When I think about 2015, I think about how terrible I felt half the time. Ill, exhausted, empty. Going through all of these was not pretty. I remember sitting curled in a ball in my apartment, eyes closed, thinking nothing, feeling empty. Often I took long walks to clear my head. Often I went out to be among people, noticing their smiles and soft laughter like a baby’s bottom.

Despite all of these I remember how I smiled, my closed my smile that reached my eyes so that they squinted and looked like a pair of Chinese eyes so you could barely see the glistening black balls.
This year was me doing things I really wanted or needed to do without letting the way I felt at the moment hold me back.

I do not know how to describe my year succinctly. How I failed Nigeria or how I lost a friend. I cannot describe how I tremble when I think of four hundred level land law and law of trusts or Equity and how God saw me through it all. It might seem easy, painting it delicately, the way the sun smothered my skin on the sunny days or the way my skin whitened and lips broke and bled during the harmattan, but I could never do it well. I could never describe what a friend I found in Assumpta or Dunni or Ife, or how great my Arts and Africa family has been to me.

2015 was good to me in so many ways. I had so many opportunities I never expected. How to thank the people that made it all happen, I do not know. All those free stage play tickets I got and free books made my year surreal.

Seeing as I captured a lot of 2015 moments, I’ll describe my year with pictures



Rele readings.

Amazing day listening to Toni Kan and Victor Ehikhamenor.

I was a volunteer at Ake festival 2015. It was a lot of work. But it was fun. kicked off this year. It is incredible being part of this family. I’ve learned so much and met amazing writers from all over the continent.

Somtimes, Tosin, Assumpta, Dunni and I would go to creamium and spend the little we had on ice cream. #2015rituals

I met Binjo this year. He is an amazing friend and takes all my crap bullshit and gets all my jokes. haha. And Denike too. Awesome friend. Unfortunately, can’t find any picture with her.


A lot of other things and mad men and specialists stage play (Wole Soyinka month)

I saw a lot of stage plays this year man. Made several trips to Terra Kulture and Muson center. I think I’m still in debt.😂


Saraba talk; Eghonghon, Victor, Fope, Excuse me, Tani.

I remember this day. We got to the venue of Saraba’s talk very late because of the issue of wrong address. The Saraba talk was hosted by Dami Ajayi who is one of the coolest people you can ever meet. I’m not even joking. From talking to him and reading his work, I learned a lot this year.



Middle picture. Funny day. Before we got to freedom park for the Poetry festival, I called Tosin creative poverty. I said it so naturally, I thought it was funny that he was reacting a certain way. Lol. We had an awesome time here. I left early, but later that night, my cousin drove me back to freedom park for the borderless concert against my wishes. When we got bored, we drove around Lagos. Awesome day. And night.

Last Picture. Also a night thing. Wura and I had so much fun. We got home real late. Have I mentioned Wura is absolutely amazing? Totally lovable.




Wedding, parties and other stuff with my lovers.

We were slaying anyhow. Amazing night. Fope, Ona and I had our short stories featured in the book published to raise money for autistic kids. Amazing writers Ona and Fope. It has been a good year with Fope. She is so much of an amazing Partner. even with the ups and downs.

An exhibiton at terra kulture. Lots of exhibitions this year.



Film festival



London Life Lagos Living.
Social Media week at the human rights firm



 (June 20 2015)
(June 20 2015)


Class selfies and other selfies.

Last day at Chris Ihidero's Story Story Master Class. awesome experience (October)
Last day at Chris Ihidero’s Story Story Master Class. awesome experience (October)


This was an amazing three day workshop at British Council. Learned so much.

First sunday in the year.
First sunday in the year.
When my baby sister made me up.
When my baby sister made me up. Took myself out.
When Duny (Old sister, middle) graduated Masters with a distinction, I was just too proud.
When Duny (Old sister, middle) graduated Masters with a distinction, I was just too proud.




These are but a few pictures from 2015. And these are just some of the people that made my year. They’re a lot. If I were to talk about Efe Paul whose poetry I so love or Lola Shoneyin who made Ake festival happen, I’d be writing a new blogpost.

Plus there’s Damola Olofinlua through whom I could attend the Etisalat prize for literature award ceremony. An exclusive beautiful event. I was very close to Wole Soyinka. So close, I could have run my fingers through his hair. Jokes. I would forever be grateful. Then there is Adebola Rayo (Artyliving) who made my Easter with two tickets to see Saro Musical. There are so many other people. You, as you read, you’re making my 2015. Thank you.

There are so many people I have to thank. So many things I have to say. But I’ve been unable to arrange my thoughts. Perhaps before the year runs out, I’ll dish out my vote of thanks like I’m at an awards ceremony.

