Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Need for Outside

Today, I've been up since early Sunday afternoon and I welcomed the dawn personally.

In the past, I dreaded this occurrence because it meant I had lost the battle to sleep according to a decent person's sleep-clock. Today is different, however.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I missed church, but I was fortunate enough to listen to a recorded message that I got a hold of through Kehinde Joseph, a brilliant and hardworking writer. It helped me come out of the cocoon that I spin subconsciously.

I'm writing this post while seated on the stoop of my box in Lagos. The air still carries a cool sleepiness, like a memory of the night just passed. I can hear my neighbours working their way into the routine of their Monday morning.

I realised a lot of things after hearing the message by Poju Oyemade and I feel like I've cheated myself of living once again.

My friends have been kept out by distance, when a call would have been enough to know how they are doing. My daughter is now a fortnight closer to asking who her father is and why he doesn't sleep in the house. My family are in an even more distant situation concerning me.

Being absorbed is not an excuse for not living. Unideal circumstances are not a reason not to try. What can I say?

Nothing clever or insightful, to my embarrassment. In the end, I'm the one who suffers the most.

So I will go outside today and try to stay there for as long as I can stand it.

I hate this, but I love how it tends to work in my favor.

Though one thing does keep coming up when I show photos of my daughter to random people..."Why is she so yellow?"
I have gotten tired of telling them that I work a tan on my skin and the unspoken reply is "Negroes don't tan." Exactly what I'd expect from someone with an already dark complexion.

Guess I'm going to have to deal with that.

It's good to be outside and digesting the day early. I carry too much of the night in my head already. Less nocturnal, more diurnal for now.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Misnomers in a Creative's Life


I spent a whole week in close quarters with another hu an being and it was harrowing for a recluse like myself.

At the end of it, a few things came to mind that offered clarity on many things. Like how I attribute the wrong names and words to the things that I confront in the mentwl arena.

Busy working: this means busy unravelling the ball of yarn that is actually my confusion with life at the moment. It is not an exercise in vain,  except when it is (which is the case, most of the time).

Clearing my desk of its workload: this means I've been in a state of confusion for so long that I cannot tell where the problem begins and where the solution ends...but my ego maintains that I have the solution and only the slow passage of time will reveal this.

I'm angry: I am not really angry. I'm just disappointed in my inability to act like an adult and throw a tantrum over the undisguised fact. Very mature, I can (not) assure you.

I'm under time pressure: This is usually true. The lie/misnomer is assuming that I didn't have enough time in the first place. I did. I falsely assumed that time dilation would come to my rescue. Einstein would have been proud of my attempts at engaging time dilation in thought experiments,  but would have been sorely disappointed in my execution.

I'm not sorry: this is personal. I hardly say that because I was raised to be a gentleman. It is not rude, but it is usually abused by rustic intellectual fiends disguised as fellow decent human beings. I'm a neurotic chap. I can claim the sins of my ancestors. I can also take a bullet for a complete stranger. I shouldn't have to be that way. It is unfair to all involved.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Sports Writers Needed

This isn't the website you'll be writing for, rather it is merely a vehicle to share the details of what is required of you so you can decide if it is the right thing for you to do.

If you cannot commit to the relatively small amount of work expected of you, then it isn't right for you. This is my understanding of the matter.

Sports has transcended the idea of keeping score or whose team is better...it is now part of the trending mass media.

Your approach to this project should reflect that.

What I want from you is short but well researched and properly written articles of a word count ranging from 700-1,500 words. Pictures are also expected to be attached to your submissions. Also state your sources of the information as it is the proper thing to do.

What do you need to cover?

From fashion to internal politics to lifestyle choices to personal histories of sports personalities that inspire the readers of the website.

You don't have to write didactics or inspiring oratory or rhetoric. Just write your stories and submit them.

How often do you need to write?

As much and as often as you can, at least 3 articles every 2 days.


How much is on offer?

The issue of payment is also important. Right now, we can only offer a stipend of N1,000 per accepted article. The amount will be accumulated and sent to you by your choice of transfer (cash in hand or account deposit).

If you are still interested, kindly respond by sending a copy of what you can do to remi.olutimayin@gmail.com or call 08069712752.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,

Remi Olutimayin

+2348069712452
+2348073206961
+2348171112471

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

To My Daughter on her 1st Birthday by Remi Olutimayin

By the time you are able to read this, you might be challenged to understand my meanings and contexts of choice.

Seeing as you're already impatient about growing up, you might prove to be the true child of your father and adopt the mien of an adult by the time you're 7 years old.

