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Do you have basic  stuff like hiking or crazy stuff like spending a night under water (that has no sharks) in a cage because you want to see if the ocean lights up in the middle of night?!… nope, not on my bucket list either.

So bucket lists are basically a list of things one wants to do before he/she kicks the bucket. Little wonder they are usually daring and/or adventurous . People have all sorts of things on their bucket lists from the normal to the unthinkable to the putrid.

There are some things on many bucket list that are so scary chances are I won’t be able to complete them because I may actually kick the bucket in the process… now that is a proper bucket list.

Now some things are so basic I have decided not to add them because they are like many people’s life goals. And naturally, below this list there subs but for now (I’m sure I’ll remember some later) these are the 20 top things on my bucket list.

Here are the things on my bucket list that is on that of many (mostly oyibo)

Common List

1- Bungee Jumping: Jumping off a high place while secured by the ankle.

My heart will sink below my heart as I plunge upside down to my sense ultimate demise but boy will it be fun! I’m in. 

2- Sky diving : The act of jumping of a moving plane which high up in the air with only a parachute back pack. I wanttttt! 

3-Hiking: Hiking sounds like so much fun. I would have wanted to camp out but I’ve read enough Goose Bumps to scar me for life.

4- Mountain Climbing and Abseiling-  Check. Did that in Shere Hills Jos.

5- Waterskiing- I’ll fall a hundred times, will never learn, and I’ll give up for lack of balance but at least I’ve tried.

Not Very Uncommon List:

6- Run in a marathon- I know I’ll probably run 5 miles , walk five more, crawl for 4 minutes and slump! But I was in a Marathon. And if I walk, I know I’ll make it to the finish line as the last person in 5 days time.

7- Jump off and on a moving train: I’ve actually ticked  off jumping off a moving train. It was not intentional and my knees hurt for weeks. Indian movies instilled a love for slow-mo jumping on a moving train.

8- Drive a Tesla- Or ride in a Tesla rather. 

9- Walk the streets of Paris the whole night- Sigh! A dream!

10- Go Kayaking or getting on a Gondola- Gondola please so I’ll feel a connection with the Merchant of Venice. I love anything Italy. Kayaking looks fun in cartoons, I don’t know about reality.

11- Sleep under the stars- Spend a whole night sleeping under the open starts with the starts twinkling at me and the soft breeze twiddling around my skin. The life.

12- Try thousand of oriental and intercontinental dishes from all over the world… except for Wuhan of course.

Not Common List

13- Spend two weeks indoors without peeping out. Indoors!

14- Stay in a beach house that has no form of technology at alll for three days. How refreshing will that be?

15- Date a Qatari Prince: Will never happen but come on, what’s the harm in wishing?

Now To The Ones Unique To Me

16- I want to sit in a Napep for over 10 hours straight coursing through the city and taking in the people, lights and sounds and just being part of their day for a day.

17- I want to sit on a major highway in the middle of nowhere and get a stool and a chair out. Sit on the chair by the roadside,  fold my legs, get a newspaper out and read through my shades. I’ll pour myself a drink, and sip slowly as cars occasionally pass by and the  force from their passage sways my veil about. 

18- I had always considered Kaduna-Abuja expressway. Sadly, this is one thing I may not strike off my bucket list.. or might but it may cost millions.

19- Seat on a trailer from Kano to Kaduna- Two hours enough. Like open trailer where people squat with cows and kolanuts and stuff. 

20- Walk for a day straight resting only for a few to recharge and keep moving. 

Now that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is my bucket list in all it’s glory and craziness. 

Do you relate even remotely to it?

Which are on yours and which aren’t.

You reading this can post all the things you wish to post about your life but I defiantly will not believe you because I’ve been let down so many times by people i thought had it together but are so full of it.

The reality is that It’s not all picture perfection and rosiness as is always the case on social media (I mean who will show you a picture of his failure and hard times?) because social media life and reality are as far apart as Spongebob and sense. 

Many events and people and situations were responsible for the reality check that knocked my sense to proper functionality because I too- like many others- had, once upon a time assumed that to a very large extent, the width of the smile on a persons face on his/ her social media pictures and videos are a reflection of reality. Boy was I  wrong!

Turns out for some, it was the only place they had to smile, it was the only way they could feel a flicker of happiness which soon dies and in a bid to revive it, they need to post more pictures, tell more lies, spread more rumours and pretend they are fine.

