Tuesday, 28 June 2016

To Our Hurricane!

Olumide Makanjuola        (image sourced from:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4925168935762&set=pb.1494540329.-2207520000.1467128701.&type=3&theater )
Dear Olu,

Who said the world won't be a better place? Who said we will not win? Who said the lives, dreams and work of LGBTI individuals, groups and activists will not flourish? Who said you will not shine, Olu? Who said you are a mistake, that you are lost? Who said that you are cursed or forgotten? Who said you have failed? Who?

Who has not seen nature water her own or God bless His own? Who has  not seen Olumide Makanjuola or the hurricane he has become? Olu, who said that this and more won't happen in your life time? Who ?

Let them  see you flourish like an alamanda fed by the purest of rain. Let them come and see you win, like an athlete who runs the race for his race, like lightening blaring fearlessly across an eclipse. Olu, like the hurricane that becomes the very weather, the status.

I am proud of this honour bestowed you. But more, I am proud of you. You have made Nigeria charm the map. Your work and sacrifice, amongst other things, are making the dark continent glint for the world to see. You and all African LGBTI rights activists stubborn enough to remain on the field. Wreckless enough to stay alive,  and blessed enough to succeed inspite of all the odds. Our dreams will come true. And these fears will become few.

Let your work be watered, Olumide. And your petals flower. May the forces of opposition recognise the army you stand for and the sunshine that you are. May all those who march with you be filled with God's Grace and stamina. And may results succeed results.

Kai! I am proud of you egbon. I am happy that I share this age and struggle with you and all other hurricanes out there like Dorothy, Rashidi, Mike, Seun, Ifeanyi, Jide,  Davis and the list could never end. I am proud that you all take struggle seriously and fight very hard to win. I am proud that you all have proven that we are all in this together regardless of where are or what we are doing. That we can all be part of this struggle with whatever we can do and however we can do it.

Even with stories like Orlando and Akinfessi, there are stories like the pride and our hurricanes, like you, Olu and who all who march with you. You and everything you stand for.

Congratulations on your receiving the Queen's Young Leaders Award. It's a victory for you
, it's a victory for us all. We are are pride of you, our hurricane.

Warmly,
Nnanna

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Souls wrestling free

Image sourced from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/12/orlando-mayor-announces-at-least-50-dead-at-nightclub-shooting/
Glass smashed, then a gun shot. I could hear Jamie scream. People scrambled around. What was happening? I was too giddy to think. The music stopped, then rapid thunder sprays, more screams. Was it my imagination? Alcohol surged up my throat. I threw up. The floor moved. I fell. My heart throbbed faster. It was afraid. Like someone had ripped my law degree from the wall. Like my body struggled to hold unto life. My heart screamed to run. My feet could not. Everything blurry and pink. I could not move my feet. I saw two figures dash into two toilet closets, shut the door behind them. Was this a dream? I could hear their heart beat like tempests? Was it mine? Then he barged into the restroom, blurry. 'Man, what's going on?' I struggled to say. The next I felt was clarity, a smoky gun, and the wrestly feel of a perfect soul surging free from a broken body. My body. My heart raced for the last the time. Not from my chest, but in my soul's imagination. Peace marred with anger, a journey I did not know. On my way out, bodies littered the Pulse, I could hear souls wrestling free and heart's beating their last.  The door smashed, and two souls surged free. 49 souls joined me. I didn't know why. As earth fell lower and lower, each soul became brighter and brighter becoming one.

About the Victims:
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-orlando-nightclub-victims-who-they-were-snap-htmlstory.html

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Stop cutting when you see blood



Stop cutting when you see blood
It’s our flesh burning
Stop ‘loving’ when it is choking me of life
Stop trying when you see it’s hurting me
Stop being right when you see you are wronging me
Stop telling when it begins to hell me
Stop cutting when you see blood
It means you are destroying me
For my difference doesn’t shake the throne
Your ‘love’ does
Stop hating, it takes us to nowhere
I’m dying, stop grooming me
I’m me, stop changing me
Stop cutting when you see blood
Be wrong for me, I’m ‘god’
Stop trying and stop killing us
Stop pushing, stop telling
His throne quakes from evil of your ‘love’
Please, stop cutting when you see blood



#For Orlando50,53, and in rejection and of dark loyalty and culture that is blind to God and humanity

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Where Rainbows Kiss The Ground

Dear Africa,

Today, I clock 26. It's my heart's argument that I am older and wiser; that I am more entitled to opportunities of love, accomplishments; music; acceptance; liberty and an actual life. It's my heart's argument that I should have the final say in how I choose to pray, walk, talk and write.
Today, I clock 26, and it's like the world around me seems to be at peace. Hatfield, is quiet and everyone is out working on assignments with very close deadlines.