I prattle. It's one of the things that your mom's good sense and wisdom, recognised to be what she could not live with.

I could lie and say she couldn't bear my awesomeness, but like you I eat, fart, take a dump, take long naps and have furious bursts of energy that defy my seemingly sluggish mannerisms.

Today was an education for me. I took you (and your nanny Peace) along with me on my hustle today.

We met Mr. Bunmi Amosu and the talented studio engineer/producer, Tayo.

I ate wheat with egusi and stew. You gobbled down your formula.

We left and your expression didn't change from the silent 'observer'. But when your hand decided to explore my mouth, that was when I fell in love with you again. We will grow in love as soon as you decide it is time to. No hurry.

We slept off together in the back of my friend's (Mr. Kunle Solarin) car on the trip back to your mom's end.

I think it was a good thing that we were still learning each other. It would have been difficult for both of us if you had formed an attachment so deep that you wouldn't let me go.

That's what makes you awesome, I think.

That said, here are some things I should tell you about the way things are with

1) Your mom and I (so you don't look for some big shadow to blame as the excuse for trying your hand at being a difficult person...it is beneath you and you know it.

2) The world you were born into (the first brothers had the first homicide. The world was already crazy a long time ago, so don't worry...it's not just you)

3) The love that met you (love is not just a feeling and it is more than decision. I love ice-cream, but I choose you first.)

4) The reasons why people are people (this is a tough one because people are people, they aren't smart enough to avoid offending or hurting you from time-to-time.)

1) YOUR MOM and I:
I love your mom.

Yes.

I don't completely separate it from my penchant for emotional pain, but I love your mom.

We can't be together for reasons why adults keep things to themselves.

Because it is not a 'societal' matter, but it is very personal and even you have no say in it.

The best I can say without being crass or stupid is that I test her patience so often and she grinds me down in response.

Who did what to whom first? That's a bulb and flower question (it is an asian buddhist thought that sounds so much cooler than its american cousin 'the chicken or the egg').

Your mom is beautiful, smart, intelligent, strong, wise, and a host of other things that I am reminded of my unworthiness every time I see her.

I think she knows I love her and I am sure she knows we will only harm ourselves if were together.

People might offer their opinions but they are either in unhappy marriages (and so hate us for our courage) or assume unhappy marriages are caused by some factor that they are above of (and so a rude awakening awaits them at the end of their 5th wedding anniversary).

I don't know what she might tell you about me (this feels like a suicide note, but like most people I know, I too want to make it to heaven alive...so I can't quit) but I'm sure it is from her heart and her head, not from a broken record.

I'm not quite getting to the point, am I?
We're not together and it is none of your business.

Just love us back the way we just love you. Because we are cute, we smile when we see you, and we think you're awesome...we KNOW you're awesome.

2) THE WORLD YOU WERE BORN INTO

The world is at a stage where we seek alternatives to the natural so much so that we mistake our 'different' ideas and the works of our hands as a form of 'freedom'.

I'm a little to the left of things in a socio-political way and I choose to live like a prophet...that's code for 'I don't buy the shit they're selling, so I can't play well with others'.

Right now 'Boko Haram' is the topic for discussion between strangers in Nigeria.
The US and the UN are pressuring Nigeria to 'change' to a more 'open' society by overruling the voice of the Nigerian masses and telling us what 'we' want.

Africa is fast devolving into the scene for World War 3 as there are a series of baseless conflicts all around and the idea of sitting down to talk it out is not in the style of these 'revolutionaries'. I don't blame them. They were already ready to murder unarmed non-combatants and call it 'war', long before the opportunity to pick up arms came along.

Nigeria's economy is not the worst, but it doesn't encourage the lower class to improve themselves. I find this odd seeing as most of the heads of government in 'my lifetime' were not from a privileged background. As people about the president who wore no shoes. His politics is quite intelligent, but many people assume politics is a case of 'point the problems out and use a blunt instrument on them'.

The first black president of the US is not African-American in the traditional sense...none of his ancestors were slaves. Being a subject of the Queen of Great Britain is not being a slave. People don't get why he acts in a mature and civil manner...almost 'white'. Your father (me) is almost white, so I understand the predicament.

Things I anticipate in your lifetime:
There will be a gay american president in your lifetime. I can bet my inheritance on it.

There will be social monitoring aka community control on such a massive scale, that there will be a nickname for drones.

Religion will be unified, even though no single sect is without conflict, and the hope is that it will grant the world peace. It won't. Remember what I said about the first homicide. They didn't even have a religion difference, only a difference in practice.

