The Mrs Club
Friday, May 30, 2008 Hair - a love/hate affair

Aunty come make I fix you.
Aunty come make I fix you.
I can hear them calling from Tejuosho Market

Correct Chinese
Expensive Brazilian
Virgin Indian
No one sells African hair.

I have always had a love hate relationship with my hair. More hate than love. From the time I was young, the mamas who used to braid hair would argue over who would be forced to do my hair. Isi mpulu ose, our househelp used to call me. Little balls of pepper. My hair broke many a comb. My parents bought a metal comb; Bright imposing little thing. Sparks flew when they used it. I cried because I thought my hair would catch fire.

Whenever my mother traveled my father who had long since given up on taming my hair would herd my sister and I to the barbershop and tell the man to cut it. “Gorimapa!” He would say. The barber looking at our sad faces would beg for him to change his mind. “My friend, I said shave it” he said. Resolute. So began the first of many schoolyard taunts. Other girls had ribbons and hair clips. I had only Vaseline.

I can laugh now but it devastated me then, because even at that young age, we were told that our appearance was important. Fine girl. Fine girl! Ye pa, why you allow your papa shave your head like that. See as your head just dey shine. Gori Gori!

My hair has been tortured, never loved. Always looked upon with derision. My mothers taught me how. From Dark and lovely relaxers to too hot straightening irons. It has been burnt in more ways than one. Damaged. Each cuticle cries out for affection. But like me it is resilient. Takes a liking and keeps on ticking. Never a bald spot, chopped but grows back. It keeps coming back for more, hoping that one day I’ll do it right.

When I discovered weave, it was like my crack. Take it down, put it back in. I was always surprised to see my tight curly pattern underneath my long silky weave, “it is growing” I would announce with glee....as if this should surprise me. I wore a weave when I took the pregnancy test that announced my Sina’s impending arrival. Did I wear a weave at her birth? From the moment I learned she was a girl, I prayed for her to be well, I prayed for her to be perfect, I prayed for her to have my husband’s hair. Of course he has softer hair that grows quickly. I envisioned pigtails that hung down and ribbons. God is on the throne and he smiled as he created her hair. As she grew from a practically bald baby to a toddler with finally growing in hair, I became aware of one fact. You can run but you cannot hide. You must deal with your issues one way or another.

My daughter has hair just like mine.

I look at it and I see it for the first time. Your hair is beautiful. Your hair is beautiful. I tell her as I struggle to plait it into presentable braids. It’s beautiful, she’s beautiful, I tell her teacher when she asks if my daughter has had a haircut every time I wash her hair.
I love her hair, it’s beautiful, I growl to my sister when she makes a seemingly innocuous remark about whether or not to buy Sina ribbons.

I shout it to the rooftops. To anyone who will hear. My Sina is beautiful with her kinky kinky hair.
But for all my yelling, all the noise I make. I fear my wise and perceptive Sina hears my true message loud and clear.

The other day she brought me a hair piece, a long silky affair. She smiled as she said “I gave mummy her hair” She watched as I covered up most of my own kinky hair. I wondered what impact this was having on her. Her two year old mind trying to process this fact. That mummy has hair that grows out of her head. But somehow she also has this hair. Wouldn’t it be easier for her to get hair too, instead of being forced to endure the pain of braiding or combing.

Finally I am forced to deal with this, because I won’t have her harmed. I won’t have her thinking that she is anything less than perfect. I won’t have her damaged, not in body or soul. How do I teach her to love herself when I struggle with this myself….How do I teach her to love her hair, when I never let mine see the sun?

Oya O. The clock is ticking. I have got to get it together!


The Mrs Club
Available at amazon.com
Get your copy now
It's the juiciest read of the summer.

Posted by Naija Babe :: 12:17 AM :: 7 comments

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008 A short excerpt from my next book....a work in progress

