EJA: My Jollof Tale


The days that followed my movement to a new home were pretty simple. I found myself locked up in my room in the afternoon but I would step out occasionally to sit with mama outside. The entire house was always quiet except for the sound of Ochanya sometimes singing or the gate man’s radio playing from a distance. My evenings were slightly different. Mama made me follow her for daily masses and we walked to the church most times since it wasn’t far. Sometimes, we would stroll around the estate before heading home finally. “It is good for your legs; they need exercise” she would say whenever I complained I was tired. After our walk, we would have dinner together with Uncle Joe and Aunty Nse. Sometimes Uncle Joe would be missing from the dinner table, other times, Aunty Nse and most times, both, leaving mama and I to a pleasant dinner where we didn’t have to force conversations. Continue reading




“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

– Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

My world used to be a lot like yours or nothing like yours. Decent home, good school, exciting friends, a reserved grandmother and awesome parents… at least, they were while alive.

It all happened so fast, my parents had died on a regular Wednesday evening and the next day, I was moved to mama’s house at Eket by Uncle Joe. It was at grand ma’s house I had stayed till my Parent’s burial ceremony was over. I remember being asked to fetch a handful of soil and drop on both coffins. I remember how I had yearned to yank off the dark suit I was made to wear because it itched me. I remember how people trooped into the family house to pray, hug and comfort me with words like kpe and songidem. I didn’t say much but nodded and said “Amen” and “Thank you” when necessary. Mama sat beside me with hands folded holding a soaked hand kerchief. Continue reading