3) THE LOVE THAT MET YOU

You're not an accident and you're not an uncomfortable reminder that I'm a dad. I love you.

Rotimi loves you too.

Your brother loves you. He was already excited that you were on your way and he hoped you were a boy. I thought you'd be a boy.

For everyone else, I guess I have to explain my side of your family.

I named you Yemeewaolu.

I spun that name together from the title that was held by your great-grandmother.

Yemeewa means 'the beautiful one'.
You look like her.
Your cousin looks like her.
I look like her.
My brother (Kayode) and sisters (Modupe and Oluseye)look like her.
Your grand father (Arc. S. O. Olutimayin)looks like her.
(I think you get the point).

One look at you and I knew what to call you.

Your mom calls you Kiisi. She covets you & I respect that. I don't know how to grip onto another human being quite like she does and so I've given her room to do as she pleases about that.

Being your dad is enough for me.

Wise women explained that a girl would be just perfect for me. When I held you in my arms, that was the first time you opened your eyes and I knew those women were right.

They are your great-aunts.

Your grandmother, Dr. Mrs. Mary Ali Olutimayin (she's got a CV that still depresses me when I think of people who mistake titles and achievements for a greater stake in the right to life).

She gave you a name 'Nnako' (ask how it is pronounced in Nupe/Bassa Nge, don't disrespect yourself and mispronounce it) which means 'mother'. (Oh yes, you're not yoruba, but that's for your 2nd birthday letter. Don't worry, I won't forget.)

Your uncle Kayode Olutimayin fell in love with you in a way that words fail me in describing. He didn't dote over you like a senseless baboon. He just loved you.

Your great-uncle Idowu Olutimayin took to you like he took to his daughter...but you're not his daughter, you're mine.

When you were on your way, I was going mad with pressure and had already prepared my mind for a freefall experience through marriage and fatherhood...but your mom and I were woken up before things got to the point of no return.

I love that my courage matched her own in deciding to be apart as ourselves but together for you.

I know you won't remember how many times I came to see you at your grandma's house.

It doesn't matter. But when we see, it hurts like it hurts to suddenly see bright lights after a period of darkness...but you still can't look away.

4) The reasons why people are people.

Okay. This is the tough one.
It is tough because people know better. Should know better.
Should act on knowing better. But they don't.

The point of forgiving people is to turn your anger towards the action and away from the actor.

It helps you feel lighter, freer, and most importantly, you won't carry the offender on your mind all day.

He/she isn't carrying you on their mind and so it is easier for them move on to the next issue. You should try it.

I am a christian believer, not a born-again or not born-again-born-again, or whatever new designation they will have put together to show they are closer to the societal impression of God than you are.

Forgive so you will be forgiven. What will you need to be forgiven for? If you're human, you already need to be forgiven for that.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie.
Daddy loves you and that comes with a lifetime guarantee.



Yours Sincerely,

Remi Olutimayin

+2348069712452
+2348073206961
+2348171112471

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Today, I Practise Adulthood

I've a daughter. She was born 8 days ago. She has an old woman's face. My grandmother's face to be specific. And it seems that everyone else but me has a say in what her first years are to be.

I guess they're making up for not having a wedding (more on that later...not a promise, just a reminder-to-self)...'they' are both representatives of my family and her family. I guess things are not the way they want them to be and the world is determined to make father and child suffer for this 'slight'.

If you could see my face right now, you would know that I'm not joking...but you can't, so I guess you'll have to take my word for it. So I'm starting to learn the challenges of being an adult parent.

I wasn't raised to be 'spoken at'...perhaps that's why I'm so rebellious towards 'established authority' (essentially, until they prove that they are authorities...except for armed folks...their guns make a very convincing argument). To be spoken at feels like a thinly veiled insult to my up-bringing. I don't take that lightly.

So today, I've been praying for wisdom, courage, strength, and the right words...so I can express myself without rancor, anger, or unnecessary insults being stirred up by both sides.

Is it possible? I have not a doubt in my heart that it is.

Am I willing to go through with it? Yes. But not for the sake of self-expression, but for the sake of that person who only eats, shits, pisses, cries, and sleeps at the moment.

She's my daughter. She's a continuation of life, not an extension of mine. She's a completely different person from me. She has me humbled when I see her...and it is with this knowledge and awareness of her that I will give her her first dose of strength.

The strength that comes from knowing you are loved...not just fondly thought of.

