My life, 2017 and My Website


Gosh,

It has really been a while.

I’ve been meaning to find time to write on here but each time I try to compose the first sentence I go blank, well… not this time- obviously!

I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED UNIVERSITY WHOOP WHOOP!!

Firstly, I want to tell you, who ever that’s reading this, that it’s good to have a store-room that collects your thoughts, memories, feelings etc, mine is this blog. Once in a while, I come here to vent, write stories, and just express myself. It’s not about writing for the public anymore, it is writing for me. Writing for me to come back and see how far i’ve gone.

Life is like a pack of gummy bears; dipping your hand in a pack and not knowing what flavor it is till it hits the tongue, whether you’d hate it or love it.

The middle of last year was the most difficult for me, I was going through some issues that really weighed me down. I thank God for bringing me out STRONG! , he brought me out with an idea. An idea that till today I can’t exactly tell you how I thought of it. It just honestly came to me.

LOAAS, Life Of An African Student, is my baby, It’s my God-Given Idea and I have a good feeling about it.

This is all you need to know for now.

I’ll be writing weekly diaries on here about my journey and the challenges I’ll face this 2017, I’ll include names, pictures etc Hope this won’t get me in trouble lol..

Lets do this!!!

 

 

 

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Dear Gold,


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Dear Gold,
I am writing you this letter not because I’m a fan, no I’m not a fan.. I don’t think I am worthy to be called your fan. I was a “by-the-way” listener of your music, yes I enjoyed the beat, I even knew the lyrics but I did not bother to understand you. Well, that not until I purchased the album.

The first time I heard the album I honestly did not know what to feel, I literally just sat there, numb, and I consumed every word, beat, pause…I felt like I was being hypnotised and if that’s what it was, I won’t mind it over and over again. I wouldn’t call you an artist, I’ll call you ART itself, because you have the ability to translate deep emotions into simple words and bring it out to the surface. I don’t know how you did it but you managed to dig deep and give meaning to things that were always there but not talked about. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I felt a bit of different genres of music infused into yours; I felt Indian music, South African, hip hop, Pop..embedded in your own unique sound to create a masterpiece. l don’t think there’s an emotion yet written to describe the way you inspire me. As I said earlier, I’m not a fan, not just yet, I still need time before I could be labelled that. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for giving me a new perspective, thank you for making me wiser than I was yesterday.

With Warm Regards,
Cold Zobo 🍇
Click here to Reply or Forward

YOU DON’T KNOW ME


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For many weeks now I’ve been meaning to put my feelings down. But I never knew how to start so right now I just thought “What the hell Anita, Just write whats on your mind!”

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone that has my best interest at heart. Really..it’s very sweet. I’d like to thank everyone that feels my life must be perfect FOR THEM. I’d like to thank everyone that feels they have a say in MY life. I’d like to thank everyone that take MY business as theirs. It’s not creepy at all. I’d like to thank everyone that want to control my life at their own will. Really cool. I’d like to thank everyone that feels they know MY right from MY wrong. Even though they haven’t figured theirs yet, but all the same, thank you.

This thing started before even joining University. Where people decide to be over-concerned parties in my life. The funniest part is that, I don’t even know these people.I mean, I know OF them but I don’t know them and they also don’t know me.

Quick reminder: My life, as ANITA ASHIRU…guess what? IT’S MINE!

Stop trying to make me you, stop trying to make me what you want me to be because the next person won’t be okay with that.

EVERYONE will always have a problem with you, you need to grow up and accept that RIGHT NOW if not you’ll die trying to impress everyone.

I grew up always trying to make everyone love each other. I cared so much about what people felt about me therefore I submitted to their wants. Coming to University and being in my final year, I sat down to reminisce..I thought about how I felt…I felt empty. I wasn’t me. I wasn’t the girl I saw in my dreams (my own world), I wasn’t the ANITA ASHIRU that my mom produced. I was a girl that people made.

At that moment, I thought and asked myself “WHATS THE POINT?”, I made a decision to start doing my things my way; make my own mistakes and learn from them, I decided to do things I dreamed of, I did things I made my own decisions to do. HOW E TAKE CONSAIN YOU?

Ofcourse I got comments like “you’ve changed!” and they began attaching that comment to many assumed reasons. “It’s that boy shey? this is not you”- LOL YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW ME.

This pain is from deep within and it hurts so much that I can’t fully express it. People need to stop. You reading this, you might be one of them, not doing it to me but maybe someone else, I beg you please stop.