I can’t stand nights like this. My mind races and I can’t rest. Never mind that I have already taken 2 sleeping pills. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Lara says I should try valium. She swears by it. “Take two darling and you’ll drift deliciously”, my dear Lara, ever the pragmatist, she self medicates for everything, black coffee for the morning, a cocktail for the afternoon and valium for the nights like this, when she looks over at her husband and tries to hold off from killing him.
Mine is snoring up a storm next to me. When we first got married, he was so concerned, he offered to have surgery. Then I was foolishly in love and I lied to him and myself about the severity of the situation. “It’s not so bad” I said. Now I wish he would go into surgery and perhaps not wake up from the anesthesia.
Well, I don’t really wish him dead, it’s just that I am so mad at him. I know he is cheating, again. I know it with every fiber of my being but I don’t have any proof. Something inside of me is just preparing me for the inevitable. I hate him because I think of my children, I so desperately wanted them to have a happy stable two parent family. I am a product of bitter divorced parents and I don’t want any child of mine to experience that hell, so I am angry at my husband for putting me and my kids in this position.
Crap, is that a spider? There you go. Serves you right for crawling around in my bedroom. Yuck, it’s a big one and it’s so disgusting. I wonder. I should just drop this insect carcass in my husband’s open mouth. I mean, with all the shit lies he’s been telling me lately, a spider carcass should fit right into the atmosphere in his mouth. Oh don’t look at me like that. You don’t know what this man has put me through. At least I am not talking about running him over. This won’t do him any harm. It’s just disgusting. Like him.
I don’t really hate him you know. I loved him deeply, but he has become such a joke. He thinks he is so smart, with his lies and his affairs. He thinks I stay with him because he’s an expert at dodging bullets. Shoot, I am just biding my time. Soon, my plan with be complete and he will truly understand that statement…Hell hath no fury, but for now, just a little spider in his mouth.

“Are you okay” I say to him, when he starts coughing. Rubbing his mouth and looking bewildered. I look at him innocently. He asks for water. I get up and pour a little from the pitcher we keep by the bed. He swallows quickly. I raise an eyebrow.
There was an old woman who swallowed a spider. I don’t know why she swallowed a spider, perhaps she’ll die.
“Do you feel better sweetie?” I ask. He nods and settles back into the bed, handing me the glass. “Thanks baby” he says. I nod in response. Foolish man. I could kill him just like that.


What do y'all think? I am still in the really early days...but so many people have sent me emails...asking when the next book is coming out? I tell them, I'm still hustling for the first one, so go and tell your friends to buy the book, the mrs club. Available on amazon.com
But let me know your thoughts on the teaser. Like I said, it's really early days...so this might end up on the cutting room floor!

Posted by Naija Babe :: 11:57 PM :: 5 comments

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Book Club Interview

I have been invited to speak about the Mrs Club at a book club here in Atlanta. I am really psyched because it is an African American group and I really want to know if the book has crossover appeal. They take their book club pretty seriously, they have a newsletter and everything. So they sent me some interview questions for their newsletter and I thought I'd share with you.

Interview
1. Tell us your latest news.

Well I am living, laughing and loving my life! I am presently preparing to go to London to do some promotion for the book and discuss some logistical issues. After that I will be back in the states to continue the hustle. Also I am psyched to tell you that Upscale magazine just featured my book in the May edition!

2. What inspired you to write this novel?

I guess the book came out of conversations I was having and stories I was hearing about women who felt pressured to be married by thirty and as a result were doing different crazy things.

3. Is there a message you want your readers to grasp?

Yes, it’s the same message I plan to give my daughter. It is simply this “You are enough”. You don’t need a man to complete you, define you and certainly not oppress you. I think a man is what we in Nigeria call “jara” which translates to icing on the cake. When I told my father I had met my husband and we wanted to get married, he asked me if I was sure. When I said yes, he said “well I haven’t met him yet, but regardless of how wonderful he may be, I hope you know that you like all my children are completely complete just the way you are”. Till today, that singular statement fills me with joy and it actually freed me to love my husband freely and truly.

4. Which of the characters is most like you?

Everyone asks that! Well there will be some obvious similarities between me and Amaka, who is a pharmacist, voluptuous and sweet. However her story isn’t mine and I feel a similar kinship with the other girls. I connect with Titi for her tell it like it is nature and with Mina for her tough girl exterior.

5. What have been your greatest successes in your life?

My greatest successes are yet to come. I have many things I am proud of and many that I am not. I think completing this book and presenting it to the world is a success and teaching my daughter to love and be happy is another success. Being a wife to my husband is yet another success, because regardless of how much you love each other, marriage is hard work!

What do you feel the causes are for them?

Simply put, I will succeed because I believe I can and I will act upon that belief. One of my family’s favorite quotes is by Anatole France and it states “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

6. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Start writing and read like it is going out of style. Also write for yourself first. A few people I knew were somewhat disappointed that I wrote a chick lit book, because some people don’t consider chick lit real literature, but I love what I wrote and judging from the emails I have received so many others do too. So be true to yourself no matter what.