Her name is Yemeewaolu. It means the beauty from God.

I said she had an old woman's face, I didn't say the old woman was ugly.

;)
Remi Olutimayin
08069712752
08073206961

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Reasons Why I Am Not Married pt.1

I am in a dark place/ I can see
What is missing/ Is it me?


Rotimi Lijofi, Lekan Lijofi, me...

I'm the dude on the right...by the way.

So, on reasons why I am not married, I was originally going to break it down into 3 general posts...you know, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly format. But I decided to be more honest.
Linda Ikeji fired this up in my sphere of awareness, and I think it would be more entertaining if I set this post up according to the way I think every day...like a rubic's cube in the hands of a rhesus monkey on speed. Really -_-

I am culturally-displaced.
My understanding of culture goes hand-in-hand with my understanding of tradition. tradition is what we met other people doing when we were growing up, culture is what we do now.
I don't know what we are doing now. I really don't. I have been often accused (rightfully so) of living in my head, but that is because I am a creative so I jealously guard the influences on my mind (nothing offends me like the trite and common place).
I do not live in my head to the extent that I consider women to be perfect or flawless...impossibilities if you like, but I have certain things that I hold close to my heart based on how my mother raised me.

I am a gentleman. That word means so much more than gentle and it is a very important element in 'man'. It is derived from the root-word for noble. It means there are certain things that women go for, notice, expect, desire, want...things that I would never consider because I do not see the person next to me to be 'a tool'.

In Nigeria, in Lagos to be more specific (in my case), there are certain accepted norms and cultures that 'offend' my sensibilities. I do not look down or condemn the persons, my problem is with the misbehaviour and not the 'misbehaved'.

My first direct shock was in 2001. It was a watershed event in my life. I went through what a lot of other guys have gone through. Other guys got over it and moved on. My disappointment went very deep...because I am sensitive.

Not sensitive like a fragile flower, but sensitive a man who sees everything from as far back as to when the thoughts were considered before they were acted upon, as distinctly as knowing a genuine thought as opposed to a consideration substituted from other people's opinions (inception if you like...been dying to use that for a while now).

Now comes the gossip...


Everybody has that one friend (sometimes they are one and the same) who had his girlfriend or her boyfriend go all the way with a very close friend and it ruined so many things.
Some tough guys and girls just move on by either getting involved with someone else and staying
'friends' with the new couple or they 'beat the shit' out of the 'usurper' and leaving the ball in the court of the 'beloved' (sometimes forcing him/her to choose or get their own beating).
I did neither.

I could have forestalled it, taken preemptive measures as soon as I noticed my 'friend' at my girlfriend's house coincided with her period of cooling off me. This period was marked with her bringing up arguments that were such a sharp contrast from her personality, I could tell which of her friends and her sister's friends impressed their opinion of me on her (you know the type...smiles never reach their eyes, kindness and openness are signs of a weak mind to them and they never mind their own business but want to make sure girls get even before they are cheated on)

I did try to let him know that life is better with 2 friends rather than with an ex-friend and an ex-girlfriend. I was actually worried about her reputation in the school and asked that if he was still going to go through with it to give a bit of time before starting to date her (being a small campus and people being people, I hated the idea of people thinking she was being passed from friend to friend. I still shudder a bit about that impression). He shared my advice with her and she decided that it was better they started now rather than later.
I didn't recognise the place of manipulation in relationships. So I let everything go into freefall. If I could go back in time...I'd kick his ass very very hard. I had to settle with assaulting him psychologically (I don't claim to be without sin).

Well she chose him and both of them asked me to still be friends with them. I asked them for 2 days to consider their proposal.

I am a cool-headed chap (terribly English, for which I thank my mother...no sarcasm there) so I took a poll with people that I knew and they said there was nothing wrong with it. Some even expected such matters even in marriage.

A lady said,"I expect my husband to cheat on me. But so long as he takes care of me and the children, it doesn't really matter."

Another told me of the time her sister had something to do with a guy that she had something fleeting with (though she was still interested, but her strategy failed...I gathered that much from what she was 'not' saying) and how these things happen but they should not affect relationships.

It was someone who came in from my blind-side who told me something that made me realise that I was not mad or stupid or ignorant of my feelings. His contribution was unsolicited (serendipity in action).
He said being friends with your ex-girlfriend and a friend who she is now dating is 'f@#ked up' and it disregards you even further in the matter. Even if you do try that out, every time you 3 are together, it would be a terrible lie and everyone involved would be self-deceived.