Social media (using term to refer to situations whereby people live-literally breathe on -and because of social media) is a sickness, a mental disorder and many are suffering from it directly or otherwise. 

Remember that Middle-Eastern British couple that were the perfect muslim couple personified? Remember the sham there lives were and how in reality, one had even attempted suicide? (Even though they are back at it now)

All because they had to portray a perfect life on social media and they couldn’t keep up because no one’s life is that flawless and in pushing to do so, they lose themselves .

There are the rich ones who are in fact broke or are fraudulent. Or the ones who body shame and flaunt their perfect bodies which in reality are photoshopped, or the ones who are easy-breezy-life-peasy but their lives warped AF. 

They are all masks, a facade; believe at your own risk. Social media profiles are in most cases the only aspect of people’s lives that they can control (before hackers come for that too), and of course they’ll paint it pink and lavender.

It is sad how we spend hours and money at the expense of a real social life all so that we can lose our souls to the internet in exchange for a clowns suit, because only in the clown’s world is it always full of laughter and merriment.

There are plenty more people I’ve admired, Nigerian socialites, motivational speakers, celebrities whose real lives look like a dull shade of black. 

Motivational speakers are the worse because behind all those words urging you on is a broken spirit roaming about a dark cage but the worse part of it is that they do not know. They see from the inside out so as far as they are concerned, you are the broken-spirited person in need so they try to heal you who needs little healing by giving you bits of the spirit they have left.

If social media where to be away for a little while and people are to try and really please themselves no matter the condition away from the eyes and expectations of others, then life would have been so much easier because many will find themselves.

I’m not painting social media bad, far from it; if you know how to utilise it for good. I’m not saying don’t post your pictures even if you are fake smiling (fake it till you make it right?). I’m not saying delete your social media account or don’t listen to motivation, I’m just saying; wise up, know what to believe, know who and what to emulate, do not compare yourself with others, do not kill yourself to measure up to those who probably have less. 

Be you. The people you see on Instagram should never be the scale to judge your life and successes on. Many are sham.

She dipped the kitchen towel in a bowl of hot water and placed it on her hand. She winced as the heat seared through her tender flesh. There was a cut and several small injuries on the back of her hand and she couldn’t let anyone see it, especially the people where she was going.

She placed a band-aid and covered the small cut around her knuckles with foundation, she was wearing a long-sleeved gown to shade her wound from prying eyes. People, always trying to establish your life is not perfect like theirs.

She wasn’t going to address the cause of her pain until she’s back. He was probably on their matrimonial bed still asleep, but she had to get up, because she had to work, because she had to feed the family while he slept like a bunch of rotten bananas.

She checked her watch, frowned at how the small hand had ticked clockwise faster than she had wanted and hissed. The lecture wouldn’t deliver itself, she said to herself. Domestic violence, it seemed was a much sought after topic. Battered women where having none of the bullshit anymore, and she was proud. She stared at her bruised hand, she was proud of them.

Iridescent flowers that have already started darkening by the edges, that was what they looked like. Their faces lighted up in understanding and agreement as they stared ardently at her, eagerly sucking up each word like a child with an insatiable appetite of milk.

She shivered slightly at the sight of the innocence painted on their faces, innocence that for some, has already started getting tainted with a dark paint. She needed to save them; from themselves and from the others be it their parents, partners or the society… or all.

And so her voice got stronger with each word, with each message, with each example stating a hundred and one reasons why a woman is the owner of her body and why no one, can take that away from her.

‘The word ‘woman’ has, for a long time been taken to be synonymous to ‘weakness’, and that is why the girl child has been conceived of weakness, birthed by weakness and brought up in weakness. It has been drummed in our brains for so long we begin to believe in that and that is why when our husbands batter us’ she cringed at the thought of that ‘it is taken for granted and blame is heaped solely on us, the weakness’ her voice dripped of passion. She needed them to understand that they needed to stand up for themselves, she needed them to understand there in the grand looking assembly hall of the school of the elite children before it was too late.

‘But not anymore’, she went on. ‘The modern woman is strength and power. She understands that she is human before woman, she understands that she is woman and therefore priceless, she understands that dowry is not a ticket to torture, she understands that she is the owner of her body and she will fight to see that every other person accepts same’. She concluded.

