Losing my virginity

Catchy title, eh?

Yeah, I think so too… /:)

This may or may not be a tell-all tale. A few days ago, someone said on a friend’s blog and then on my timeline that all the bloggers just seem to be blogging for shock value now. I know there’s this way all them shocking tell-all tales can make readership, commentaries and subscriptions on a hitherto little-known blog soar. You know, those controversial topics/discussions that have comments in their hundreds on theToolsman’s blog/site? Yeah? Or that post on Terdoh’s blog over this last weekend? (almost 1000 comments!!) Or remember that other slim girl’s post that went on to trend worldwide on twitter, with it’s own hashtag too?! *sprinkling ugwu leaves around* hehehe

Well, what writer doesn’t want some level of exposure and acclaim? And who doesn’t want some level of popularity, at least? The knowledge that there are people who greatly value your words and take them to heart? Who doesn’t want that kind of far-reaching influential ‘power’?…

*sigh*

Well, that may or mayn’t be me. I won’t deny or admit that’s what this is about. You’ll just have to read and find out for yourself. And maybe at the end of this, you can even tell me whether or not this falls into that category.

Now, where do I begin this tale of mine?… The beginning? Ok, fine. Lehgo!

Well, I’ve always been a pastor’s kid. The term actually defined me for a bit, especially back in high school- my nickname in certain circles was omo pastor. For as long as I’ve known, until very recently, my life has been centred around church. I mean, I was born while my father was studying in the seminary and following that, we actually lived within the church premises until I was ten. Now, as expected, virtually everyone in church knew all the pastor’s kids and seeing as church was really big growing up there was almost nowhere I would go where I wasn’t known as an omo pastor. Heck, today I still randomly meet people I’ve never met previously who recognise me from back then or who hear my surname and ask if I’m truly the son of my father. Well, not literally sha, but you get the picture.

Why have I started my tale with this and what’s it got to do with that controversial title? Here’s why. Growing up, due to my ‘omo pastor status’, one phrase I heard more times than I wish to ever remember is: All pastors’ kids are the worst. It always came in different variations but the idea was always the same. And almost always, it came with examples given with dramatic emphasis of some pastor’s kid(s) somewhere or the other who did this or that that even an unbeliever’s kid would never do… *smh*

I’m not here to admit or debunk this theory… What I will say about this though is that I know quite a lot of omo pastor’s who are upright and well behaved, at least, outwardly. And not because of their parent’s ministry either but because it’s who they’ve consciously chosen to be. I personally believe that in describing human behaviour, making blanket statements and using generalisations are unacceptable. That you or someone else knows some pastor’s daughter who got involved with drugs or a bishop’s son who is into yahoo yahoo, doesn’t then mean ALL pastor’s kids are that way, does it?!

Okay, moving on… to me… For as long as I can remember, I’ve been seen as the kid in my family who wanted to ‘escape’. Artistic, adventurous and having a potential wild-streak is how I would’ve been described growing up and so I was the one who was constantly monitored and hawked-over (for whatever reason, I came to the conclusion that it was so I wouldn’t ruin the ‘family image’)… X_x

I wasn’t allowed to go to a boarding school after passing common entrance in primary 5 cos I was “too young/small”. Got admission into King’s College the next year, but ended up a day student all my six years there. Then I tried to get into ABU Zaria in my first Jamb attempt ’cause I heard they have one of the best art schools and got accused of trying to ‘run away’ (I passed but the results of everyone in my centre got cancelled). I ended up getting cajoled to pick Unilag in my next attempt and now I’m a ‘proud’ Unilag alumnus. *sigh* I almost wasn’t allowed to go serve when I was posted to Katsina but… Nah! Me I wasn’t going to stand for that. E don come wan dey too much dat time… Are you getting my drift here? All my siblings, by the way, went to boarding houses far from home. Same thing with higher institutions. Na only me dem tie join wrapper throughout.

It wasn’t until I got into ‘Lag that I truly became free to make (some) decisions for myself. And like a caged bird set free, I revelled in that freedom. Ol’ boi, I did and undid o! Went clubbing for the first time in my life. First girlfriend… Ok, this one was actually really stupid. Lemme spell it out for you:

Day 1: Met chic for the first time through some friends. Pretty girl, I noticed…
Day 2: Hung out a bit with mutual friends
Day 3: Mutual friends and mine who saw us together the previous evening tell me that it’s kinda obvious “…say she dey feel you die”
Day 4: We go clubbing together. It’s my first time in a club ever…
Day 5: I ask her out, she says yes!