So when I met up with them, I asked them separately if they felt there was anything wrong with the way things were going. She said 'yes', he said 'no'. That was what finalised my decision.
"You guys do what you want. I won't stop you. I'm interested in that. But if you are asking that i stay friends with you, you are asking for my agreement with this. I will die first before I give it. Do what you want to do, but do not involve me. If you see me don't offer me your hand, I won't shake it. Do not say hi, I won't reply. Have a nice rest of your life."
My words verbatim.

A very nasty rumor soon came up about me when their relationship hit a very rocky patch and the elements involved forced sex and shit I can't type without disbelief. I had to reestablish contact so that I could clear matter. It was not pleasant and I made it even more uncomfortable for them. I was not the guy they knew 3 months before. I'm still not that guy. That guy died, but not the gentleman in me.*

Before the bias settles in...you know the bias I am talking about. The bias that is based on assumptions of immaturity on my part, ignorance of what love really is, shallow feelings, unspoken sins and what not.

I loved her. The kind of love that I would have kept if she had kept me. The kind that wants to see her grow into a confident and independent woman. The kind that felt she would choose me over him as I would choose her over anybody else for the rest of my life. That I would have stood up for her in the danger of broken bones and ICU visits (someone gave her a nickname that she hated, she told him in front of me 3 times to stop, but he thought it was harmless. So I went to his room and straightened him out on the matter and he stopped. I don't remember if she noticed).

This was her test. She passed it. She wasn't for me and I knew. It was just very difficult to come to terms that I was more in the relationship than she was.
But hey, that's REAL for you: Remember, Everyone isn't Always Loyal.

10 years down the line, I remain teachable 'meek', accepting of people as they are, never faking the friendship or the smile, letting women know I want to know them better (honestly, I cannot have a relationship with someone who I do not connect with. Meat-puppet sex repulses me. Blame Kama-Sutra, the Perfumed Garden- the Arabian answer to the Kama-Sutra and a handful of ancient Chinese documents). To make love with the mind before the body is my way of bonding.

Women have gone through these types of scenarios. They assume a guy only wants them for their bodies, so they want to know what they will get in return so they do not lose out entirely. I do not know how to 'stand-out' as there are over 5 million other guys not having sex with them, and with 4,999,999 of them already asking 'How far?', my minority number doesn't really get a chance to be understood and connected with.

Before someone asks why I have not tried it the 'popular way', I did try it. I did. I was right. I hated it. I do not know how to not speak sweet pillow-talk as I lay next to the miracle of a person I just shared myself with. Everyone is a miracle to me.

But I do not know how people do it. I have dated German and other non-Nigerian women with a comfortable mutual understanding I thought I would never find. But distance and work get in the way.

I don't believe the talk that good girls like bad boys. Girls like boys, boys like girls. Who decides who is good or bad? Really? Culture? I do not blame women who want security. I never could. But I really don't think I could close my eyes and blindly follow any lady now.

I do not understand them. Music, movies, books, hobbies and habits...I prefer to sit at home than go clubbing. I would rather cook something adventurous than go out to buy a meal. I would prefer to listen to Ella Fitzgerald and other classic forms of music than 'I knack you akpako' or other forms of hip-hop, I would rather watch an old Akira Kurosawa movie (Yojimbo or Rashomon) than watch a Michael Bay movie (no insult to the man of fire and exaggerated explosions).

I rather know you than be distracted from you by a movie. It seems only mature women understand where I am coming from, but it is a taboo (hmph) for older women to date younger men.

Part 2 coming soon...after deliberations and confirming if this is an exercise in vain.

*She and I are now friendly, not friends, because she and I still can't bridge that thing that sits silently between us. I am not in contact with him because I do not want anything to do with him. I could and would cancel a business deal based on his involvement alone. That is how much of an ex-friend he is to me. I would not trust him with my trash. You think I'm harsh?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Beyonce and Rihanna: Jay-Z and dowry?

I just read this on chicago reader. I am worried about what side of our culture gets outside. I am shaking my head and wondering what the next surprise will be.


Beyonce and Rihanna (a 2008 video directed by Afam Okereke): The low-budget Nigerian film industry, or "Nollywood," is booming, and many of the trailers are on YouTube. I love the way that some of these films weave together characters from popular American music culture and issues relevant to traditional African culture. This film imagines Beyonce as a modern woman in Nigeria who must deal with her parents' traditional ideas about marriage and courtship. In one scene, Beyonce's parents argue that Jay-Z should be a proper man and pay Beyonce's dowry for marriage.