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Otaba Dorcas

How can I tell this story and live

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How Can I tell this story and Live.


Becoming 12 was a lifelong dream for me. Mum had told us in one Sunday School lesson that Jesus was 12 when he had his first test of intelligence, arguing with lawyers and professors. 12 became for me, the age of awareness.


I wanted to be 12 so badly. But I would lose count of my years at 10. I stopped counting, stopped living. Time has since lost its value for me, and now everyday is a Tuesday, June 7, the day Aunty Ifechi died.

I didn’t understand it when people said it was love that killed her, I didn’t know that love killed people, that love could kill. Well, my Aunty Ifechi had held a sharp blade to her throat and cut it open until she found the oesophagus and dug deeper until there was no more pain to feel, only a raw, stinging throb, as I imagine. They found her body soon after. No one heard her scream.

How can I tell my story and live ( A man lying down and thinking)

How can I tell my story and live ( A man lying down and thinking)

Dad had been telephoned and asked to come to their family house. Her mum sounded urgent, she spoke the way thirsty people drink: “Ifechi…. Damilola…. Suicide…. She has killed me!”
Dad returned from Ifechi’s parading a sorrow-clad face.


A pale and impenetrable darkness seemed to have followed him back from that house of death. He did not discuss it with us. But mum had told us everything while he was away, Ikenna and I. Damilola was a boy from Aunty Ifechi’s school whom she had been dating for three years, only to find out last week that he’s been married all that time.

How can I tell my story and live ( A man sitting down and thinking)

How can I tell my story and live ( A man sitting down and thinking)

She confronted him , half expecting him to deny it, to say it is not true; and he told her he is sorry, he’s been trying to tell her. It’s not a lie. She has not known another man but Dami, all her life. And this! No; she would unwrite it, this life was a lie. It was her fault and she had to correct it.

Her body let another body fool it. And only it can atone for such a mortal error. Scars won’t do. End it. And she did it.

I cried in silence, leaning on the balcony, listening to mummy talk. Images of Aunty Ifechi slitting her own throat in sporadic movements filled my head. Blood. Pain. Anger. Hate. I did not like Dami, for what he had caused. In our house that evening, the smell of death hung in the air. It had followed dad back; it clung to him, and was in his visor.

Ikenna was in his room playing Ancient Words on his piano, and singing aloud: Ancient words ever true
Changing me, and changing you.

We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.

The evening was waning and in the distance the birds were flying home from their day’s toils. I strolled out, letting my legs wane and wander, taking me anywhere of their own will. I knew dad won’t call me back, nor mum. Not tonight.

I walked past the apartment buildings that formed our Street, past the community primary school. I walked to the General Government Hospital where her body waits. Where was I going? Anywhere out of the world! The lowlands of Ifite contrast strongly with the hills of Zanga Street where we lived which was at the periphery of the world; Zanga that hangs precariously from the precipice of a vast hill. Viewed from the ground, it looked like it was waiting for the apocryphal order to tumble into oblivion. But Ifite, life here is coolheaded, like me. It is a little peaceful town that always sleeps. Always quiet. I had to get to Ifite, to this peace. Here where I can listen to the silence of the night. I had my childhood moonlight plays here. It was here, around the Udala tree at the heart of Town, the playground, that love gets given for free, for almost nothing. Older children did it in the play. Once we were playing hide and seek_ a night game of course. I had sought refuge in an empty drum. Another figure hid in another corner of the drum. I could feel its movements. I raised my eyes and to the immediate distance. It was Ikenna, with Uju, the girl who always teased him for his world best soprano in the children department choir. But what were they doing shaking that drum like that! I squinted a little to let in more light and…. That day, Ikenna told me that if I told anyone what I had seen there, he won’t be my friend again. I was four then and this right here was my only friend. I promised not to tell. I guess I just broke my vow. No, I only remembered, the way I remember Ifite, for the memories that it brings. This town is a peace offering,; it is peace itself. Thus, the day Aunty Ifechi died I strolled to Ifite, alone, for the first time.

