Jangolova Epo Motor

Jangolova epo motor.

It sways you, back and forth

To the edges of your narrow mind;

It throws you across surfaces,

Like water slamming up shores,

or gentle wind against the might of trees;

It tickles you—your feels

You giggle, but you want to cry

You sing, but you want to scream

It confuses you, this thing—this emotional swing

Jangolova epo motor, the voice in your head repeats,

And you take heed as you always do,

You jingle over, like a motor car;

The sound of your sorrow, a soothing lullaby

To the intimidating quietness that claims your world tonight.

*

“I learned that writing is the consolation prize you are given when you don’t get the thing you want the most.” 
― Lang LeavSad Girls

NB: Jangolova Epo Motor is a chorus that myself and so many other children (and adults for that matter) of my time, up until recently, used to erroneously sing when swaying on swings. Apparently, the correct thing to chant is “Jingle Over Like a Motor”. I did not know. And even now that I do, my mind still finds comfort in the battered version– there is just something perfectly flawed, a safe-ness to the awareness it brings: that something can be wrong but still feel right. Often times, it isn’t about what what is but about how what feels.

© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

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Musings: Be careful what you wish for.

This morning, as I sit reading through old posts and musings on my blog, I stumble upon an old note– one of my all-time favourites, ego, which i had written for a boy I was very much taken by. I had met him through a friends friend, and it had been easy to love him. He was laid back, humorous, out-of-the-box, giving so much and yet giving nothing; so there he was ‘getting to know me’ daily, early morning messages, nice compliments and the works but he wasn’t saying anything! I was frustrated, I was mad at him. I would write stories about him, wish for him like a child wished for teeth, but nothing!

Soon, I started to give him attitude, and wish him away. My mantra was, and still is, “it is okay to want to take your time with deciding whether or not you want to be with me; but do me a favour! Make your contemplations from a distance. I do not want you standing in my face, all dotsy and datsy. Pick a lane and stay there.” It didn’t take too long from there on to blank him out. But i kept on writing those stories. And if I ever underestimated the power of writing, it soon blew up in my face, in a billion tinny pieces…

A couple years down the line, we became an item and I was elated, swollen to burst level! I was like FINALLY! I thought it was it, you know? A worry here, a flaw there, but isn’t that what humans are made of? Soon, days wound into months and we made a terrible split: battered hearts, wailing eyes, bitter words and “maybe we shouldn’t haves”. And it is sad and crazy thinking about it now! How the hell could I have wished for something so bad only to wish it away down the line?

It is on days like this, in moments such as this that I find wisdom in the saying: be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Sometimes, things don’t work the way we want them to, and I am beginning to learn that maybe, just maybe, life is working for us rather than against us. These days, when I see fine boys that I am crushing on who can’t find the humour to crush back, I am learning to hold myself back and thank the Universe rather than try to make that person see how awesome I am. Of course I am sugar, but I am not made for every ones cup of tea.

I am stepping into the other half of this year with so much awareness of my kind and brutal flaws, the heartbreaks that defy journaling which I have carried endlessly through the years, the memories of laughing days shared, the knowledge of bad decisions taken and golden chances unused. But I also step into the latter half of the year with an avalanche of forgiveness– for myself, for every mistake and every grudge, every hurt and everyday I thought I wasn’t enough; for the boys that stirred my feelings, knowingly or unknowingly, without hopes of nurturing them. And for everyday that I forgot my worth, and every other day that that knowledge will evade me in the future.

I am growing and there is a lesson at every turn. Let’s take notes, shall we?!

© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

About Yesterday: They read, We listened.

So, there was a book-reading somewhere on the Mainland in Lagos yesterday, and it was Lit! Okay, not to sound hippie or anything, it was actually fun and refreshingly interesting. The three authors, co-authors, of the poetry and prose collection titled- A half-formed thing, Servio Gbadamosi (critically interesting personality), Ehi’Zogie Iyeomoan (eh, cute-ass bad-ass poet), and Eye-Kay Nwaogu (amazing out-of-the-box thinker) read bits of their work that left us, the audience, quite enthralled. Deciding on which of the pieces I most enjoyed will be difficult, in fact.