7. What kind of books do you read?

It runs the gamut, my library features everyone from Toni Morrison and Richard Wright to Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding.

8. What have been the greatest lessons you've learned?

1. The truly successful in life are not the most exceptional people, they are simply those who dare to believe that they can be successful.
2. You can’t love too hard, laugh too loud and dream too big. Life is limitless.


9. What have been the greatest surprises in your life?

That after almost six years of marriage, some of those years being really hard that I would fall for my husband all over again. That my two year old would teach me how to be audacious. That I can love what I do and do what I love at the same time.

10. What book has made the greatest impact on your life?

As trite as it sounds…The Bible. My favorite book is Proverbs. It is like a blueprint for successful living.



THE MRS CLUB
AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

Posted by Naija Babe :: 5:55 PM :: 1 comments

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Friday, May 23, 2008 Would you be the other woman?

The characters in my book are all confronted with real life situations and one of them is dealing with this particular question.

Well would you?

Before you all jump to answer no, let's be real. Many of us are choosing this path, or at least find ourselves on it and at that moment are faced with whether to jump right off or continue along. Quite recently some notable women have admitted to being the other woman. Barbara Walters did, Oprah did and I am sure some of y'all did and are.

A while ago, a young woman sat in my living room and proceeded to tell me why she thought wives were the stupidest women. She said and I quote "Majority of the men, I know, don't love their wives, they love their girlfriends. The wives are the fools because they clean up after them, take care of them and at the end of the day, he goes to have fun with his girlfriend"

I resisted the urge to slap the stupidity out of her brain. She was sitting in a married woman's house telling me, how she thought me and my kind were stupid. Ah...but I have come to learn that in order to gain wisdom, you have to listen to even to the most inane of conversations.

So I poured my drink as I listened to this otherwise educated and smart young woman, justify her choice in a roundabout fashion. The mind is amazing, you can justify anything if you really want to...I mean, Bush justified Iraq and I have just rationalized this chocolate chip cookie, well I am still justifying it, crap I really can't justify it without lying to myself, darn! Must put it down! Aargh

But I digress.

I think the key thing in her statement was that she was lying to herself. Affairs, adultery exist in a realm of lies. He lies to her, he lies to you, he lies to himself, you lie to the world, you lie to yourself and then you cry to yourself because there will be nobody left to lie to.

There was once a girl who told a married man, that she missed him and wanted to see him soon. The wife found out and confronted her. The girl feeling like a hard chick, told the wife, that if she were her, she wouldn't be making such a big deal, after all, all she did was flirt with the man.

I don't know when we as women started to believe the lie that we have to settle for this s**t! First of all, if you don't know it, let me help you aspe big sister concerned, anyways, here goes.

1.If a man is married and stays married and has you on the side, then you are only a side piece. You are simply there because you agree to be there. Occasionally he may become so besotted that he will contemplate or maybe even leave his wife, but even in that circumstance, most of the time, it's more about his needing to leave anyway and you providing a convenient safety net.
2. Men lie, shoot we all lie. We lie to get what we want. We lie to ourselves, so what makes you think that Mr. Man is not lying to you? He told you he doesn't love her? What line do you think he used on his wife, when she found out about your last tryst? The same one. Verbatim.
3. The wives of men who cheat, have agendas. They stay for a myriad of reasons, don't assume stupidity is one of them.
4. Don't believe the it's not where he is, it's where he wants to be myth. Where he is, is where he wants to be period. Trust me, don't fall into the trap.

I know a woman, who was a man's mistress for at least twenty years. She was and is a beautiful, elegant, educated woman. I don't know what he told her to keep her hanging on in there for all those years, must have been good. Long and short, dude had a heart attack. Left everything to his wife and kids. His mistress and other child, were left nothing. Nada. Zilch. Their names weren't even penciled into the will. She couldn't see the body. She couldn't mourn him publicly. She was a shadow widow, just like she was a shadow wife. She went to the memorial alone, her friends refused to go, and she sat at the back like a nobody. Because in his real life, she was nobody to him. His friends that knew her, pretended otherwise. She was a strictly after midnight, no status. I think about her a lot. I wonder how a woman like that could have fallen prey.