I had always gone with Ikenna. But today, I know too well than to disturb him at his piano. I know he would play until his tears streamed and flowed into the chords and notes and melancholy would sing in his voice, piercing high, penetrating the high walls of our residence. If I was God, I would dance every time Ikenna sang.

When I got to the playground, the children were there as always. I joined the older ones. I’m an older one now. We did not know our ages but there were perfect parameters in place for promotion and/or demotion. For hide and seek, we split along genders, male and female; the girls hide while the boys seek out their hiding places. I hid in a nearby bush this time. I squatted just a few inches from the road, trying to keep my mind on the play. The searchers had seen many others, a few of us remained. I followed the shouts that issued after every find. Then some neon eyes came towards me. Screams wouldn’t issue from me hard as I try. The eyes had an evil aspect. It was a human, drunk with frustration and anger. The smell of gin and grease came with him, pungent and sickly. An okada man. He advanced like a trained apparition, without full or proper use of his senses. He trained his eyes on me; then he smiled, shutting his eyes ever so briefly. A prayer of Thanksgiving. I have never been able to tell this story, but this Hausa brute grabbed me and… He unleashed whatever frustrations that life had thrown at him on my tender thighs. I did not return home that day nor the next. And when I finally returned on the third day, I didn’t talk to anyone. No one questioned me. Dad told me they all missed me. He told me again and again how he loved us all. But I didn’t listen. I wanted to talk, to tell them all about it. But how can I tell this story and live!

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How Can I Master Skills Fast

By | General | One Comment

How Can I Master skills Fast?

It is sometimes uneasy, if not totally draining, becoming a master or gaining mastery in a particular skill.
You know those times you needed a particular skill to sail in your career, you only didn’t have the whole time to master this skill.

Have you ever struggled to learn a new skill fast while knowing nothing about it? This article will show you a method to learn new skills in a fun, engaging and exciting way.

How can I master skills fast?


This step can be really easy and hard at the same time. It depends on your level of self awareness.  Frankly, if you’re able to define exactly what you want to be able to do, the easier it will be for you to find ways to accomplish that desire to end result as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You see people all over the place, they seem to be learning all skills, these type of people, give them a long time, there will still come out as novice or amateur in a skill.

Choose which skill you want already and go for that alone, at least until you master it then you can decide which skill to go into next.




Yes, most of the skills that we think of as skills aren’t really just one skill.
As a matter of fact, they’re bundles of smaller sub-skills that we use in combination with each other.

Let’s take programming for example, it’s not just one thing. In fact, it’s a bundle of all sorts of things. To master coding skills, you need to increase your critical thinking and debugging skills, learn the ins and outs of the framework you’ll be doing, etc.

Same for golf, basketball, sales and other skills. Instead of learning let’s say basketball as a global skill, try to break your dream skill into it’s sub-skill, then decide which of the sub-skill you will like to master first, wanting to learn the full skill at once can be draining and often times, you see yourself giving up.




Have you ever thought of how skills are passed along?

Let’s say for example you want to learn karate , kung Fu, boxing etc, the best way to learn is not just practicing on your own – that will take a long time to get through with that skill, but you just have to practice with other people – people who like you want to learn too ( you can always learn from those who learn faster than you or ask questions when you need help).

And more importantly have a mentor/coach or instructor. They are the fundamentals. The steps you get from your mentor are practical and can drive you to mastery even faster, so when you practice alone you can always run back to him for explanations and correction.


You can’t master a skill in a very short time ( maybe you don’t want to be a master).

Let’s digress.

I know a neighbor ( male ) who wanted to learn electrical designs, I remember how his boss always carried him along whenever he had a contract. He told the young man (let’s call him K) who was an apprentice with him, that it will take him 2 years to master the skill before he can start practicing.

I later learnt K wasn’t patient for the 2 years as planned, he started practicing, then got into problem when he almost burnt a client house because of his amateur knowledge. Today K is no longer practicing, because no one trust his ability anymore.