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Servio read two of his poems: one, a tribute ‘for Kofi Awoonor’ and the other, a creeping, gripping, chilling piece ‘I found this poem’. Ehi’Zogie read from his well of alluring poetry, a tribute to his late siblings ‘endless beginnings’ and a fancy mouth-watering letter to a lover titled ‘a letter to a secret crush’. Eye-Kay read ‘Anna’, a refreshingly different kind of writing, that left the readersguessing and second-guessing their instincts. Enough of my ramblings already, you can download the collection here.

I haven’t been at a book-reading in a very long time (2010, I think, was the last time) and yesterday’s got me looking forward to writing again! And yes, also, probably having my own published collection too! The event was littered with, though a few, curious and daunting minds with interesting questions to ask (Imagine one of the listeners asking Eye-Kay if he had ever been turned down by a girl he asked out?!). One of such questions, thought-provoking I would say, was directed to Servio; and it was about the role of the writer and reader in contextualizing and understanding the writers message. This stirred comments and diverse, yet quite similar, thoughts and arguments.

Servio was of the perspective that the role of the writer is to write, and that of the reader is to contextualise and understand as he deems it fit. Another interesting commenter suggested that once the writer had done his job, writing and releasing his thoughts and innermost burdens on paper, it was the duty of the reader to read and read and read over and over, until he was able to reach a conclusion on the writers possible line of thought. More than that, Ehi’Zogie added, readers are prone to have different connotations of the same piece of writing, and as such, it would be rather myopic and impossible to attempt to confine the mind of a reader to the insinuations of the writer, and that alone. The way I see it, if you read a literary piece and you don’t understand it, move on. I think that every piece of writing has got its own audience. But then, what do you think? I mean, do writers owe their readers any responsibility to be understood?

Moving on to other interesting things, I got to see my long-time writer-friend, published author of award-winning pieces, Su’eddie Vershima Agema for the first time yesterday! I couldn’t believe my eyes! And yes, I got some of his books as well—‘the bottom of another tale (a short-story collection), and ‘home equals holes: tales of an exile’ (a poetry collection) … both of which I am, reading at the moment, concurrently (don’t blame me! I am an eager reader sometimes). I made a couple more friends and took about a dozen and one pictures, and yes, again, the event was Lit!

So, how did your Sunday go?!

**

©The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Writer’s Edition: S. V. AGEMA AND AMINA ABOJE WIN MANDELA DAY COMPETITION ALONGSIDE EMMERGING IDP WINNERS

The writers, Su’eddie Vershima Agema and Amina Aboje have been announced as the winners of the new Mandela Day Competition. The winners for the new Mandela Day Short Story and Poetry Competition organised by the Abuja Writers’ Forum in collaboration with the South African High Commission were announced on Saturday 30th July 2016 in Abuja at an event to commemorate Nelson Mandela as part of activities for the 2016 Mandela Day Celebration in Nigeria. S. V. Agema won the star short story prize with his short story, ‘Washing the Earth’; while Amina Aboje won the poetry category of the competition with a long poem entitled, ‘Alone’. John Bosco Ezenwa’s ‘Prince of the City’ came as first runner up in the Short Story category while Ololade Oye Ajayi’s ‘The Allocation’ and Su’eddie Vershima Agema’s ‘The Three Sides of Confinement’ clinched the first and second runners-up position in the poetry category. Other honourable mentions for the poetry category include Olumide Olaniyan with ‘One Sojourn of the Moon’ and George Ndukwu with ‘My Whole Year.’

In addition to the poetry and short story categories, there was a special IDP category for children in IDP camps. One of the judges for the competition, Mr. Friday Inalegwu Ejilogo, noted that there were two main categories, based on age and classes, and two special mention categories for the girls. The winners in Category A (16-19) Years are Bishop Philemon (First Prize), Andrew Isa (Second) and Abubakar Abdulraman (Third). The girls in the special mention for this Category are Patience James (First), Rakiya Simon (Second) and Hauwa Ibrahim who came in third. For Category B (3-15 years), the winners are Ashifa John Musa (First), Ibrahim Simon (Second) and Rakiya Simon (Third). The Special Mentioned writers are Rakiya Simon (First), Hauwa Ibrahim (Second) and Ladi Emmanuel (Third).

