In the city of Lagos, being over twenty years old, a female and showing no prospects of an impending marriage ceremony is unacceptable. Like me if you have hit the twenties mid point, and there are still no signs of a recurring name in your conversations of the male specie of course, then you have become a cause for a state of emergency. My friend is a writer, a bit of a hippy too and still has grand dreams to write her first non-Nollywood screenplay and maybe one day lace her dreads with cowries, wearing a long gypsy skirt and touring film festivals around the world. Now it seems a bit “Thomas Moore’s Utopia” but here is the twist. She has just hit the big three zero. That time in your life where you are told that your younger sisters cannot get married before you. When you are asked questions like “what is wrong with you...why are you being very picky. Just choose one and train him. No body is perfect..need i remind you men are scarce in Lagos” . In some instances there are the accusations of being a lesbian and constant references to the fact that your eggs are about to attain shrivelling status before they fry and become completely futile. I always thought there was a process though, you met someone, dated, got into a serious relationship, along the way discover if the forever after would be right for both of you or not. Again like me if you are of the wasted youth generation, who spent years being overly serious and overly responsible accompanied by unnesesary insecurity and self loathing, consequently realising that the world had passed through you instead of the other way round. Self actualisation somewhat threatens you slapping you on the face with statements like “there is an unexplored world right in front of you” and this time round you aren’t just ready to let it pass you by a second time. Marriage is a beautiful thing they say. Finding love and companionship for the rest of your life. Never having to go to the cinema alone pretending that you are meeting a friend there. Saying goodbye to those sad drunken girls nights out where you bitch about men and surveying every club hoping desperately that someone might be checking you out. At least that way the outfit and bleeding toes weren’t in vein. Waving goodbye to the life of unavailable men. Bidding adieu to those hopes of getting picked because finally you are number one. No more booty calls or creature of emotional escapism because you are number ONE and you get his last name to prove it. Marriage is also mortgages, savings, investments, acquiring assets, children, school fees, summer camps, family vacation, business loans, health insurance being responsible, being a provider, leading or supporting the clan, and in Nigeria domestic staff, driver, laundry man and security . Not saying there is anything wrong with this but when do I get to travel on a bus around west Africa and write my book about the Griots. When do I get to wake up and shoot my photo essay on the lives of the Tuaregs for three months. When do i quit my job to start my business and learn a second language. When do i go back packing as part of my artistic odyssey. As a somewhat professional fantasist, yes i accept my plans do go a bit overboard. All one is saying is that sometimes it might just be a bit selfish to get hitched for culture sake when you have a truckload of unfulfilled plans. Yes!!!! i know you can still achieve everything you want when you find the right one. But still, can one just wake up, quit your well paying nine to five, pick up a hobby and still be married? Despite my rant, ask me again in a year or two, when i start using products consisting of names like hypo- dermabrasion kit, glycolic peels and Retanin in a dire attempt to reverse the black on my face from cracking. I might just start singing like a canary. Telling you about my high flying job in corporate communications and my own pending nuptials too. Anything just to save the poor eggs and fulfil my purpose of procreation to my culture and mankind. If you haven’t caved in just yet, a night vigil dedicated solely to your singleton status may just be in order. hopefully someone is still going to want to annoint me with that pearl ring after saying all this.
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