Mastery takes time. Somehow, you can learn a skill in a short period of time but not to a complex mastery. So, if you most learn a skill and know it at all,save some patience in your bank.



This comes to play if the skill you want to master can be found in books or internet, so while trying to browse through the internet or read books, research just enough, this will help you identify basic sub-skills in the skill you are about to learn, so you decide which sub-skill you want to master first before another.


Research will help you understand how you will be able to self correct as you are practicing. Remember this particular point doesn’t involve physical presence where you have people around you to also learn and take correction from.


Tip: Practice with seriousness, makes perfect.

You don’t just practice without seriousness, you walk away from a skill you want to learn, then come back to it after sometime.

You may master the skill – no doubt but not as soon as you want. Mastering a skill has so much to do with wanting something and going aggressively for it with the aim of not giving up or relaxing till you know it.

Don’t be like K. Don’t start practicing when you you know you aren’t sure if you are already a master. There’s a beautiful feeling that comes with perfection after doing something.

If people must call you a guru in a particular skill then you have to earn it.


Now over to you;

Was this article helpful? Is there a skill you’ve being battling to master for sometime now? Do you think these steps will help?


Tell me in the comment, share and subscribe.


You may also like: how-to-break-a-habit-and-hack-the-habit-circle


Written by Marywhite Ewona

How To Get Started When You’re Overwhelmed

By | General | One Comment

How To Get started When You’re Overwhelmed.

So today we’ll be looking at how to rekindle that fire when the ocean sits on your throat.
There’s that period that comes with flurry of activities and you’re caught between starting and when to start.

Those deadline to catch, groceries to shop, back to school preparation, volunteering, school supplies to fix, gym schedules, social interactions, school work, writing or creating any other form of arts and more are usually all part of life.

That jumpy overwhelming feeling..

Sometimes you hit your chest and say you’ll complete a task today and two days on you haven’t started yet.

You promise to finish a piece of writing yet nothing happens.
Now they’re measures to take Every time you’re in this situation.
First, understand you don’t necessarily need to rush up your work, you just need to get started and that’s progress. Like the saying, much haste less speed..

You don’t also have to worry about the things you couldn’t accomplish – worrying keeps you busy over nothing.
We’ll highlight steps to overcoming Overwhelm.


How To Get Started When You're Overwhelmed ( an upset woman)

How To Get Started When You’re Overwhelmed ( an upset woman)

1. What Do You Want?

Ask yourself what exactly do I want?
How important is what I want to my life?

Is the thought of what I want leaving railway tracks on my heart?
This will help you figure out what’s more important to start with first, so in case you couldn’t meet up with some of your schedule tasks, you will find peace knowing that you already completed what is more important to you.


2. The most outstanding thought is “Want of time and Lack of It”

You know how they say time waits for no one?

That’s not a lie, but you can’t possibly run on every task at once. You must not do everything, in fact it is not mandatory, just make sure you do something.

I hear people wishing for more hours to be added to the already 24 hours we have in a day lol. I think the time we have is enough for us to achieve all we want. Just get started, ignore all you have piled up for you to do. At least maximize your time and do what you can.

3. Have a To do list

A list doesn’t just serves as a guide but as a reminder of the task you need to put down.

PS: your list should be something your eyes can look at often, You could use sticky notes or a note pad or your phone as one.
For every task you complete leave a check tick on it.

At the end of the day look at the things you did and celebrate your self for them and continue with the rest the next day.

The most important thing is that you are still alive to carry out the rest of your activities. Don’t get overwhelmed and slump, no one does your type of work in the under world.

We only live once, I say this to people a lot, so please chill, get started. Do what you can. And leave the rest.


Was this article helpful? how do you handle overwhelming period?

Did you crash? tell us in the comment session, i’ll like to chat with you.