The thunderous applause made her jolt a bit in fright. She stood stunned as the crowd of young secondary school girls and teachers stood up and cheered.

It always happened like that and that was why they scouted lectures so much from her for whenever she was delivering a lecture on violence against women, she was never herself. She was a woman from fifteen years ago who had been dragged and man handled, slapped across the face and told to shut up or the knife glistening in the dark will be buried within her. And she had to stifle her scream and lie for hour-like minutes until the deed was done and her innocence, gone. The most painful part being she knew who it was, and she knew he was a coward as only cowards hit women.

She smiled and lowered her eyes as if shy. The rage of being a victim had subsided and she was back to herself.

The admiration in the eyes of the female students and the profusely stated appreciations were enough for her. Her job was done.

She didn’t want to go back home. She didn’t want to face him or anyone. She just wanted to drive away, far away, but she knew she couldn’t, she knew she had to face her worse nightmare who shared her bed every day for 5 years.

The moment she pushed the door open and heard the sound of feet shuffling, she knew he was home. Where else would he be? Useless man.

‘Come here’. Silence.

‘I said come here’. Now with obvious annoyance.

She felt the rage creep back in. He always had that effect on her ever since he decided it was a good idea to rape her. Little did he know, he fucked with the wrong girl.

10 years after the rape, she had bloomed into a beautiful woman,and he had thought that she had forgotten as it happened a long time ago. And so when she did everything young ladies were prone to do to get the attention of men they liked, he had succumbed and had fallen prey. Some months later, they were married, what he will come to discover was her plot for revenge all along.

She had made his life a living hell from the first year of their wedding. She had made him lose his job, distanced him from family and friends and basically made him dependent on her so that all the power were in her palms, the palms she used to batter him all day as she relieved that dark night that awakened the monster in her.

Her fists were still sore from the punch she had given him last night and she could see him visibly shake as her palms curled to fists.

‘Bloody coward. I hope you tell this story to your fellow weak men who hit women’. She spat out in disgust and landed him another punch.

The relationship between myself and I is a love-hate one. I love myself, I absolutely do but there’s this lady, her name is ‘I’, she resides somewhere- I’m not sure where but I think it’s either my brain, my mind or my body. Sometimes I think ‘I’ is my shadow but then she lingers even after I can see no visible shadow. ‘I’ is more than the physical or tangible, in fact the fact that she’s not tangible makes her more powerful.

‘I’ is annoying, she annoys me to no end because she is too dauntless and daring and adventurous and she lands me in trouble all the time. Are you looking for bad advice cookie? That’s ‘I’. And she nags so much I find it hard to ward her off so to make her keep shut and have her off my case, I just go along with it… bad decision.

I want to lose weight so I try to cut down on food portions and avoid ‘bad’ food and even when I see a super juicy and cheesy chunk of junk, I direct my mind away by myself, but not ‘I’, ‘I’ redirects me. She comes with this super therapeutic voice and goes ‘do you really want to do this to yourself Hafsah? Do you really not want to indulge in this piece of edible luxury? You only live once you know’ and she is sooo good like an expert siren, I usually end up trailing her demands.

And later when I’m drowning in the guilt of it, she sits cross-legged on a plush chair by the side of the grey cube room that’s my mind and smirks to herself. She’s usually writing on a notepad- that’s one thing myself and ‘I’ have in common- and I think she’s scoring herself. By now it will probably read: ‘myself’ 7- 10834893 ‘I’.

‘I’ doesn’t like letting go of people so even when I have a crush on a guy and I want to move on, ‘I’ pushes me to just check his Instagram page one more time for updates, ‘It helps with the healing process’ she says. But she’s lying because I end up stalking him for three more hours….unhealthily.

‘I’ is (am) a hoarder. Like when she tells me I need stuff I don’t need. She’s like ‘Hafsah we are going to need this in the future, keep it’ and the future comes, and it goes and we never need it but we’ve kept it.

And she even hoards memories, some good ones- I must give her credit- but she hoards even the unnecessary, bad ones and that makes her hold grudges like an expert in the field of grudge keeping (there’s a pun lying here somewhere).