I wrote the book, the Mrs club, because I wanted to talk about how people feel when pressured to marry, but there is a secondary pressure. The desire to find love. When time starts passing, you start to fear. Hey this is real life right,so let's be real. You start to fear that maybe you won't find that perfect love. So sometimes when a counterfeit comes around, showing you all the romance you felt would come with that perfect love but none of the commitment, you think that you have to settle for less. Their verse is practiced so its convincing, but it's no more real than the world they are promising you. Any man that is serious will close one door before opening another. This is fact, simple and true.

Tell yourself what you like...but find a little time to tell yourself the truth. These so called hard babes and senior chicks, that self medicate with gucci and prada are sometimes, dying inside. They don't tell you that sometimes, he doesn't take their calls for days or weeks. They don't tell you that they have to beg sometimes for the money that they flash around like lottery winners. They don't tell you that sometimes, they get lonely. They don't tell you that sometimes they hate who they have become.

I guess that is what gets to me the most. I told that girl in my living room and I am telling you. If you are on the verge of making this choice. Don't choose him. Choose you. Don't give up everything you believe for a person that has made no commitment to you. Don't give up the right to dignity for a little bit of intimacy, don't give up being alone and end up lonely. You are worth more. You deserve to live and walk in the light. You deserve to subsist on more than crumbs, you deserve the cake.
I understand that fear, believe me I do. I think that sometimes that books and movies set us up. They are about romance, not love. When the screen gets blurry and the music starts, what is happening is not love, it's romance. Love is commitment, pure and simple. It is not necessarily sexy. It doesn't necessarily come with perfect words. It simply is.

And if you stop looking for the lies, you will see the truth and say it.

I have told you O. You know yourself. Don't say you haven't been told the truth. Plus, I think his wife is an MFMer. Heeh!!! Don't let her holy fire deal with you O!!! My hand no dey!

As always my people
Be well, be loved, be happy


P.S
The Mrs Club
available amazon.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 1:14 PM :: 7 comments

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 Mummy dearest

From the first time people notice you are pregnant, the wahala starts. From well meaning aunts to the WFM (Worldwide federation of wrestling moms) the unsolicited advice and judgment comes your way. You shouldn't eat that, bad for baby, you shouldn't do this, bad for baby. Then if you are unfortunate to have an active WFMer, lawd have mercy. "I played Mozart and Chopin for my baby while in utero, studies have shown it helps brain development" If you are a first time mom, you may fall for this, especially if your musical repertoire consists of hiphop and Psquare.

Then comes the smackdown match, the bottlefeeders against the exclusive breastfeeders. The WFMers have been training for this match for a much longer time. They are adamant about nipple confusion (Men, it is not what you think), they know the exact percentage of nutrients versus life saving antibodies, they proclaim that the bonding of mother to child is second to none during that time.

I know about this fight. I went toe to toe and I survived.
My daughter and I came to agree that breastfeeding was not for us. We had latch on issues and more. Came to the point that my 6 week old daughter told me, "Oya, pack it in, I would like my milk, processed and in a bottle, thank you. This is not working" Of course it came out in screams and more screams, when I tried to bfeed. She would scream herself red and I would be in tears. I was failing at my very first task as a mom. I thought it should have come naturally. After all, all the women I saw, had looks of blissful peace as they unselfconsciously heaved out breasts in public places or demurely sneaked junior under a very stylish shawl, either way they were providing nourishment....so what was wrong with me? I stressed out privately, but my daughter reassured me, despite claims from local WFMers that "Gosh, mine won't even touch formula, I guess it tastes so metallic" my daughter thrived. She grew healthy and big. She was never sick and from her development charts wasn't addle brained. When she started smiling I became sure that all was not lost. I hadn't failed at all, I had just taken a different path.

But it was not over.
Then came the baby food. Organic or not, what to get, what to give. Again trust the WFMers to have an opinion. "Oh my gosh, I only puree steamed organic vegetables and chicken and fish for my child, I don't think I could ever give him anything that comes out of a bottle, you never really know what they put in those things!" Makes sense I thought, not knowing that once more, I had fallen into the trap.
I tried pureeing squash, which was spat out with projectile force. I was given a look and a Waaah that I understood only too well. My little Madam was saying as sweetly as possible "Look, my friend, if you do not present my chicken and rice asap, it will be me and you". My husband laughed and pointed out the trap. "I was raised on Gerber and I turned out just fine"

Next up. The TV
I am a TV fan myself. Complete square eyes. Although these days, I don't have quite the time. The local WFMers paid for a PSA. TV will destroy your child's brain. I no longer trusted them and I also needed the 30 minute break that came in an adorable little boy called calliou. What kinship my child felt with this bald headed 4 year old, I'll never know, suffice to say that "Ka you!!" was one of her first words. I know WFMers, write me a citation!