Kindly share this article with your love ones if you love it and subscribe too

READ ALSO: 10 bad habits you need to quit right now



How To Break A Habit And Hack The habit circle

By | General | One Comment

How To Break A Habit And Hack The Habit circle.

Most often, millions of people make new resolutions yearly, this includes new habits they want to form and old habits they would like to break. Some even take it further by ensuring they cover all areas of their lives especially areas that need improvement. But the truth is, the majority of people with New Year’s resolutions return to their old habits a few weeks after making those lofty commitments. They never really break the habits.

Now, how do you break old habits and hack the loop?
There have been a lot of discussions and opinions around about the process of habit breaking, we would take a look at some few tips here to help you succeed.

1. Identify the habit you want to discard or form and understand the reason for your decision

The first step to consider here is to know what exactly you want to break from and be true to yourself. Make it a personal decision. It should come from your mind. You won’t achieve the true results you require if you are being under any external influence. Once you have identified this genuinely, then you are one way to go.

How to break a habit and hack the habit circle ( A woman writing)

How to break a habit and hack the habit circle ( A woman writing)

2. Identify a new habit you would like to replace the old habit with.

Last year, I told myself I was not going to be among the group of people who resolve to break old positive or form new positive habits and don’t. I decided to research and reach out to friends who have been successful with the above. The majority of them identified that creating a substitute will help you to discard an old habit and form a new one.

If eating junk food is a habit you wish to discard, you can simply hack that habit loop by replacing it with eating mashed potato or other food that are of course not junks.

How to break a habit and hack the habit circle ( A woman eating )

How to break a habit and hack the habit circle ( A woman eating )

3. Set Realistic Goals

Set a SMART goal on how you plan to achieve the above. You probably have heard so much about goal setting. It is one trick that has worked for many persons, but we sometimes do not get it right.

It is one thing to set goals and another to set “realistic” goals. Say you want to quit smoking as a habit, don’t expect to stop smoking the next day. Rather, try to see how you can reduce your intake daily or weekly basis. Little by little, if you create a feasible plan and stick to it, you could hack the habit circle .

4. Get an accountability partner or circle.

An accountability partner eliminates the time and effort you spend on sidetracking events. He/she can support you and get you back on track to achieve your goal.

Check among your circle of friends and find one who is more disciplined than you as an accountability partner. Don’t be too scared to ask for help from people you trust.

5. Have a positive mindset and be flexible with your plans

Hey friend, cut yourself some slack! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You may have heard of the myth that it takes 21 days to break a habit. But habit forming is a painstaking process that requires more than the passage of 21 days. Many factors come into play when we decide to hack the loop.

Though some researchers concluded that forming a new habit requires an average of 66 days. So, take it easy on yourself, maintain a positive mindset, and be flexible with your plans.


6. Never give up on your goal especially when it seems you are yet to achieve your goal.

One of my major addiction and habit I needed to break was to cut down on my intake of carbonated drink (soft drink). I was addicted to this drink especially on days when the weather is hot.

You can imagine that feeling that comes with sipping some chilled carbonated drink. The taste of the drink is a calming relief to your parched throat and it feels a delicious aroma that warms your soul.

It was awesome at first but became an addiction and habit that I found it difficult to break. I was getting overweight and I knew that I had to put a deliberate stop to my carbon intake.

Although at first, it was a struggle, I was able to break the addiction. I decided to substitute my urge for soda with chilled drinking water. After all, water is a drink, right? (lol). I am now an ardent fan of chilled water and I only take carbonated drink once monthly as a treat.


It is time for you to take control

A popular author, Wayne Dyer once said that… “healthy habits are learned in the same way as unhealthy ones – through practice”. To form new habits and change existing habits, you must practice, practice, and practice.

Making New Year resolutions alone won’t erase the long-term memories of old habits.
The same way I was able to break my addiction, you also can. Feel free to reach out to me.

I know this article was helpful, or was it not? lol. tell me in the comment session.

and subscribe too

READ ALSO: 10-bad-habits-you-need-to-quit-right-now


Written by: Violet Fanseh