The President of the Abuja Writers’ Forum, Dr. Emman Usman Shehu mentioned that the competition was envisioned to encourage the celebration of works that are relevant to society and show the need for good leadership, which Mandela epitomised. The Coordinator of the IDPs Skills Acquisition Centre, New Kuchingoro Camp, Lynette Johnson, who also partnered with the Abuja Writers’ Forum for the IDPs writing contest noted that it was the first of many steps in recognising areas where children in the camps could hone their writing skills.

Speaking at the event, the competition’s short story category winner, Su’eddie Vershima Agema, a past winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors prize for poetry, who has also been shortlisted for other awards including the Abubakar Gimba Prize for Short Stories, noted that while he was happy at the award, he found pride mainly in the IDP winners who showed that above their struggles, they had great depth. His words had been: ‘I am sure the awards will encourage them to do more. I have great faith in them and we will see how to work to support this effort while creating more avenues to improve their literary lives in what ways we can.’ On her part, Amina Aboje who won the poetry category said she was honoured by the prize and hoped it would inspire others.

In addition to the awards, earlier there had been a talk on Mandela by the South African Envoy Mr. Lulu Louis Mnguni. There were also performances by David Adzer who sang great tunes including a touching version of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and Nkemneme Andy Chukwunonye who read from his poetry collection, Letters to Mandela. An excerpt from the Australian author, Margaret Hepworth’s Clarity in Time was read by her representative, Mrs. Nwanneka Nwala. The award winning poet and founder of Words, Rhymes and Rhythm Publishing and College of Poetry, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (KIS) performed three short but deeply felt poems about Mandela. He read the last ‘Not Before the Flashbulb Crew’ in collaboration with Su’eddie Vershima Agema to applause by the audience. Kukogho noted that ‘Not Before the Flashbulb Crew’ was written in celebration of the year when several pressmen had gathered to get the scoop of Mandela’s death in 2012 but were disappointed as the leader defied death till a year later.

The event was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Nelson Mandela foundation and lovers of literature and the arts. Writers at the well-attended event include the award winning novelist, editor and publishing partner of Paressia Publishers, Richard Ali; Saraba Manuscript award winner, T. J. Benson; multiple award winning writer and critic, Mike Ekunno; Didi Nwala; Chioma Ogbu, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Iyanu Adebiyi, Aidee Erhime, Gabriel Agema; and the journalist, Ibrahim Ramalan.

I read a book ONE time.

Once, I walked into a bookstore in search of a Poetry Book. It was only late last year. I had heard so many people rant and talk and obsess over how they had stacks of Poetry Books on their shelves, but I had none to boast of. In my most private moments, I reckoned I would call myself some-kind-of-poet, so it made no sense that I had no poetry book, no? So, I went to that bookstore. I had no recommendations or suggestions in mind, so I let the luv’ly book-keeper talk me into buying this very colourful compilation. I thought it to be my best collection yet, and flaunted it with pride, to as many literary friends as I had at the time, and I could not wait to dig right in! You know! First ten pages down, and I had my chin in my palms. Forlorn. By golly, I could not understand a thing! There and then, I became ever so wary of Poetry books. Until early last week when A.L.D. Chalom revived my interest in carving out a shelf of poetry books again, with her debut “ONE”.

Chalom talks about love, and pain, and life in very many simple ways, that resonate with me. Reading “I’d share my fire if you had a door”, reminded me of what I felt while writing License to Love. “Why don’t you burn with me” reminded me of those days when I would hurt so bad about something and wish someone would tell me it was okay to feel that way, because in fact, maybe it was hurting them too…

“…because how,

Yes, how,

Can something that radiates

So. Much. Damn. Pain.

Through your entire body

Not burn the rest of the world with you?”