Pay more attention to your life and not others because you haven’t figured your shit out yet.  The key in this life is to be happy. There is nothing like “I love you so you need to be this way”, that’s not love, thats control. STOP IT. There’s a difference in advising your loved one and making them who you want them to be.

I’m sure I am speaking on behalf of many others. People will always talk about you, they may love you, hate you, envy you or what not. But remember, people don’t talk about irrelevant people, so smile.

Lol sometimes I sit down and get gist about a girl that shares the same name and identity with me (which is ME obviously)..gist I have no idea about and its hilarious… and I’m thinking “nawa for this girl o, na only her waka come”

Finally, I’d like to thank you gossipers. You’re making me more popular therefore It’ll be easier for publicity of my businesses. I’d like to thank you story-makers. You’re proof that creativity still lives amongst us and I’d like to thank the over concerned parties. I might invite you to my wedding.

Listen guys, take time to think. Are YOU happy? Are YOU doing what you want? – Its all about YOU, and not even me. DO YOU and forget about what the next person thinks. YOU came to this world alone and YOU are leaving alone.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Voice From Within 108: I Like My Food Extra Spicy





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“Do you want a drink with that ma’am?”, a nod was enough as a response, it was in fact all I could do at that moment of excitement. It was my first time in a Thai restaurant and the gist of the town was that that particular branch had the spiciest food.

It is pretty difficult being Nigerian and living in a no-chilli-eaters country. The first few weeks were hell; it was like my taste buds were disappearing because I honestly could barely taste food that had no pinch of chili (at least), but after a while it got better, I guess I adapted. I got the hang of sprinkling black pepper or not-so-spicy red pepper into my food as an alternative to my beautiful red “ata-rodo” (raw pepper).

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That was why it was no surprise to my extreme excitement being in this restaurant. As soon as I got in, I requested for the menu before taking a seat. Oh well! I hope I won’t regret doing this. It took me less than a minute deciding what to have, maybe thats because I did not understand anything in the menu, instead I was pretty blunt and asked the red-haired waitress, “what is your spiciest meal, thats what I want and please make it extra spicy” I watched her write in her small notepad, she nodded and walked away. I noted that I was being stared at, thats when I realized I had the typical teenage boy grin plastered on my face and my left foot was vibrating in fast motion.

The wall clock right above the bar ticked to my heartbeat as I waited for my food. I watched all types of people walk in and out of the restaurant in satisfaction and that added to my excitement.

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Five minutes had passed and it felt like a hundred; I was running out of patience. My fingers tapped on the newly polished wooden table and it was drumming to the beat of my favorite song of that moment “Show me love”.

Then I saw my waitress walk out of the kitchen door holding a shiny silver tray, her smile put a smile on mine, my heart slowed down as she approached me, and then she passed me to the table behind me. I felt weak. You could see the disappointed face drop from miles away.

I decided to get my mind off the clock and focused my mind on something else. So I began to day dream. The sound of the ceramic plate hitting the table snapped me out of my world. The food had finally arrived and I was ecstatic.

I grabbed a spoon, not a fork and digged into the rice and stuffed it in my mouth. I closed my eyes and tried to find the taste, and there it was, the chili.. it romanced the first layer of my tongue and danced its way to the second and the third and boom! it hit that spot. I felt my lips widen. I was happy.

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Okay, so the point of this story is for you to learn that you should never give up!

Think it, believe it, and you’ll see it.

My thoughts on Nigerian Unis Chypers


Hey Guys,

Something interesting happened yesterday. You know how I’m not a big fan of rap right?

Well, I was bored and decided to watch random videos on Youtube. I was watching a dance crew in ABUAD and I noticed something on the side bar. I kept on seeing a repetition of a particular word; CYPHER.

I was wondering WHAT IS A CYPHER? lol .. don’t judge.. as I said, not a huge fan of rap.

I watched ABUAD’s cypher and I fell in love. I wasn’t just impressed with the flow in rhymes but also with the production of the video! It was awesome. Before I knew it I ended up watching for a number of other universities. (AUN, UNILAG, CU, FUTA, Madonna, and Lead City University)

I must say, all you guys ROCK!

Here are some of my favorites down below.

Please note that none of the videos belong to me, they were all found on youtube.

You guys should watch and appreciate it

Voice From Within 107: Society Cant Stop Judging


I am typing this in confusion and irritation. Ive just finished having a deep conversation with a friend about influence, change and my future… It is overwhelming and now my head is full… I feel i need a place to offload my thoughts.