However, the reality is far from what it appears to be. Several miles away there is home. The place where I had my first kiss. The place where someone once called me beautiful . There is home, a land that bears my story and can very much be fruitful. There are lives that weave into mine in simple and complex braids and warps. There are stories and struggles that have condensed into my existence so much that it has become me. And there are piles of counter-arguments that, in roaring loudly at my heart in their large numbers, seem to carve out their legitimacy.

Dear Africa, am I wrong for having a heart that works?

Am I wrong, for announcing the scripts of the universe, of God?

I ask this questions from rationality, because my heart can not care any less about being wrong or right. My heart, sliced from the core of heaven, forged by the Flames of Creation, from the Threads and Oceans of Phenomenal Stories that chose who tell them. My heart, the crazy one that has fallen in love one time too many. My heart, the foolish one that learns no lessons and insists on its truth.

Today, I clock 26, and I know what my life is about, and conversely what it should have no business with. I know that it has not been a party, and it may never be. However, there is the conviction that  God has written me forevers in places that were once hurricanes and with ink that was once lightening. And has placed me amongst the best of men and women, stories, opportunities and realities. He has gifted and laced me with all I need to be. And being is all that is necessary to be done.

Dear Africa, I wish that I have every part of my life laid out neatly as it seems above. But they are  not. I have been called unrealistic and brave because I do not echo the public chronicles. I have been called gifted and distracted because I seem to be wasting my time and abilities on a lost battle. These labels are fierce and profound. Still my heart insists on not being bothered. There are more worthwhile things to fuss about, I think. Like how to manage the gemini that I am. About that...

While a part of me is legalistic, rational, thorough yet distant and questioning. The other part is fluid, wild, irrational, severe, promiscous, 'foolish', daring and deep. Each continuously being fiercely honed by books, stones, stories, whips, lectures, assignments, tasks, journies, projects, relationships, opportunities and lives. It's tricky that while these two parts are essential for my existence, and complement each other, the world sanctions me when they cross paths. Stories should not be legalistic, and legal arguments need to be crisp and unpoetic. What to do? None will give way for the other. What a fate!

Regardless, the best part of my 26th birthday is that I am part of a generation of groups and individuals bold enough to loudly question the norm, to cross the line, to call the world's bluff. Bold enough to insist on new narratives and definitions. I am part of a struggle that has now refused to be hushed any longer. Above all, I stand with these reality, lives and stories at a place where the rainbow kisses the ground, where victory is most possible and visible. Fortunately, I am here like the 6 year old Nnanna dreamt in 1996, with God and the best of men and women praying, dreaming and winning with and for me. But this time, I know that life is not a rehearsal. We don't always have the luxury of time to think things through. Muhammad Ali's candle went out yesterday, and my mortality smacks me in the face. I am 26, and time will pass whether I know what to do or not; whether I do it or not; whether I shine, hide or realise my dreams or not. I'm learning not to think of myself as superman or indispensable. I'm learning to fly and to stop ocassionally; to shut my door when I need to and to hold hands;  to fall when and where there is a pressing need to even when it's not an accident; to be silent and listen because the world and her politics is also about everyone else. However, this  does not preclude me from doing the things I need to do, and saying the things that I need to say.

 I'm learning to count the days in units of thoughts, moments, lessons and reflections than in anticipations and contemplations. I'm learning not to hold onto 'sainthood' as it is for the dead. Life is for the living, being, moving, learning and growing.

Dear Africa, I am 26 today, and I cannot think of more worthwhile gifts than the reality of bearing the knowledge of my God ordained purpose in the sharpest of precisions; the chance to be part of you and the opportunity to give my best .  More sweetly, that you are part of me, courting me, my work, my people, my life and dreams so sweetly.

I still hold you to greater possibilities and expectations, even while yet in love and hopeful.

For you.
Nnanna