some good news for you’. Mrs Osifo gestured for Kunbi to sit on one of the stools in the kitchen.

 

Bemused, Kunbi sat down, wondering what was going on.

 

Mrs Osifo leaned against the kitchen counter. ‘When my husband was driving me home from the airport this morning, we were talking about you. When you first started working for us, I had asked him if we could assist you with your school fees. At the time, he had said we couldn’t afford to, but today he said he felt we were in a better place financially. So congratulations-Dr. Osifo is going to pay your fees for your last year of University’.

 

Kunbi almost burst out with laughter. Instead, she made sure her face was set in a grateful expression and stood up from her seat, before kneeling down in front of her. ‘Thank you Ma. I am so grateful to you and Dr. Osifo for your kindness’. Mrs. Osifo rolled her eyes and asked her to get up.

 

‘It’s only fair, you have done so much for us and the girls love you. We will have to look for a replacement for you, but I’m glad that you’ll be going back to school whenever they decide to call off the strike.

 

Just then, Dr. Osifo bounded into the kitchen, stopping short when he saw Kunbi.

 

‘Oh, hey darling! I just told Kunbi the good news’. ‘Yes, thank you Sir’ said Kunbi, curtseying. Dr Osifo looked mildly uncomfortable, but nodded in acknowledgement. He got a bottle of water out of the fridge and walked out of the kitchen.

 

Kunbi watched Mrs Osifo watch her husband. There was something in her expression which made Kunbi feel like she was sceptical of the motives behind her husband’s generosity. At this point in time, Kunbi wasn’t bothered; all she wanted was the money for her school fees so that the burden could be shifted away from her parents.

 

Later that day, Kunbi watched the Osifos as they got into the car with their kids to take them to buy some ice cream. They seemed like the perfect family.

 

When she got home that evening, something had solidified in Kunbi’s stomach, a feeling of awareness tinged with resentment. She thought about her parents who were good people just trying to make ends meet, and then thought of Dr. Osifo, who was duplicitous in nature and confidently getting away with his bad behaviour.

 

‘What’s the point of being good?’ She thought. As she received the transaction alert on her phone for an amount which was much more than was needed for her school fees, Kunbi understood that she had been too naïve in her 22 years on earth.
She began to think of ways to make more money.

 

The End.

Written by

© Ivie M. Eke 2017.

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Classy Writing: Depth Becomes Her.

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There is a flatness which I did not realize had been attributed to me until I started writing almost two years ago.

 

I did not know that people viewed me as a one-dimensional mythical creature who is only capable of walking, breathing and sleeping.

 

When I tell people that I am a writer, I get interested looks a lot of times, but I also get blank looks.

 

I also get wary and suspicious looks.

 

Now, I don’t expect everyone I meet to be ecstatic about the fact that I am a writer, but I don’t understand why it makes people so uncomfortable.

 

‘I hope you’re not a feminist?’ A male acquaintance of mine asked me recently when he mentioned my writing. He sounded so worried.

 

I raised my eyebrows in surprise (which was pointless-this was a phone conversation) and I explained to him that 1. Yes, I am a feminist. 2. He probably is also a feminist. 3. I defined feminism in simple terms to him.

 

 

It was a weird way to end an otherwise pleasant conversation.

 

 

Imagine if I had to explain that aside from self-expression, writing is a form of self-care for me?

 

(Nah, that would have been too much. Mental health issues are alluded to in Nigeria, but talking about them? No, too awkward-it means you’re not praying enough).

 

 

The fact that I write should be about my interest in creativity and self-expression, shouldn’t it? Can I simply be a woman who has depth and a personality without being met with lack of understanding or judgement?

 

 

Like the kids would say, can I live?

 

 

I am genuinely excited when people tell me about their passions and talents which were otherwise hidden to me. Who says that we as humans should be one-dimensional?

 

 

For as long as we are alive, we can be whatever we want to be, and as many things as we want to be.

 

 

It has never been my style to walk around with the assumption that others are annoyed that I have figured out that I am great at writing, since they are yet to figure out where their own passions lie.

 

 

I really don’t have time for that. I am basically trying to get through each day and figure out how to complete the stories in my head.

 

 

I have been writing intermittently for years, and I’ve been writing consistently on classicallyivy for almost two years.

 

 

I am a writer because writing is something I want to do, something I have to do, something that makes me happy.

 

 

(It keeps me sane).

 

 

Let your passion (writing, singing, baking, anything, really) keep making you happy. A few people will support you-and that is more than enough.

 

 

I am a woman, a writer and a human being with more depth than my handbag when I’m looking for chewing gum.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Breakup.

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Short Story: Nanny Duties (Part 2).

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(Read Part 1 here!).

 

‘These are really nice fabrics-great quality. I wonder what quality of clothes your Madam must have left in her wardrobe if she can afford to give these ones out to you’ Kunbi’s mother mused.

 

‘Hmm’ Kunbi replied.

 

‘My daughter, are you okay?’

 

Startled, Kunbi looked at her mother. ‘Yes Mummy, I’m fine’.

 

‘It’s just that…you have been washing that tumbler for almost five minutes, so I was concerned. Are you okay? Did anything happen at work today?’

 

‘Work? No, Mummy. Where’s Daddy?’

 

Kunbi’s mother stared at her for a while, before replying, ‘It’s the Champion’s League Finals today, so he’s gone to watch football at the Estate viewing centre’.