5 days, yo! *rolling eyes* Yeah, ridiculous, I know. Especially for someone who’s always been about serious relationships and never been one for flings. Moving on… Joined my first dance group (outside church) in which I danced alongside one very dark-skinned dude called Wande. Amazing dancer he was but he’s now a singer. Back then, he went by the name Black Wand 😉 We acted/danced in our first (and last) movie, Tunde Kelani and Mainframe’s Campus Queen. Landed my first major role in a tv soap that same year… You sha get the drift of “I revelled in my freedom”, shey? Ehen…

I bet at this point, people be wondering so what has all this got to do with the title and when do we get to the juicy stuff nah?! Cool ya blood jor! Baby steps, yo, baby steps…

Okay, let’s fast-track things a bit. Present-day. I came on twitter actively about february this year and one of the things I noticed was the edginess… the near-raw sexuality of a lot of the terrain. Lotsa weird twit pics, hashtags and twitter lingo almost had me running scared again but I decided that I was finally going to just stick it and make some sense out of the madness, and maybe even get something positive out of it. It’s how I was exposed to the work of some amazing and talent writers which then inspired me to start this here blog of which I’m very proud… Oh, I deviate again? Sorry…

The sexuality, abi? Okay. Well, I saw/see people talking a lot about sex and stuff with frankness and honesty and I was like Ok, cool, whatever makes you happy. But when I started seeing people bashing my personal choice of sexual orientation, I thought it was sad, real sad. And perhaps needed to be addressed and that there is largely why I’m writing this post.

You see, we live in an era where the opinionated people with the ‘biggest’ voices seem to dictate the way the rest of us ‘little people’ live our lives. Peer pressure is evident everywhere around us, some positive, more negative. I can’t even have an unpopular sexual preference without being judged and bashed on anymore. And so, I’m writing this post to stand up for what I believe in. I’m not trying to shove it down anyone’s throat o, neither am I trying to put anyone who doesn’t subscribe to my decisions or preferences down. I’m just here to state who I am and ask that you accept me and the other people like me without judging me/us. Same as we have (largely) accepted everyone else.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am unashamedly, and entirely by choice, a virgin

I made the decision to ‘keep myself’ until marriage a long time ago, sometime during my teens. It was a conscious and well thought-out one and seeing as I’ve decided to put myself out there like this, I owe anyone reading this the truth about why… I chose this path according to the convictions of my faith. I’m a christian.

I’m a firm believer in To each, his own… and like I said earlier, this is not about putting anyone with contrary opinions down and so I choose to not continue along ‘religious’ lines in this discourse so as to respect people with different beliefs within and outside my faith.

I will say this though, staying this way has been entirely by God’s grace. I’m a proper open-eye omo-boy. I know wassup weller. I’m not claiming to be a saint here. I’ve been in relationships before and I understand the phrase Body no be wood. I’ve had my fair share of near-misses. There’ve been times where it really wasn’t by my will that I didn’t follow through on well-laid plans (not necessarily mine o) and so, I repeat, it’s entirely by God’s grace in my life. I say this moreso because I realise there are people who are not virgins, not because they don’t believe in the concept or decided they wanted it so, but because that decision was made on their behalf, in a lot of cases, forcefully and I commiserate with any such.

In conclusion, I’m coming out to say this as testimonial to the fact that it is definitely possible to be cool folk today with no deformities socially,physically, psychologically, physiologically or emotionally and still be virgin or celibate. The default reaction I get when I tell people I’ve never had sex is Yeah, Right!! However, I personally know many, many people like me who are likeable, correct people, well accepted by society who have remained virgins by choice. They would not all declare it to the whole world like this because they deem it unnecessary. I, however, am of the opinion that too many young ‘uns today make the decision to do away with their virginity like a soiled diaper out of the misconception that everyone is doing ‘it’ or that if you aint doing it, you must be some kinda weirdo. They need to know this, that You don’t HAVE TO be that way if you really don’t want to and that Not everyone is doing it

After all, I’m not.

I am OlaToxic and I’m unashamedly and purposely a Virgin

The White Sea of Nothingness

White, blank and intimidating. One of the most tortuous experiences I have, and very regularly too, is having to stare into the face of some form of nothingness and make something out of it.

You see, painful as it is, it is my job to do this. No, it is beyond a job, it is my calling, it is my purpose…

It is what I was created to do

But flawed as I am, it can be difficult a lot of the time. The whiteness which is meant to be my conquest looks me in the face and mocks me. No matter how many times I have faced and vanquished it in the past, hydra-headed monster that it is, it rises again and taunts me, scoffs at me, knowing full well it will eventually fall, but revelling nonetheless in its power to unnerve me while it can.

I will vanquish it again. Several times over, as I have before. But too many times before, it has been with my back against a wall, or overhanging a cliff. Never in retreat but usually in defense. I should be on the attack more often. I should be on the attack all the time.

Perhaps, what makes it more difficult is how my tormentor comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. In many textures. In many tones and shades. Such that when I have mastered one or the other of its forms and am well practiced in the ways of vanquishing the inherent nothingness, but inadvertently letting the skills needed in vanquishing another form lie fallow in the process, I am taken aback when faced with the form I have not practiced at in a while.