There are still more stands to be taken, more smackdowns to be had. Ballet class at 3, or romping around in the park. violin lessons at 5, or singing with mummy. In everything you choose to do with and for your child, chances are there will be some WFMer telling you that there is a better way - theirs!

I honestly don't know what impact Chopin has on the brain, I actually play my daughter jazz and big band, because I love it, currently we are digging Diana Krall's rendition of Fly me to the moon and Frim fram sauce and my two year old is loving it too, we are bonding over our mutual love of scatting and improvisation.
I do know this for sure, that you can be so caught up in winning the smackdown that you fail to be present to the reality that you have a wonderful gift in a child. You can get so caught up in shuttling to classes that you don't take the time out to say I love you. You can get so caught up in making sure they wear the right clothes, go to the right schools and speak the right language (accents included) that you miss out on watching and knowing these amazing little balls of wonder, literal manifestations of God's grace and majesty.

Regular joe Mom or champion WFMer, we are all just trying to do the best for our children. Well here is my two cents, whether you breast or bottle feed...and whatever other choices you may make, the best thing you can do for your child is to love them completely and unabashedly. So if you see me kissing my Sina, with our arms wrapped around each other at the organic aisle in the grocery store, or if you hear me proclaim I love you as I give her some wendy's chicken nuggets, know that this is true. That though I may not win every smackdown, I love her wholly and this is the one thing I am most sure of.


PS
Available now on
Amazon.com (The Mrs Club)
Get it now...You won't regret it

Posted by Naija Babe :: 5:19 AM :: 2 comments

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Monday, May 19, 2008 The status of your bag or the state of your mind

It’s a question of faith over fashion. Although some of us think it’s about fashion over faith. Nigerian women are among the most fashionable women in the world. The society women are constantly focusing on their wardrobe. Do you have the latest French lace, the new kind of aso-oke, Have you seen the new season of Chanel, or the hottest it bag?
The pressures some women face in today’s society, trying to fit in to this fashion oriented climate are enough to intimidate even the toughest of us, quite simply put, Naija babes dey oppress.
I’ll never forget an experience I had when I visited Lagos one Christmas period. I had decided to have my nails done at an upscale nail salon in Victoria Island. When I walked in, I was struck by how well put together the clientele were. In every seat, there was a very chic woman, whether she was tall or short, fat or thin, short do or unbeweaveable, they looked quite fabulous and then they had one other thing in common - The status handbag. Next to every woman, there sat in a chair, a purse that cost almost as much as one terms school fees at an expensive private school. They went by different names…Gucci, Vuitton, Prada etc. Each woman held it as proudly as her wedding ring.
As I later learnt the status bag was used as a entrance to a certain level of society, at least on a superficial level. Before certain women would talk to you they check you out, a silent list is checked off in their heads. Hair – check (no rugged afrocentric looks for this bunch, unless of course you happen to be a well known artist, but for the rest of us, well maintained and up to date fashion wise, weave is more than acceptable, but don’t bring that cheap Chinese shine over here, we prefer our hair, virgin, Indian, Spanish or brazilian and we like to pay too much for it) Clothes – check ( well fitting, fashion conscious) Shoes – check (again, fashionable and not too worn) then there is the bag, their eyes go straight to it, can it be called by a name, is it real or fake? Is it first, second or third tier? I tell you the requirements can be mindboggling.

Me, myself…I won’t lie, I have a penchant for bags. Though for me it’s not necessarily about the name, its more about the design and quality. I have to love it. So I buy what I like, within reason of course. Occasionally I put myself on restriction. I say, self, if you cannot express yourself for under a certain price then just forget it and for the most part I stick to it, but I may splurge about once a year, if it seems like more to some people, it’s only because I keep all my bags in rotation and I tend to favor styles that are not overly trendy, so they never look old.