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Sometimes I think people forget my age, and how my growing up was completely different from an average persons. I just turned 19 and Im about to round off my tertiary level of education. My mates are just applying for University, Im here trying to decide what country to do my masters..I wasn’t the typical 16 year old that took time to understand puberty and explore the world. I wasn’t the typical 17 year old that focused on meeting boys and going for parties, instead I was starting up a company and raising up my GPA. I wasn’t the typical 18 year old that just hit the adult year and focused on being ‘legal’ because as far as I am concerned I was already behaving this way since I was 15.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it. I actually don’t mind it and its not a bad thing. But one thing I’ve noticed is how people expect so much from me forgetting that Im still trying to fill in the gaps. Of course there are times I wish I did things the normal way. That is, had my fair share of boys, partying, being legal etc Heck I don’t even know how to drive.. So sometimes I try to catch up… Everything is all part of the growing stage.

I want to be young.. I want to make mistakes, I want to tell a story and not just stories of others.. I sit amongst my friends and they begin to tell stories about themselves, may it be sad, happy, scary, adventurous…I listen in detail and ask a ton of questions, not because I want to write a book about them.. But because I don’t have any story of myself so I try to visualize.. thats the closest I can get to it being my experience.

As I said, I don’t regret the way I grew up. It has indeed made me more mature than most people my age. But sometimes I still want to be the average 19 year old enjoying her last year as a teen. Before extreme responsibilities come my way and I have no time for it. The truth is.. I care so much about what people think of me and how the world sees me.. we all do although most of us pretend. I try to be good, I try to be fair; I mean, I don’t want anyone seeing me badly… But the thing is, someone somewhere won’t like and you can’t control that.

Everyday I am being dictated a rule..how to act, how not to act.. just because thats how its meant to be… I find myself living to please others and not myself. And the moment I decide to do something spontaneous and out of the box I’ve been forced in.. I’m being judged.

I don’t understand society and how its set up. Can’t I be young without being scrutinized? Cant I be allowed to write my story? Sometimes I need breathing space.

Just because I’m being spontaneous or doing something out of my normal routine doesn’t mean Im changing.. maybe yes, something triggered that part of it… but c’mon… I need it in my life. I can’t go through university without having any story out of it. Its not just about grades. Your life is a big novel, Let me ask you, is it a best seller? or a novel that’ll just fill up space in the shelves? In 5 years from now, you’ll barely remember my face so why should I bother.

My family is awesome. My parents are just the best and I hope they know how much I appreciate them. They are so supportive and they do what they can to make me happy. How many parents agree for their child to go straight from high school into fashion school? not many, but mine did and ever since then they have been my backbone. My parents had lives before I existed. Im sure there are times they sat down in their youth to write down plans; a bucket list maybe. And somehow I came in the way of at least one of them. They have never complained or mentioned it but I’m sure. Now, why would I ever want to disappoint them if all they’ve ever done was sacrifice and worked hard to make sure I have a good future.

I know what I want out of life, and Im going for it.. but remember that on every road there are traffic lights..I need to pause and breathe if not ill overheat. And that is what I am doing. Why is it such a problem????

The Good Criminal


Long time

I witnessed a thick drop of tear slide from the corner of his eyes, I could tell that he was embarrassed because as soon as his eyes met mine he bowed his head in shame and glued it to the steel table where his cuffed wrist rested.

“Mr John, internet fraud is a big crime! It is worse than physical theft. And you’ve been doing this for 5 years, I’m afraid you might be looking at 10 years imprisonment.” said my partner and John nodded. I know you are wondering why I am on first name bases with a criminal, but that is the kind of relationship I built with him when I got to know him.

John, not his real name but its all you need to know, is a good man. A good man who made a mistake; an addictive mistake.

There  is a stigma when it comes to crime and those who commits them. Everyone automatically thinks that all criminals are bad people. I don’t blame that ideology. I mean, we learn that in books, movies and in our environment while growing up. 15 years in the job has taught me otherwise, I learned that many of them have good hearts but unfortunately find themselves in bad conditions which makes them do bad things.

John is one of them. Intact John’s story is that that many should learn from. He has indeed changed my way of thought. Let me tell you a little bit of it…

Vector illustration of a man lock up in prison

John, age 22, has been in the internet fraud business (locally known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo’) for over 5 years. If you do the math he started at the age of 17 right after finishing high school, at a local government owned school. A school where Swahili was spoken in English class. That was his last bus stop, had no dreams of going to school on the tertiary level simply because there was no money to.