The nothingness, not always white takes many forms…

Drawing Paper. The canvas. The stage. Photopaper. Cloth. The Monitor. Clay. The notebook. Leather. The blank wall. My body.

But I find some solace in the knowing that as diverse as the forms of this nothingness are, so are the tools and weapons I have been equipped to battle it with:

The Pencil My first love, still the one I first rely on when preparing my campaign…

The Pen The one for the decisive and final strokes. Permanent and never to be erased…

The Brush Still the weapon in my arsenal the handling of which is most awkard. Has got me out of a few scrapes though…

The Spatula
A tool I have entirely laid down. Once weilded it with great prowess. Alas, gone are those days. Or are they?…

The Scissors, Needle and Thread Weapons some assume, wrongly, are only for the feminine folk. If they only knew…

My Body Weapon of Mass Destruction. Lit up the stage, the screen, the dance floor. The monster sleeps… for now…

My Voice The tool with which I amplify the power of my pen. Works wonders, believe…

The Mouse and Keyboard/Keypad The ones that supply the daily bread. The ones I groom the most for the battles ahead…

The Camera With which I freeze and capture moments in time. The beautiful, beautiful moments…

But the sea fights back. That feeling of exasperation one may get when one stares at that great white sea and balks has been given many names, the most popular of which would be The Block amongst writers, Seeking Inspiration in art and music circles or generally… Laziness. Laziness is most often the real issue but don’t we all like a little dose (sometimes a large one) of denial? So we say “I have writer’s block” or “I need inspiration, mehn” but hardly ever “I need to get over this laziness”. But, I admit to myself and to the world, here and now, that I have been lazy, very much so.

However…

My creator has equiped me well to go forth in his likeness and likewise create, and create I must. The sea of nothingness I will now and again vanquish and fill with something or the other. I will replace that white with colours bold and bright, images striking and captivating, movements swift and sure, patterns simple and complex, shapes crisp and defined, words insightful and inspiring, art pure and true… all of them beautiful. For this is my calling, my purpose, my destiny.

For like my creator, I am creative.

I am an artist.

***

Can you relate?

Future Tense

This post is inspired by Nono aka @RealistXX and @UberBetty. On her blog last week, Nono put up the 4th installment of So You Think You Can Think where a small portion of a story, usually the conclusion, is put up and readers come up with their own versions of the story. UberBetty provided the end of the story this time (highlighted in green) and here’s what I came up with…

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She vaulted over a fallen tree trunk, landing with stealth, toes first as the warriors had taught her. She no longer bothered with swatting the branches that now slapped her in the face and across her chest and arms. She welcomed the pain, relished it.

The silent, urgent words she had read in her father’s eyes spurred her on. Will power and stamina kept her on her feet. The urgency of her purpose lent her speed. The smell of blood in her nostrils heightening her rage. She would save him…

As she approached the clearing surrounding her hut, she heard swift, heavy footfalls in the distance behind her. Her training immediately kicked in and her highly analytic mind processed the available information at speeds her tutor would have been proud of:

Adult Male.

Late youth.

Military training.

Fatigued.

Resilient.

Heading straight for his mark.

She was being pursued. No surprise there, not after the stunts she had just pulled back at the village square. This was no tracker either, a tracker would pause, take in his surroudings, look for a trail, markings, footprints, scents… This one was a runner, a fast one and he dashed after her. She could not outrun him.

The first spent, another training module slid into the slot that was her mind and began spinning. “When pursued, become pursuer. When the quarry, become hunter”, she heard her tutor say in the speakers in her head. She slid to a halt, briefly scanned the woodland around and scrambled up a tree overhanging the faint, barely used trail.

As she balanced on the bough in a crouch, she readied herself. The footsteps approached fast and she ascertained something else. This one was not trying to mask himself, he was loud, obvious, and there was no effort to hide his approach. Using his loud footfalls, she gauged his direction and speed. She turned to face the sounds, not to see the approaching runner- the thick foliage surrounding her would not permit that- but to ready her ambush.

Even before her pursuer was actually under the tree, she leapt, backward and head-first, towards the clearing, her body forming a beautiful and deadly arc. His momentum brought him underneath her before he saw her. Her outstretched hands fell upon his shoulders, startling him and bringing him to a halt, which suited her purpose just fine. Grabbing unto the straps of his thick, leather breastplate, she used his shoulders as a pivot, much like the gymnasts back in her time, and swinging her lower-body in, executed the perfect backflip. With the force of her entire body weight and the momentum she had already gained behind it, she drove her right knee into his mid-section, driving the wind out of him. As he doubled over in pain, naturally, her left foot, already stretched out, found footing and she pulled him down over her, taking advantage of his forward-lurch as she fell to her back. Before his weight could crash in on her, she used her right leg, still folded into his gut, to flip him high as she could, over and behind her. She smiled with satisfaction, as he crashed into the brush and hard earth. She could just hear her tutor say what a good job she had done, accompanied by the three excited, short claps that meant he was excited and proud.