However, I often wonder, how the choice to carry a certain designer, should matter in a person’s evaluation. The idea that because you can spend a good to ridiculous amount of money on a frivolous item somehow makes you a worthy person; A friend of mine shared with her conversation with a popular socialite.
“Hello” my friend said as she walked up to her.
“Hello” she said, then noting the accent she added “You are from America?”
“Yes” my friend said not knowing the first check had already happened.
“My name is X” she said.
“Is that from the new prada line?” The socialite asked.
“Eh no” My friend said. Said friend would never ever spend money on prada or any other designer, not because she doesn’t have money, she is probably one of the higher net worth people that I know actually, it just goes against her walmart principles.
“Is it prada?” she asked again.
“Er, no” my friend responded.
“Ok, what is it? Balenciaga?”
“No, it’s just a bag.” My friend said exasperated.
The socialite was quiet for a while and then after looking my friend up and down. Simply got up and walked away, before she left she said “I thought it was a Prada”
Check – definitely not!

In any event for those of you determined to have the ultimate in status bag...You can get a customized Hermes Kelly bag, with no waiting list and dirt cheap...here. All you have to do is click on the I want it, I'll have it and build your own!
Smile...the world is full of reasons to be happy!

P.S
Don't forget
Buy my book
The Mrs Club
available on amazon.com
and themrsclub.com
My Naija peeps I hear you...
Please forgive me. Logistical issues plague me
Soon and very soon O...biko eweniwe.

Posted by Naija Babe :: 3:55 AM :: 3 comments

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Friday, May 16, 2008 To all the bad boys and the women who love them

So I want to share with you a line that I may use in my next book and I will give all credit to this badass chick when the time comes!

So I was talking to an old friend. We don't talk too often but when we do its a marathon session of truth, laughter and amens. We share anecdotes and coat our truths in slick humor and somehow it helps us deal. We don't agree on most things and her style is so far from mine but this chick is my sisterwoman, somehow, somehow.

So we were talking about relationships as we tend to do...we are both married but she has been at it for much longer than I. When talking about Nigerian relationships invariably infidelity comes up, na standard tori. So we were gisting about this chick who is always proclaiming how she and her hubby's love is sweeter than condensed milk (you know the kind in those small small tins - they always make me sick) and I was telling her how last time we all went out, one of the girls in our party noted that the hubby was checking out every chick in the place..."Aaah" my friend exclaimed "The guy is a junior bad boy!". What do you mean? I asked. Would a senior bad boy not look? "No" she said. "What he would do?" I asked eager to learn the rules of this game. "He would look at his wife and check out the babes from the reflection in her eyeballs!" and we both fell down laughing. We talked some more and what became clear was that my dear friend had once seen a lot in a relationship. Now this is not about her and her relationship. I always find it interesting and ridiculous when people say what they would and would not do in another woman's stilettos. Chick has made her choices and I respect her for owning them.

One of these days, I'll write about love, cheating and 40 to life, but this is about bad boys.

As she spoke, It was apparent that she had a great deal of respect for that bad boy as in he was baaad. I guess if you are going to be bad, be superbad. Tied into that emotion was a sense of respect for herself that she survived him. She said and I quote "once I survived that, I knew that I could face anything". I felt her on that.

I fell for a bad boy once. He was such a charmer. He was the literal manifestation of my fantasy for a man. Tall, handsome, slight British accent from boarding school, Yoruba edge but Ibo to the core. Well traveled and well spoken. I was more than ten years his junior and I was in awe. Naturally I fell in love and hard. It was a simple case of bad boy word equations. If chick is given x number of raps, combined with quality time, gifts and the illusion of a future, how quickly will she give her heart, because at a certain point it was not about the drawers. (hey, I tell it like it is)
I gave it freely and he shred it.
I never hated him afterward. Too much energy, but after the pain had dulled and I had healed, I started to get that I survived feeling too. I mean, I had tangled with a Bad boy and was here to tell the tale. I was now a bad chick.

But was I? I wanted to be hardened, to always tell myself that men aint sh*t, to treat them as bad as they would treat me, but that is and was not me. After a little while, surviving didn't feel like something to be proud of, but to be grateful for. The knowledge that I wasn't defined by this experience. That I could be myself always. I could acknowledge that this man had hurt me, but that I was strong enough to heal and believe in the power of true love again.

When I met my husband. I told him I had no interest in bad boys, I was looking for a man. One who had integrity and knew who he was and had no need to have his ego constantly fed by innocent or foolish hearts of women.
After almost six years of marriage, I can say I married a man, though like every human, he is still and always growing, as I am.