For example there’s a family gathering yeah? And I see that cousin and I’m approaching her because I want to catch up and… ‘I’ actually stops me. She says ‘remember when you were 4 years 7 months 1 week old and this cousin flicked a lit up match at you and it burned your arm? You still want to talk to her after THAT?!!! And the memory comes back anew, I feel the pain of the matchstick sizzle on my arm and I make a 360 turn away from the cousin. ‘I’, you are here on banned from interfering with my family life ever again.

When I learn a new song (which is usually some few lines), I don’t like letting ‘I’ know. Because when she gets hold of those lines, God in Heavens! It takes the whole spirit of the Earth to make her stop endlessly chanting them like a breathing mantra. And it annoys me because it’s stuck in my head every moment! But ‘I’ enjoys it. She just loves tormenting me.

You think you have naysayers? Mine resides within! This lady is my worse critic. Everything I do is subject to judgement. I can’t try to look pretty in front of the mirror, ‘I’ will start dissing me. And if so help me God I try to dance or worse sing, ‘I’ contorts her face like she’s smelling poop and grimaces, I’ll have to shamefully stop. That’s why I don’t like taking pictures because ‘I’ calls each of them ugly save one or two. Because of that, I may take 100 pictures and two days later, I’ll delete the lot to one or two. The ones approved by ‘I’. I hate her guts.

I know you are thinking I should let go of her and I’ve thought about it but even as I’m typing this right now, she’s in here laughing her heads off (wickedly) because she knows she’s here to stay. She knows she’ll outlive me, because I know that house, my mind will breathe and exists even after my body gives up the ghost.

And I can’t mute her because in between it all, she drops the most amazing writing and story ideas. She’s my perfectly ever-engaging muse. That’s where our love relationship comes in. I love her for the endless supply of stories she provides. Ever wondered why my stories are usually sadistic? Well….

And she’s my gossip partner, who else will I laugh about my boss with? Most times when you see me laughing to myself, it’s myself and I sharing an inside joke. And she spins the most romantic stories when she’s on her monthly’s. And she can be sweet in a mean way. She comes up plenty horrible ways to get back at people many of which I thankfully forcefully dismiss.

‘I’ is (am) a creative fellow, sometimes mean but usually to me and generally, there’s not a single dull moment between ‘I’ and myself.

By Stephen Ezennwa

I thought we were done;

She said I was gonna miss her; no doubts I did, but this?

No, I didn’t bargain for this, none of this.

I broke up with her over the phone and thirty minutes later she was at my apartment;

We talked it out;

She told me that it wasn’t going to be easy for her to move on;

But she promised me she’d be fine;

I made her promise me that she won’t do anything drastic;

She left with tears in her eyes;

Even at the moment I broke up with her I loved her;

Seven months later, I’m at Kilimanjaro getting myself treated to a nice meal, courtesy of Phay, my new girlfriend;

After not seeing her for so long, She walks out of nowhere looking like she’s been on some strong shit, wearing a pair of boots and raggedy clothing;

Merely looking at her I knew she hadn’t gotten over it;

I rushed over to where she was and gave her a hug;

Phay opened up for one but she wasn’t taking any of that;

She joined us at the table, we talked, ate, laughed just like old times but she carefully avoided talking directly to Phay;

She said it was time for her to leave;

She stood up and told me to look her straight into the eyes whilst bringing something out of her bag;

“Don’t worry dear” Phay said, thinking she wanted to foot the bill.

Still looking at her, she brought out a pistol and pointed it at Phay and asked me 

“Is she the reason you left me?” 

“I was willing to change for you but I guess you wanted someone else.” 

….. Smiling, she pulled the trigger.

By Bilkisu Musa


“An eye for an eye, nothing more. He shall taste the bitterness of a bleeding heart, an eye for an eye!”  

Amina’s voice was audible enough to wake the dead. “He will have a taste of his own medicine”. With her mind all made up she drew the duvet to herself. Her head sore from all the tears. At her parent’s graves, she had took a handful of sand, with a firm intention she promised. “I will put Alhaji Adam in his grave while you are still fresh in here. Wallahi!” she swore. All grieved, Amina planned her revenge. she had heard his voice while mother stuffed her underneath the bed prior to her dead. Now, full darkness is all she awaits for punishment to be served. He’s still here amidst her family mourning the same people he killed. Slowly she crawled out of bed and headed for Alhaji Adams room. With the gun she had found on her father’s lifeless body held in her palm, she twisted the door handle. He was sitting on the bed, “Shhhhh!” she pointed the gun at him. Smiling, she pulled the trigger. 