 

‘Okay. Let me have my bath, I will come and help you with dinner’. Without waiting for a reply, Kunbi dashed out of the kitchen to her bedroom, as she remembered her confrontation with Dr. Osifo.

 

***

Kunbi heard the front door close, followed by footsteps which were interrupted by a phone ringing, a generic iPhone ringtone.

 

She stepped out of the girls’ room into the corridor which led to the sitting room, and found herself eavesdropping on Dr. Osifo’s conversation.

 

‘My dear, don’t worry, let me just get the file…I will handle her…no, she’s harmless…no, she won’t tell my wife…yes, we’re still on for next week…’

 

Kunbi tiptoed back into the room, wondering what to do with the information which she had unwittingly acquired.

 

She began folding the girls’ laundry when she heard Dr. Osifo walk into the master bedroom. After what seemed like an eternity, she heard the door of the master bedroom open and close, followed by footsteps which grew louder until they stopped in front of the girls’ room.

 

‘Kunbi, how’re you?’ Dr. Osifo stood at the room’s entrance, clutching a green file and not making an attempt to come in. He was a tall man and he seemed to take up the entire door frame.

 

‘I’m fine Sir. Good Morning’. She was unable to make eye contact with him, and kept on folding the clothes.

 

After a moment’s hesitation, Dr. Osifo walked into the room and sat on the chair in front of the computer, directly opposite where she stood folding clothes which were in a heap on the bed close to the wardrobe.

 

‘I came home to pick up a file for my conference; I forgot it at home this morning. I’m on my way to the conference with my colleague, the lady in the car’.

 

Kunbi nodded, not knowing what to say. In the few months that she had worked for the Osifos, this was the longest that Dr. Osifo had ever spent talking to her. He was usually distant, always in a hurry to leave the house. Her overall impression of him was that he was good-looking but boring, like he had the personality of a pair of socks.

 

Kunbi wished Mrs. Osifo would come home as soon as possible from her work trip so that she didn’t have to deal with this awkwardness.

 

‘I know that you must be judging me right now’.

 

Kunbi looked up at him, his handsome features perfectly arranged into a sombre expression which felt contrived to her. He reminded Kunbi of her ex-boyfriend, Ehi. Ehi’s gaze on her had always seemed unfocused, like he was looking through her for someone else more interesting. She had broken up with him earlier that year, and he had barely responded with a lukewarm ‘let’s try again’.

 

‘Sir…it’s not my place to judge you’. Kunbi picked up the pile of folded clothes and placed them on a shelf in the wardrobe.

 

Kunbi turned around and found Dr. Osifo still staring at her, and she wished that she could be anywhere else but where she was at that moment.

 

She took a deep breath. ‘If you don’t mind, Sir, I want to go and tidy up the kitchen’. Dr. Osifo nodded, stood up and left the room. Heaving a sigh of relief, Kunbi walked to the kitchen and started to wipe the counter surface which did not really need to be wiped when Dr. Osifo appeared suddenly at the kitchen’s entrance, startling her.

 

‘I know this is a lot to ask, because I know that you are loyal to my wife…but I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention what you saw today to her’, said Dr. Osifo.

 

Kunbi stared at him, thinking that this was probably the only situation where he would ever speak to her in such a deferential manner.

 

She shrugged. ‘Okay Sir’.

 

‘If you can keep that promise…I know that you have been experiencing financial difficulties. I promise that I will pay your fees for your last year at the University. Please think about it’. Dr. Osifo’s countenance was imploring but his eyes held a resolve that showed that he was willing to do what was needed to hide his adultery.

 

Satisfied with his proposal to her, he turned around and left for his conference with his kissing colleague, and Kunbi heard his car door open and shut firmly. She imagined him telling the lady in the car, ‘Don’t worry, I have offered to buy her silence. Our secret is safe’.

 

Kunbi stood rooted at the spot, not knowing how she was to respond to being offered a bribe since it had never happened to her before now.

 

***Part 3 will be up on the blog next week***

Written by

© Ivie M. Eke 2017.

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Poem: False Love.

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There is nothing as empty as

 

False love.

 

That love where,

 

Even though he is all that

 

You can think of,

 

And you handle those feelings

 

With kids gloves,

 

The love is never straight,

 

But always curved.

 

Eventually,

 

False love

 

Will shatter, because emptiness

 

Is never enough.

 

When this happens,

 

Your heart’s surface

 

Will be weary

 

And rough.

 

But

 

It shouldn’t leave you

 

Disillusioned,

 

But rather, it should make

 

You tough.

 

False love will make you

 

Feel empty,

 

But remember,

 

You are enough,

 

More than enough.

 

Written by
©Ivie M. Eke 2017.

 

 

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9 Lessons I’ve Learned From British Television.

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Hey, Everyone!

 

 

I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1980s and the local TV station (NTA 2 Channel 5!) aired a lot of British TV shows alongside indegenous shows, so I have a great fondness for British Television!

 

 

Please click here to read 9 lessons which I have learned from watching British Television.

 

 

Do you have a favourite British TV show? Please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Thanks and best wishes

 

 

Ivie.

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You Love Me.

You know you love me-

Yes you do!

I see in your eyes,

The struggle within you.

Sometimes my moods are black,

But my love for you is true.

Please, stop sulking,

And give me a kiss or two.

Let’s celebrate our love,

With some plantains and stew.

Written by

©Ivie M. Eke 2017

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