Ake festival was a huge highlight for me this year. I got so many free books, my book shelf is spilling. I met a lot of people and mostly, I got to be a part of something huge. (P.s I am Maxim Uzoatu’s personal person)


Maybe I was not all that happy this year. And often I ask myself, what am I going to do about that? It is not like life is not going well. My grades are excellent, I’m in almost good health, and so I often say, Ope, you have ever reason to be happy. But no. There’s something else. It’s like getting up to pick something somewhere but getting there and forgetting what you went there to pick in the first place. It is small. Often unbearable. Sometimes you stare into space and start crying, conjuring unrelated things that should be long forgotten.

If you know, you know.

I’ve found my solace in so many things. Novels. Mariam. Friends. God.

These keep me sane.

Whatever it is, all I know is I’m getting closer to being who I want to be, even though I’m not sure what exactly or who exactly that is. Baby steps Ope. Closer. And closer.

My writing also grew and grew this year, even though I did not write as much as I wanted to, I read a lot. A lot of big things happening next year, that I am sure of.

It’s been an amazing year and some. Thankful.

(P.s; thanks to Isma’il for some of this amazing pictures)





Hi everyone.

Last year my friends and I ran a writer series titled—30 days 30 writers. It was a series which aimed to celebrate Nigeria. It was a medium of expression for the Nigerian youths.

That was 2014. A lot has happened since then. People have died, people have given birth. Nigeria has grown. We have a new president; President Muhammadu Buhari. Yes, so much has happened.

And here I am asking for your hands again—readers and writers, to contribute to this—Independence series, to celebrate Nigeria. The series starts 2nd of September and ends 1st of October. If you are interested, send your posts to

(N.B you don’t have to be a professional writer, so far as you can articulate your thoughts and feelings on Nigeria neatly, your post will be picked)

Prose, poetry, poesy, drama, articles anything, will be accepted. Remember, your piece should appreciate Nigeria in any form. You can look through some of the past entries on the blog. Posts from the series Last year.

Last year, the series featured writers like Seun Odukoya, @thevunderkind, Fope Ojo, Timi Yeseibo ( and a lot of other great writers.

Feel free to ask questions in the comment section or you could just email me.
Send your post as an attachment to the above email. Include in the body of the email a short bio, a short summary of your post and a feature image to go with your post. (Your post will be edited)

At the end of the series, there will be a writers meet (open to readers and writers that did not participate) where we can just all mingle and discuss etc. The venue will be communicated at a later date.

Oh one more thing, the posts will not be going up on my blog this year. I hope to make this a yearly thing and so, is the blog where all the posts would be featured.

I do hope to hear from you.

Ope Adedeji.

Mama (Part three)


Mama liked to pray. It was the first thing she did in the morning and the last thing she did at night. She sat on her bed, very close to the window; a pink and blue scarf tied to her head. She nodded a lot while she prayed. Sometimes, she only moved her wrinkled hands, gesticulating or wriggling them together. She prayed only in Yoruba. On rare occasions, she went on her knees and cried in prayer. Her prayers were always muffled and small, her thin lips barely moving. It was always hard to tell what she was saying. When we were sick and not eating anything, Mama stood by our bedside and said long prayers that were sometimes really annoying. When we got well, she would raise her hands to heaven and smile a really wide smile—proudly showing off missing teeth. She taught me how to pray too; asking that I clasp my hands together, close my eyes and repeat after her.

Mama loved to pray but Mama stopped praying the weeks before she died. She stopped sitting up by the window side early in the morning or last thing at night. She just lay on her bed, her gray-black afro neither tended to nor scarfed. She didn’t eat much. She didn’t even speak much. She didn’t pray for Momola when she fell sick or congratulate Uncle Hassan when he bought the new car. She just stared—that empty scary stare. Mama was very sick those days. Her heart was failing.

The day she died however, she sat up on her bed and slowly and with so much effort, moved her buttocks to the right, until she was right beside the window. Then she asked me to fetch her scarf. The pink and blue one not the yellow one, she insisted. As the sun streamed in, lining her clay brown face, Mama looked up to the sky and whispered a thank you.

As told by the blaqknyght (@blaqknyght)

Play dead, do not roll over.

Play stare, do not blink.

Then they’d finally believe,

That you are dead,

They’ll even pronounce it,

They’ll spell it on paper

If you are relevant enough.

No, you are not me,

Face up in the canal

Whose corpse made you retch.

Aren’t you all dandy? Lying in state;

In your finest colors,

That feigned indifference Is a lie.

I see a smug smile

Underneath your facade of death.

I’ll smile to you my friend,

From clothes of metal mesh

A metamorphosis from when

 Rubber tires adorned me

And petrol was my cologne

I died, didn’t I?