A. L. D. Chalom in ONE

Chalom’s book evoked wonderment and appreciation in me; I felt that it must have taken some feat to make something very brief, simple, yet exquisite in impact. I had been quite busy at the time I got to read the book, having a lot of deadlines to catch up to, but once I delved into it—from the very first piece of poetry: “One you. One sun. One chance, or two?”, I knew I had to go through it completely before putting it down. And I did, I read the book one time, yo; because she made it easy to do so. I think that in all, the beauty of Chalom’s book lies in its simplicity; in its you-do-not-have-to-get-a-dictionary-i-am-just-an-easy-awesome-read quality. Now, really, if this book had been out earlier, say sometime in December last year, I would wish that that book-keeper had handed me this piece of magic instead.

Here’s me thanking A.L.D. Chalom for lending her thoughts to me and the rest of the world, in this simple exquisite pack of delight, and everywhere else! Do keep writing! And in the spirit of penmanship, I hope we all get better at doing this thing that we so love! Telling our stories the way we know how to.

You can check out A. L. D. Chalom on Instagram– @printpoetics, and you can grab a copy of her book “ONE” on Amazon. It is highly recommended in fact!  😍😘😉😊

**

Lest I forget, happy Marvellous May family!

____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Maya Angelou: On Freedom.

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks
of another breeze
and the trade winds soft
through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting
on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands
on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts
on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped
and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

-Maya Angelou.

**

This is dedicated to every writer, searching for truth in their own words; creating hope and belief for themselves and others– even when it seems most bleak.

why i write

Write on, bleed on, spill on– set your thoughts loose, and constantly seek that careless freedom that binds you in quiet peace.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

The Letter.

Dear You,

It’s been two weeks since I last heard, saw or read from you. Two weeks. Shockingly miserable! What happened baby? Last I remember, we were on a fairly good note; despite the subtle drama that played out towards the end of December, I thought we were good… can you now riddle me this distance?

It’s hard not to think of you. Through the long walk to and from school, the slow walk down Tesco’s, the jog to and from the Gym… every fucking alley, path, signpost and landmark reminds me of you. Even the bus station. The bus station baby. Remember? Remember the first day I met you was at the bus station? I was on my way to Fratton to get my hair done, and there you was… shuffling unhurriedly towards me… well, maybe not me- but to the bus station. It doesn’t matter anyway! And I had been humming sonorously to Simi’s Tiff and you said nothing– till we got on the bus, and you sneaked out of your male ego for a second to tell me I have the most beautiful voice ever! I blushed. But I deviate– the bus station. I have loved you from the very first time I set my eyes on you. My heart raced, my throat dried, my loins tightened… and that is how I feel every time I return there. Alone, and missing something I had once found before.

Oh baby, how can I forget you! Remember “The Other Side of Cool“, “Thought Rush“, “Rebound“, “The Mishap“? We wrote those together! Entangled in the tiny couch in my living room, my head on your chest; your hands in my hair… you inspired me, led me, taught me. And ah, “About Friday Night“, that will always remain one of my favourites! Because– because we made love right after the last fullstop in that piece, for the first time. We had laughed so much and teased about it. And you tickled me silly, till we were just a kiss apart. And you looked into my eyes, while I looked into yours. It was 7pm my head warned but gravity– gravity won! So we kissed, again for the first time. And your hands roamed through my body, deliciously. My spaghetti top and bum short gave way to a mass of nerves, and skin, and tightened peaks and hollow dips… it happened. And that has since been one of the most beautiful moments of my life, every other day my eyes met yours trumping the last.

I.miss.you.

Those three words are the most magic my head can make out now. I fucking miss you. I love you! Despite the crushes, and side attractions– you remain; in possession of my heart, containing the best parts of me that I ever knew. I find peace with you. I find wholeness in us. It’s hard to function these days– nothing works! Every damn thing reminds me of your hands in mine, or my lips melting inside yours, or you inside of me… I– I just can’t function.