John was the first of 5 children and he was the only boy. His father who was a carpenter had developed a limiting disease; arthritis, which stopped his productivity and forced him to close down his workshop. His mother, who now had to take care of the entire home, was barely educated. She owned a small kiosk right outside their house and sometimes hawked on days where she had little to no customers. The highest she would make in a day was 1,300ksh and that was not enough.

John had to act, and act fast. What could a 17 year old boy with that big problem do? At that point, he was desperate he needed something quick and something big. Then he remembered a group of older guys that hung out at the local bar down the road, the big cars they drove, the girls they had and the power they showed. He didn’t mind working for them. He planned to approach them and beg to be their house boy, to help in washing their cars and cleaning their house.

On the day that he approached them, he wore his finest shirt, one which his mom had made for him for Christmas, he walked up to the guys and asked them to help him out. They laughed in his face and asked him how desperate he was. He was forced to tell them how bad the condition was at home and how he was in need. They gave him a job of being their house boy and they paid him 5,000ksh weekly.

Greed and hunger made him crave for more. We are humans and it’s part of how we function. We are never satisfied with what we have. And the fact that he was surrounded by guys who eat 1 meal that was equivalent to his weekly salary made it worse. So he decided to join them.

When John narrated his story he couldn’t help but pause to let out a smirk. It was obvious that he was ashamed of himself.

John joined the ‘business’ to support his family; He educated his 4 sisters, two of them now in high school and the other two in university. He medicated his father, who is currently in India under doctor-watch. And built a supermarket for his mother.

John is a criminal because of the wrong choices he made. But is he a bad person?

Often people find themselves with what they think of as ‘no choice’ but that’s because it is the only choice society has given to them. We as society are the cause of that. We need to motivate, preach the words of goodness, educate and we need to do it fast.

There were many times John planned to quit but because of the thoughts of society rejecting him kept him locked up in that lifestyle. He tried joining church groups, but he felt  not welcomed by the stares he received as he sat before the alter. He tried enrolling in several schools, but he was laughed at because of his poor English compositions therefore he stuck with his own crowd and did what he could do best and didn’t feel judged.

We need to step back and think about other peoples life choices and show empathy instead of being judgmental.

When I asked John “so what next after this?” He told me, “To be honest, I don’t know, It depends on how things are when I get out, right now I’m glad my family is okay, I can rest for a bit.”

We need to come to the reality that there are different kinds of people out there, people with different stories. Many of them are just looking for acceptance and love. If we can give just a small dose of each, we can change the world.

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I wrote this story for Nafisika Trust (www.nafisikatrust.blogspot.co.ke)

Enjoy and share 😉

Voice From Within 106: Hug Don’t Hit


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I stomped my feet firm on the ground, raising my right hand finger to point at him, “I insist you tell me who she is! You can’t keep lying to me! You can’t!” I yelled. “Calm down baby please lower your voice.” He said calmly, using his hands to gesture downwards. “I can’t calm down! I can’t! We have to solve this now or never!” I insisted.

We were in his white-walled bedroom, I was standing on his king sized black framed bed while he stood right below me, on the ground. He was wearing his soccer shorts and his white vest and I was in my red and pink cut-out lingerie, his eyes were red, and his hands which were still in the air were trembling.

“My love, you need to listen to me, it’s complicated, that girl, she’s my..umm she’s my…” He hesitated. I wasn’t going to allow that, my anger increased, I shook my head and my pointed finger dotted his left eye. A tear dropped from my eye, I pressed my lips together. His hands acted in reflex and he placed them on his eye. “What the hell! Fayo! What is your problem! You want to blinden me?”

A rhetorical question. I was about to apologize as a reflex but as soon as I noticed, that thought formed a frown across my face, “Yes o! I will! You’re a stupid boy! I can’t beli…” a slam on my face shut me up. The shock made me lose control of my body because in a few seconds I had found myself across the room. He ran hurriedly to me, I thought he had realised that was a stupid move and he was coming to apologize, but that assumption was false because before I knew it his foot bashed my face. I held my breath in shock. I couldn’t even feel the pain, I was stunned.

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He didn’t stop. He kept on kicking me, like he had no soul. I kept shut. I was trying not to believe this was happening. My sweet baby was beating me? No.. No way. 5 years of being in a relationship with him, he had never lifted a finger on me. Why now? What is happening?