 Then this makes us brothers;

This fate we share,

The flowers of death

Pollinated by the kiss of youth. 

Those fine pillows in the coffin,

They suit you better I swear it.

I’m content with my bed of moss. 

PS: Your wallet lies beneath your mistress’ bed

To dust

As I celebrate one dormant year and a second active year of blogging, I would like to dedicate this to all men (women inclusive.) Everyone that has been with me through this–my hobby, career or whatever. Thank you all–too numerous to mention at the moment but without doubt you all know yourselves (Blog followers and commentors, Toyosi, Livelytwist, Ian, Alan, Christian, Dunni, Boro, Sola, Dare, the whole body of Musedmind Writers, Assumpta, Ife. etc, learned colleagues, family etc.)


Most especially to a friend  whose life and death, reminds me of one thing–the mortality of Man and the essence of a Creator.



The acrid smell of death pumps my blood. I find that my neck hurts and my fists are clenched. Small round colors dance before my eyes. Its feels like a day from my childhood. The lantern ignites the room with an eccentric type of light. The night is singing a violent song coupled with the wind’s usual off-key tune. A mosquito buzzing in my ear, makes it an unlikely trio. They sing, they sing to mourn death.

I find that I have gritted my teeth and I’m trying not to breathe even though the odor is as pungent as if it is I who stinks–or better still, like I am carrying a skunk in my two palms.

A short wail pierces the air and for but a second interrupts the winds tune. But the wind, not later than a second, carries on with its song normally, taking its place in my hearing organs. A spy with my eye at the darkness of the night, reveals in the bluish orange clouds, the possibility of a downpour. I swallow hard.

I move towards the frail body. It reminds me of the skeleton I’d had to study when in Junior Secondary school. I dreaded the Integrated science class–just as much as I dread this moment.

I crack my knuckles. The body whimpers. I move closer, I notice the skinny hand is holding tightly to the curtain, pressing and holding it tightly the way one did, a stress ball. Veins glisten. My eyes fill up with sickening tears. I turn to examine the face. Though he is practically nude, there is absolutely no attempt to protect dignified body parts. No strength to protect shame.

His face is like a mask. Blank and without emotion. His eyeballs are sunk in their sockets and there is a look of distance in each eye. I want to scream at death, at it’s mocking laughter but I whimper, alongside the old man.

The old woman comes out full and wide unlike her spouse. Lines of worry adorn her face. She is beautiful nevertheless. A graceful woman and mother. The African mother. She can tell that his time is near–it is the only reason  she is so nervous and jittery. She settles with a thud beside him. She cradles him and nests his head on her breast. She forces two spoonfuls of custard into his mouth and that’s all he is willing to take. He doesn’t say a word. He just mumbles incoherently.

He seems to be, in this ninety-ninth year of his life, a baby, more than an old man–more than a grandfather or a great-grandfather. He seems a baby ready to cry, wanting to be cradled and touched–and in that moment, I am reminded of the mortality of man.

In my head, thoughts breeze in like the wind and I’m taken to a time in which I didn’t exist. I am taken to the moment he was born. Then my mind is abstractly moved from the joy of bringing a child into the world to the words of a minister, miles away on the same day, in front of a cemetery. He chants ‘from dust we come to dust we return,’ a nostalgic tune being hummed away on the harmonica.They’re dressed in black mourning the death of a loved one. They are white and it makes a lot of sense since its the colonial era. They mourn quietly. Nevertheless, they mourn. Miles away, a woman celebrates the birth of her baby–whom would some day die.

Then I am brought back to the present where this man is about to die, a simpler process but a sad one. I feel queasy.

Its all about living well the subconscious tells me.

The woman starts to sing and tell a story. She talks about their love. She talks about their life together. She talks about being happy. She talks about fulfillment. Then she smiles briefly and kisses his head. In that moment, the strangest thing happens. The mentally and physically unstable aged man, smiles back, his eyes fluttering open with so much energy and gusto, it could have been my imagination and in that same moment, his eyes shut and the wind and night stop their harmonies. There is no movement and silence prevails.

I stare at the lantern as it glows, feeling every bit uneasy. Then I watch as the woman stands, stretches the man on the bed carefully, moves towards the wardrobe, brings out a white cloth and covers every inch of him. Then she goes to the corridor of their home and screams out loud, leaving me confused for only a second. ‘Baba is gone’ she says.

And I am then woken up to reality.

The reality of my earlier trance. Be them some white folks or them black folks. Be them the rich and powerful or the poor and weak. Be it the ministers of God and the sinner on weed. Be it the child who has one too many dreams or the man whose mistakes are numerous.

Dust we are and to dust we shall return…