So is this the end? You know I had written many other letters to you in the past (which I never sent). The first one in fury, the second in misery, the third an apology, the fourth sort of a quiz, the fifth– well, point is ‘ve always wanted to get in touch, to keep in touch, to write to you, read from you. But I couldn’t! I mean, it’s not me, it’s you! You left baby. You walked out that door without a word. Why should I be the one to say sorry? Why should I take you back even if you came begging?

Yet, I have resolved to grow past my childishness, insecurities, doubts and pride; and I have written you this letter to, more than recount the beautiful moments we shared and tell you I miss you, to say I am sorry for every wrong thing I might have said– and all the right ones I didn’t say. You. You, darling, are everything that matters to a dreamer like me. The ink, the paper, and the dream.

Lest I forget, my readers miss you too. And they want to know, dear Muse, is this the end of everything?

Yours,
The Insecure Writer,
Miss Me.

**

Happy New Year lovelies!

___

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Blank Space.

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I will be your blank space
Where upon your hands you lay
Thoughts rush,
Impressions on,
Pour right through,
I am enough to contain you
Design on me
As you will please
Fear naught,
For you, i’ll always exist
Without end, or pause, or stop
I’ll be your endless memory.

Shove me in
The pocket of your ripped jeans
While you hang out
With the boys at Liquid
And when you return
Tipsy, return to me
Pick me up with your magic hands
And write about the slut
That doused you in rum
Because you had the guts to say hi.

Bleed on me
Spill on me
Tear or squeeze,
There’ll be more of me
Waiting for your touch,
The moist of your ink
Un-judging, un-blaming–
Simply making home
To the music of your beautiful soul.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

No boys allowed!

sisterhood1-award

Today is one of those days when I feel too quiet for words. I have been grappling with writing these past days, and it’s beginning to really suck. I understand that ‘ve been quite busy to the teeth, but it’s still no excuse for my muse to go AWOL on me. That’s just rude! Anyway, to more interesting issues… just recently, I was nominated for the Sisterhood blog award by Yemie. She is one blogger who just knows how to light you up like a Christmas tree, and ever since I got this award, I been feeling like December. Thank you Madam Yemie for this, you rock to infinity.

The rules of this award are summarized below:
1. First, the award logo’s expected to be displayed openly on the recipient’s blogsite!
2. Next, the Blogger who nominated you must be thanked and put up for mention via a link that easily takes one back to their own sites!
3. Ten questions as posed by the Blogger who nominated you are expected to be answered!
4. You’re also mandated to nominate and notify ten Bloggers of your choosing and pass on the torch to them!
5. Finally, you get to task your nominees with any ten random questions that so tickles your fancy!

Here are the questions asked me by Yemie:
1. What’s your life’s philosophy?
Answer: Forgive, Forget and Learn. As we grow through life’s shades and stains, people teach us to forgive and forget. But what good is such healing, if we fail to learn from the process? Forgive those that hurt you, it doesn’t much as set them free as it does you. You’ll hurt yourself too sometimes, forgive… let yourself; it helps you grow. And then most importantly, you must teach yourself to forget the pain, but not the lesson.

2. One word that best describes you would be……?
Answer: Atypical.

3. What’s the one best thing for you ’bout being female?
Answer: Being able to challenge the norm in a world where little importance is attached to the worth of womanhood outside of making good wives, making babies and making families.

4. Given another chance at ‘Womanhood’, in say…. another life; will you chance or trade it in on a whim, for the other gender? Why?
Answer: I wouldn’t trade the experience of womanhood for anything in the world, because it doesn’t stop me from being who, what or where I want to be; if anything, it gives me a cause and a reason. It’s just purfect!

5. Who’s that one person, (could be your regular boy/girl next door or a celebrity crush or a pet or even a stuffed toy) you’d REALLY fancy being marooned with for three whole days and nights on a deserted island and why?
Answer: Me. In every literal and non-literal sense of the word. Hahha! I know, I know. I’m awesome like that.

6. What are the five most essentials you’ve gotta have, (as in couldn’t do without); in your handbag or purse at every one time?
Answer: Robb/Vaseline, Pen/Pencil, Notepad, Earpiece, and Phone(s).