I looked at him and managed to shout “STOP!”, he did. He stared at me, I tried to read his eyes but it was blank, he was seeing right through me. It was strange and at that moment, I could swear that I was in a room with a stranger.

He kept his gaze tight, his lips were slightly apart, as if he had just finished a marathon then he spat on me and walked away. As I heard the door slam, My heart jumped, I snapped back to reality. The pain welcomed me through my spine. I looked down at my chest, I noticed my lingerie was torn and there were red stains. Blood. I got up, or rather managed to get up and I limped to the closets mirror and I looked at myself. I scanned myself from my toes up until my face. I couldn’t recognized myself.

Is this who I have become? A woman who claims to have dignity, pride, and courage has been turned into a punching bag? I smirked at myself. Pathetic. I began to leak a certain type of salty liquid called ‘tears’ and my knees dropped to the ground. My hands on my stomach.

I cried, I cried and oh I cried. Not because of the pain but because of the strange woman in the mirror, I felt sorry for her. I placed my hand on my face, and I felt a cold tingle from my engagement ring; I cried some more.

“You need to be strong!” kept ringing in my head. It was what everyone had been telling me since forever. So, I got up; wiped my sore face with my trembling hands, sniffed my tears away, put on a plastic smile and I walked out the door.

I found him sitting in the living room, with his eyes glued to the blank tv screen. He turned to look at me as he heard my foot steps.

“You should get some rest. You don’t want to be late for our wedding now do you?” I said casually, as my soul died inside of me.

By: Anita Ashiru

Email: anitaoashiru@gmail.com

IG: anitaashiru

Voice From Within 105


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I looked at him. I felt cold liquid tickle my cheek quietly. I blinked. His eyes were dark, and narrow, his mouth was dry and clenched. His hand formed a fist and I could sense the stench of his anger.
My knees quivered as I knelt behind the coffee table, my hands were in the air, shaking. “You are a very stupid child” he said, just below his voice, almost like a whisper, as if he was trying to implant that thought into my head. I tried to control my breathing because I was sure that the tears would take control and that would have worsened the situation. My eyes began to wonder, I usually did this when I did not want to think of the current situation. Therefore I started by admiring the dark grey and white fluffy carpet. I took in the perfectly done patterns and began to imagine. I thought of a room full of dark skinned indian men; laughing and rejoicing as they rolled this master piece, they never would have guessed that it would have ended up here, in Surulere, Lagos. I took another stroll with my eyes and admired the african painting that rested on top of the flat screen television, I traced the colors, and tried to decipher the silhouette of the young girl and her big steam pot; there was something about the girl, even though she was all black, I could point out details about her I felt as if like I’ve known her, the truth is, she’s the only person I can call a friend. Her waist was nicely trimmed which complimented her full hips and her hair flowed nicely in the air. At that point, all i could think of was my 6 month uncombed hair, and by reflex, I dropped both hands on my hair to hide it in shame.

Little did I know that that little  action had woken up a bigger beast. “How dare you disrespect me! I told you to keep your hands up and you disobeyed me! Young girl you are asking for it!” as he was warning me, he moved closer, unbuckling his belts. I heard the cling of the belt, I smiled because I had already mastered the pain of metal hitting flesh, it was nothing to me.

I heard his belt swift out completely. I shut my eyes. At that point I had had enough. In my 9 years of existence I had tolerated too much: insults, disgrace, maltreatment, physical abuse, and sexual assault, all brought to me by a man that calls himself my father.

I laughed at that thought and shook my head in disbelief. He paused in his whooping. “Wipe that stupid grin off your face! What is there to laugh at?” He asked in his deep voice. “Hahaha are you asking me? What is there not to laugh at, I mean; you’re pathetic, insane, shameful yet you call yourself a man. You haven’t even qualified for a boy. Look at you! You’re whooping your 9 year old daughter just because she slept on the bed and not the floor, just look at you..just take a look at yourself. Can you narrate the story without looking crazy? I pity you. Oh I really pity you.” I whispered, loud enough for him to hear. The shock on his face was priceless….

At least I wished that that was what had happened. Maybe I’ll try that when I’m 10. Instead I kept my eyes shut tight and received the familiar pain, his sweat splashing on me, and my blood dripping on the carpet that I am sure I  would be scrubbing tonight.

By Anita Ashiru
Email: anitaoashiru@gmail.com
IG: anitaashiru