Years ago, I was opportune to meet my bad boy...and how the years tell on us. He was older, greyer and sadder because at his old age, he was still chasing skirts. So much for growing old and distinguished. He tittered (yes O, tittered) this over forty man as he told me how some chick was chasing him. I listened in silence. Thanking God that I had not been tethered to this narcissist. He sounded juvenile and ridiculous, trying to prove to me that he was bad.
"Uh, alrighty then, you take care" was my response, and suddenly I became aware of the quirk of fate. I was now the bad chick, because I had stood up for my values and been true to myself, because I saw something I hadn't seen before, discontent. He was unhappy somehow. Like a homeless man, trying to convince you that his cardboard box is better that a real home.

But I am rambling.

Suffice to say this. "Here to all the Bad boys and the women who love them" Hey we are all trying to figure out how to live in this complicated, crazy world.


PS
Go on,buy my book!
The Mrs Club
Available at amazon.com
and themrsclub.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 10:43 PM :: 5 comments

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Thursday, May 15, 2008 Nanny less and loving it.

For now anyway. So I had to let my nanny a few days ago. Chick was freaking me out. She was super fantastic with my daughters laundry and kept her room organized but I am convinced she was coaching my daughter to call her Mummy in my absence. Even when I explicitly asked her not to. Also my daughter didn't seem comfortable. After almost having an anxiety attack at work when I couldn't reach them in the house, I decided that paranoid delusions or not, this was not healthy. Wetin, all my spider senses were on alert.

So now, na me and madam and she is loving it. She ran round the house chanting, Sina and mummy, sina and mummy. So I put her in the montessori program that she had been attending part time, full time and yes, she might be exposed to more colds and infections, (one kid in her class had scarlet fever!) at least I know that they won't run away with my child!

This Nanny wahala no easy and quite frankly I am tired. I think maybe I am done. It's just that man pikin's work schedule is brutal. Sha O, I have a plan....I just need the, is it five or six winning numbers...and I'll be all good.


Available now
The Mrs club at
amazon.com and themrsclub.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 11:35 AM :: 2 comments

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I've been tagged

Here are the rules

1.link the person who tagged you… Simi

2. Mention the rules in your blog…

3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours...

4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them…

5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged...

Well 6 quirks...Hmmm

I am an incurable romantic...from raps in french to solid igbo raps...I dig them all. Although lately for all my phonerization I have a particular penchant for my native tongue... In fact my hubby won me over with raps that started with omalicha tomato and ended with aru buttermilk! LOL!!!

I am practically a teetotaler! Not for any moral reason, it's just that all it takes is for one drink to take me from charming and vivacious to snoring on the couch. I go right past the happy buzz to sleep, so when I really want to have a good time I avoid alcohol, although lately I have been building my tolerance, one glass of riesling at a time.

I love the backyardigans song! Yes I have a toddler. And I love that they have a ghetto fab character called uniqua! LOL. And she is my daughters favorite character! Now if they could just give her a proper head roll, we'd be all set.

I can't sleep with any doors open, they always have to be closed, whether closet door or bathroom door. It drives my husband crazy.

I believe that there are things in this world that cannot be explained away by science.

I love my daughter and I am a great mother but I will admit that I didn't enjoy breastfeeding - painful and potty training is aargh! Last night I had a crazy dream, and lets just say it involved the clean up song, underpants, a dora toilet seat and number two!!!!

Okay simi...I have finally done it.

Now, Bobby, Msminx, 9jamommy, Toni and Lola, tag you're it.

The Mrs Club
Available now at amazon.com
and themrsclub.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 10:45 AM :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 The disease to please

Most people that know me don't know that I suffer from a condition I call Peoplepleasaritis - The need to please. When I was young, I lived for that look on someone's face that showed they were happy with you - You like me, you really like me!
As I got older, I recognized how people had used that to their advantage and as a consequence used and sometimes abused me. By the time I was in college after I had been devastated by teenage betrayal, I went through a radical pleasectomy. I cut the tumor out, except that I wasn't that skilled a surgeon and I cut out some crucial flesh with it. I did what I liked and only that, and you either liked it or lumped it. Few people were allowed close to me and those that were there, well they were and still are special (in the best of ways).

How far I had swung hit home when a friend of mine told me she would never choose me as a bridesmaid because she knew I would not go out of my way for her. I was sobered that day. What kind of person had I become? Yet there were some who would describe me as very giving and loving, my husband for one (as well he should I suppose).

Amaka, one of the characters in the book, also has this need to be accepted, but she has not gone through surgery as of yet, hopefully when and if she does, she will have a more skilled surgeon.