7. Body Odour, B.O or Dragon Breath (bad breath)? Which do you consider the ‘lesser of two evils’….the one you can ‘stomach’ and put up with, if your very life depended on it? Note: Failure to choose one of these means you favor dying outrightly! Give this some deep thoughts, Babycakes!
Answer: Mami! This wan tuff o! Well, i’ll say dragon breath and pray that the only time I find myself standing next to the person, is when we have to take a group picture… and of course, i’ll have a sub prayer point hoping the person just does a funky pout rather than an outright smile or full-split grin.

8. Fabulous Flats or ‘Killer’ Stiletto Heels? Your top choice would be…?
Answer: Fab flats please! I hate to dawdle.

9. What love lingo do you speak?! Are you the ‘touchy-feely’ type who’s into Physical Touch( Intimacy) and just loves to snuggle up, cuddle and canoodle? OR Will you be that super sensitive lassie, who fancies and craves being showered with Gifts like flowers, perfumes, chocolate bars, jewels and lockets or even a simple silken scarf….anything; for no just reason, a spontaneous gesture? OR Perhaps, you’re that girl who simply just melts when you’re continually told and reassured that you’re most adored, cherished via spoken or written words… love notes hidden in conspicuous nooks and crannies by your Beloved, by way of Words Of Affirmation OR Maybe, Acts Of Service (Devotion) is that lingo that gets you and revs up your ‘engines’, when your Boo decides to treat you to a ‘Work-free’ day, as far as domestic chores goes; where he gets to take out the trash, do the dishes or laundry, treats you to breakfast in bed or just cleans up after himself and not be a Slob for an ENTIRE day? OR you’re just a Happy Camper whose Significant Other must always, ALWAYS be present by your side…..hanging out, even if you’re both doing nothing in particular, cause your thing’s Quality Time and you’d have it no other way?!
Answer: All of the above, please! I love me a little bit of everything. On some days, there are no words and all you need is the presence and accompanying silence of that person. On other days, when doubts fill your mind for some crazy reason, you just need that one move, thought or action to re- assure you that you’re the only living thing that shines brightest in their hearts… Basically, there’s a need for every season.

10. What would you say’s the craziest, nuttiest thing you’ve ever found yourself doing that’s so TOTALLY outta character but you did it anyhow and enjoyed it too with absolutely no feelings of guilt?!
Answer: ‘ve done tons of crazy stuff, but haven’t enjoyed any so far; so i’ll stow the memories away. Some things ‘re just better left unsaid. Hehe.

Now, that was thoroughly fun! Thanks again Yemie.

My questions are…
1. What is writing to you?
2. Have you ever been called weird, why? And would you say you are weird?
3. How do you say ‘I love you’ in your dialect/ native language?
4. Which do you prefer? Daily love letters or daily gifts (however little)?
5. What is your favourite aspect of womanhood?

I would like to confer this award to the following amazing female (I hope to God they are all females)  bloggers.
Iwalewa

Tomi Adesina

Atim Mercy

Messedupdressup

Teddy

Kiddishrebel

Wolfgericardo

Zayta Kamal

Ifekelva

Royalty

Now, hit me with your best shot sisters! Till next time. 😀

Between: I am here thinking, OH MY LAWD! That moment when an Hausa Boy has got a British Accent… #okbye

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

Blogging 101- Hello and Hi!

 

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Happy new month to y’all. So yeah, I know it’s the 6th of July already buy hey Why, you’re welcome!

I’ve been a little off for a while now; partly because I have been lost on words to write, and also because I am working on Mr Meku (yeah, for those of you that saw the first horrible post of that story). In the middle of this semi- hibernation however, I joined the Instagram community, where I‘ve been able to re- awaken the ‘pseudo-poet’ in me; and also subscribed to the Blogging 101 bit. Yayy! Lool. The essence of all of this, I guess, is to find myself, and I hope I do eventually.

Today’s post is for the first Blogging 101 exercise- Introduce yourself to the world. And God help me, this is something I love doing. Hehe.