Finding her feet, she approached the vanquished only to pause in confusion as she heard his very familiar grunt, followed by her name, “Ebiere” in the same familiar voice she had heard only seconds ago in her head. She stood back as her tutor, Guntharr struggled to his feet.

“Don’t… Ebiere” *cough* “don’t do it.”

Her face contorting in anger, “Don’t do what? Save him?! You know I can! I must!!”

“Don’t be a fool. You’ll be killed and what good would it be when you’re both dead?!” He grunted, wheezing heavily.

“I just bested you, did I not?!”

“Aye, you did”, he said producing three short claps as he stretched painfully to his full height. “But you’ll be facing a mob out there, babe, a small army, not a handful of ill-trained guards. They will have their way. Look what that guard’s spear did to your arm. Now they want you for murder too!” Breathing hard, he found his breath and added “Besides, your father requests that you do not.”

“See? HE’s the fool! That barbarian deserved to die and by my hand, no less! And so will anyone else who stands in my way when I go back for him. He was only trying to get us back home!” she cried “You’ve seen his lab, the experiments, you know what he had achieved, what is at stake!”

Pointing at himself emphatically: “I understand, THEY don’t!” he said as he pointed in the general direction of the village. “It took me that long to understand the science of your time. How would they?!”

“What’s there to understand. It’s so simple. How dare they try to hang him… And for the use of ‘black magic’?!” She spat out bitterly.

Reflecting on the last two words she’d said, she rubbed absent-mindedly on the black skin on her forearm and continued in her igbo-flavoured 15th century european accent…

“He worked on the machine for sixteen years, eventually sending objects and animals back and forth through time. A human had to go and return for us to prove that our return home was possible. All he ever wanted was to take me back home. To go back and show the rest of our world that some good could come out of his precious Africa. Like time travel is any good to anybody…” she sneered “Look where it’s gotten him, gotten us. Those people volunteered and those heathens know that. They were sent to the same future we came from and he can bring them back! Why wouldn’t they just let him?!” She screamed at him as she finally broke down, the tears flowing down her face freely.

He had no answers. She remembered the look in her father’s eyes again, recalled the urgency. She remembered the proclamation that had been made over his hanging head as he looked markedly at her “…he shall hang at sunset.” She glanced up at the sun preparing to retire and then down at her watch, the only other reminder of home she still had besides her father and strengthening her resolve, said again “I will save him.”

Guntharr stepped out of her way as she floated past him, then said “He knew you would try to save him. He knew you would come back here for the shotgun. He asked that I meet you here and ask you to not return to the village”

“Ha!” she scoffed. “That is not possible. I saw what he wanted in his eyes. He was pleading with me… to save him”

Shaking his head, the tutor said “He was pleading with you to leave him.” He paused to let this sink in before going on “He says it was a mistake- his mistake- bringing a five year old on such a journey but he does not regret it. You have blossomed into a brave, beautiful woman in this cold, hard world so far away from your home and he is very proud of you. You are the only reason he has fought so hard to go back all these years. Your father asked me to tell you that he loves you very much and that it is time for you to go home.”

“He always was too much of a peacemaker, wasn’t he, Guntharr? Much unlike you and I. We are fighters we do not walk away from the ones we love. I guess he was always the brains of the family and me the brawns, eh, Guntharr?” She tossed back as she began walking…

“You are right about you and I. But you are wrong about him. Everything he has done is him fighting for you, princess. That is why he found the shotgun… and destroyed it”

She paused mid-stride. “That is impossible. I hid it away where he would never find it”

“He found it with that little metal-detector of his…”

She knew that the shotgun in the box she had hid beneath the earth at the foot of her bed was the only way. The only way she could save her father! Turning around, she searched for the lie in his face and finding none, dashed for the hut.

…Out of breath; she burst into her bedroom. Her chest heaving. Up. Down. Up. Down. Her left hand held on tightly to the gash higher up on her right arm. It was 5:00p.m. Was she too late? She lowered herself to the floor, pursing her lips, bearing the pain. She stretched out her bloody hand to pull out the metal box. It was out. She gently opened it.
It was empty. What? Empty?
Her lips stretched into an unbelieving, cynical smile even as tears fell from her eyes.

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There you have it. This is actually a better (hopefully,) edit from what I posted on there. For other takes on the story, please visit the comment section of So You Think You Can Think 4. UberBetty writes at Afro says to me. Which reminds me, I made an appearance on ‘Spooky Fridays’ on Afrosays on friday night. Please check out Circles of Man if you haven’t already and please leave some feedback.