As for me, I am learning how to find a balance. My natural inclination is to give of my heart, give of my time, my money, everything even to my detriment. I learned how to hold myself back a long time ago and now I am learning how to share my love with out losing myself. In all things balance is key.
Now if I could just find the right balance between broccoli and brownies, it'll be all good.

Ngwanu my people.
Love will always be in style.

The Mrs Club is available for sale
at amazon.com and themrsclub.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 11:38 PM :: 0 comments

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Sex, lies and the African

When I was in Nigeria promoting my book, one question I kept getting was if I was concerned about the racy sex scenes in the book. Ok first off let me say that yes there are somewhat explicit scenes but I don't think that it is gratuitous. Actually when my dad read it he said and I quote "Some parts of it border on pornography and that Titi, my God", but please note my dad is pushing 70, a professor type who would consider sex and the city xxx-rated. In any event I think he was more shocked that his child wrote those scenes than the scenes itself.

What is it with the way we view sex? Don't ask, don't tell. I wrote a story about thirty something women who have sexual encounters as part of their broader dating stories, meanwhile young girls today already have more experience than I have the imagination to describe and they are not even doing it within the confines of loving relationships. It's funny, I didn't know this at the time, I was a dry chick, but my while my high school was known to produce well mannered, sophisticated, smart girls, in other words correct chicks...apparently some of these girls were known for their oral skills and I am not talking about the debate team.

By the time I was ten, I had hit puberty and I was getting all sorts of attention. It was unwanted and frightening and most of the time I didn't have the tools to manage it. My mother was a hawk, she practically locked us in the house, maybe this was how I managed to escape a different fate, but I keep thinking about other girls I know who were like me, trying to survive in a society that can be predatory towards girls and not having anyone to discuss it with. Girls who had sex (were raped, victims of abuse)were labeled as loose girls. I remember a story about a high school classmate who went to her boyfriends house possibly quite innocently because she thought his family would be around and found herself raped by her boyfriend while his friends watched. I remember hearing this story in my form five and being shocked but not knowing quite how to process the information.

When I had my period my mother handed me a book to read on the subject of puberty, girls and sexuality. It must have been written in the fifties. When I finished reading she asked me if I understood the book. I nodded yes and that was basically my conversation about becoming a woman. I smile when I think about this. My mom is my mom and she did the best she knew how and when I think about it, she did a great job. Yes she was so strict, I never partied but she kept me as safe as she could and I am here to tell the tale with only a few minor bruises... not everyone was so lucky.

So I speak freely about sex. I will tell my daughter about it when she gets older. Actually we already have conversations about private parts and who should and should not be touching and why. Yes, she's only two but we live in a crazy world and don't be fooled pedophiles are not solely a product of the western world.
When she is older I will tell her my truths about sex, about how it clouds clarity in an undefined relationship, about how men and women view it differently, about how it should not be used as a pawn in a chess game, about how if you make a decision you later regret, you can stop and change direction, about how I don't believe in labels but in people and about how much her father and I love and value her and how she should know that as a woman, sex is a gift and a responsibility, and more important than sex is love.

So yes, I wrote a book about life and love and a lot of stuff in between...and yes, my heroines and real live chicks who explore their passion for life in a variety of ways, orgasms included and yes I think it's about time we stop being so hypocritical about sex. We need to talk about it, address the promiscuity among some of our young women, the perversity among some of our old men, the lack of self worth, the damage to self esteem, the joys of sincere intimacy, the sensuality of touch, the fact that spirituality and sexuality are not mutually exclusive. (Yes O, I am a Christian and I believe that orgasms are a gift)

Even as I write this I am concerned with being misunderstood but c'est la vie. You can only speak in your language and hope that the people around you are fluent.

My people. Be well. Be happy. Be loved.


The Mrs Club
Available now on Amazon.com
and themrsclub.com

Posted by Naija Babe :: 10:27 PM :: 2 comments

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Sunday, May 11, 2008 Amaka...my darling....

You guys...You guys!!!

Thanks for all the email. I have received note upon note about the book. I guess you guys felt like I did, that it was time to read a story about correct naija chicks! LOL

Anyway, the interesting thing is that quite a few of the emails have said that Amaka's story happened to them in one way or another...

So I ask this question? Why do you think Amaka story went the way it did? Did she miss some clues or what? I would love to hear your thoughts...

And for those of you waiting for the sequel...well I am hard at work again...

Love y'all
Ekene

Posted by Naija Babe :: 1:04 AM :: 0 comments

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