I am Rofiah Alli, but most people know me as Damore Alli, an Accounting Graduate, a talkative, a lover of words, and a lover of love. I think that just about sums me up. And of course, in between those words, there’s a lot more even I am still discovering. I realise now that I have been asked the question of why and when I started writing a lot of times, and up until now, I am yet to bring the perfect words together to describe that moment and that cause, so I hope you’ll listen again as I re- say the exact words I‘ve told everyone else. It started with a boy…

I remember that day in my Senior Secondary School class, I had been musing about this guy I had a huge- heavy crush on. He wasn’t cute, he wasn’t tall, he didn’t have builds, or any of those things that can be said to make a guy ‘hot’ and all, infact, he had this ridiculously huge lips that seemed too big for his face, but I liked him. And did he like me? That I don’t know, and I think that’s where the misery that made me start writing came from. There were rumours, about me, about him, and about the us that didn’t exist. On some days, it was sheer bliss- listening to people whisper words that promised he liked me just as much; on some other days, it was tortuous! If he did like me, why wouldn’t he just take the balls by the hand, and walk up to me like a man?! All these thoughts I had been thinking on that lonely boring day at school when I picked my pen, and started writing. I wrote about love, in its wonder and woes! Of how it could feel so amazing, yet haunting. I just wrote on and on, and when I was done, I smiled. It seemed like I had healed in seconds. And so it was from then on. I would write to heal about what hurt me, write to release the emotions that would otherwise consume my glorious heart. It was a gift, a miracle in the middle of June! I would write poems, and drama and show it to my classmates, who made me feel like a Queen as they seemed to stand on their toes each time, awaiting the release of the next big thing. It was indescribable, the feeling; that my source of release was their medicine. So I never wanted to stop!

I got into the University, and tried writing a book on an imaginary crush. Damn, I was loving that story. I had bought a new 60leaves note and penned down every thought, word for word with my Leo Smart pen and the feeling was just same- Indescribable. Until some arse stole the note! It hurt. I would cry for days in mourning of the beautiful characters in it and how their lives ended so abruptly! But thankfully, although the pad was lost, the ink was not… so I continued! And wrote on. In my second year in the university, when I started using a smartphone, the wonders of Facebook fascinated me and I started typing my thoughts on the keypads to reach a wider audience on there, and OH LAWD, was I swooned? The feedback was amazing. I wrote under the name Damore Alli, and that was how it became my pen name till date. People called me many beautiful names – wordsmith, romantic wordsmith and all! I came in contact with tons of beautiful writers like Neydu Onuoha, Opeyemi Owotumi, Ife Olujuyigbe and many others. I had an army of readers that made my head reel with sweet words. But even then, I just wrote. Without form, or reason; it was just pure undiluted thoughts, no paragraphs or fuzzy punctuations! Then I came in contact with Richard Ali, and he gave my words the gift of form. He taught me to pay attention, to write better. And I have been doing that ever since. I’ll forever remain thankful to him!

It was on Facebook also that I came in contact with the amazing April Laugh who made me just want to get on WordPress and have a blog! She blogged good, wrote well, and captured my heart. I didn’t know what it meant to have a blog, or what blogging was about (even now, I don’t) but puhleese, if its writing, I am so in! So on the 13th of March 2012, in my third year in the University, I created my very first blog- http://www.dr2103.wordpress.com. It took a lot of thought, the website address. I had a rush of names in my head, but none seemed right; and then I remembered the dr90210 (or so) that I used to watch on DstV in my 100level days, and dr2103 just seemed like it (21/03 being my birth details, 21st of March)! And again, I wrote on!

Maybe some of you would know the rest of the story- of how I deleted that website sometime in August 2014, because someone had made a flippery comment about my work that really put me down and shattered all that self- esteem I had come a long way building. But for wonderful friends and readers that made me promise to come back here and do the pen some good justice, and believe in myself and my might all the way, I would have been long gone off this space!

So hey, its been a helluva of a journey! And, its been fun!

In case you missed the point, I am Damore Alli and I write to heal and release!

Thank you. ❤

© The Short Black Girl, 2015.

Thank you!