Kitchen Thief

By Abodunrin Basheet

It was early Sunday morning. I’ve  prepared for church. The hungry I was feeling was beyond discripption. I went into the parlor waiting for food. I saw mum coming from the kitchen, heading to her room to prepare also. As I realized she was out of my sight,I went quietly into the kitchen to know what she had cooked. I quietly open the pot in a way that it makes no sound . I saw some brown  fried-chickens. I couldn’t bear leaving without tasting aleast one. I took one, put it in my mouth, then quickly covered the pot and acted like I took nothing. I stood at the entrance, facing parlor(chewing the sweet chicken and not wanting to open mouth).

The parlor was empty. when I finished eating that,  I went in again to take another. This time around, I assumed no one was watching niether near. I opened the pot carelessly, took a chicken and put it to my mouth. I covered the pot, got ready to be  going, my younger sister bump into the kitchen like a thief ( You know that kinda situation that one would act like he took nothing). I quickly wiped my mouth. and she acted like she saw nothing, but I know she saw everything. She went in and I went out of the kitchen. 

Mom came out from her room heading to the kitchen. She came out with my sister with our food and  served everyone fried rice but she realized the the chickens were not up to what she left. “Who entered the kitchen” she shouted at everyone. I was silently looking like an innocent man but my sister was looking at me, expecting me to talk but I didn’t.

Mum said “If no answers, no one will be given the chicken “. I knew my sister couldn’t avoid to miss that chicken. She was starting at me which got me smiling. She was smiling and she pulled the trigger.

★TRIGGERED★

By Mary Emmanuel Bawa


“Breathe Samantha……. Breathe…… All you have to do is take out that apple”.                        It wasn’t a big deal for  Sammy, father had taken her to many shooting exercises, but this is her first at Quantico. Sammy is cautious, nervous even. She is so close, what if she miss? Her dreams of becoming an FBI agent are at stake.After reading all Blake Pierce books, Samantha had wanted nothing but to become an FBI agent. The likes of  Riley Paige intrigued her and nothing had made her feel so alive after mother died. Father saw the passion and fire in Sammy’s eyes when she speaks about this dangerous world of crimes, blazing with sparks of fury and a hint of anger. Anger from mother’s death “mugging gone wrong” the cops had said. More people won’t die same way. In her heart she saw Father’s face, his calm smile, with love, support, and encouragement in his eyes like always, she knows she can do it, it’s just an apple.Sammy clutched her target rifle closer and aimed at the apple, she listened to the rhythm of her heartbeat and the sound of her breathing and smiling, she pulled the trigger. 

By OYENIRAN TOFUNMI EUNICE

It was 6am. The day had finally come. The USA international field Archery. Naomi closed her eyes as she silently prayed. Thirty minutes later, she was already dressed.

Today determines if she would qualify for the championship level.

“You can do this Naomi”, she told herself as Francis her brother entered the room after a quick knock.

“Hey sis, are you ready?” He asked

“To be honest Francis, I’m nervous.”

“You don’t have to be; you’ve come this far. We all believe in you”, he encouraged.

“If only dad was here”, she commented sadly.

He had gotten a call and couldn’t fly with them for her most important game.

At the venue, Naomi’s coach approached her .

“Keep your focus, aim high and make us proud, Naomi”, he saidwith a pat on her shoulders.

Then she heard the announcer call her up: “now, we have Naomi Jacobs from Nigeria.”

She looked at her brother, giving her a reassuring smile, before walking towards the field.

She carried her ICU 10m match crossbow and positioned it on her shoulders. Her father’s words ringing in her head: “you are the best!”

She got the needed confidence; smiling, she pulled the trigger.

By Ruqayyah Saghir Nabage

As she stood there staring at the ground with so many thoughts battling for dominance,
‘Was it all worth it?’ prevailed.

Memories flickered half formed. Laughter, spoons over a flame, cake at midnight, ganja fumes induced philosophy, Netflix and coconut, syringes, finally a gunshot.

Yes, they had lived, loved, laughed. But had the price been worth it?

“Live out the rest of your days with me in utter revelry, debauchery and sin” he’d demanded when their eyes met from across the room and they’d gravitated towards each other. His broken eyes her new center of gravity.

 “Why?”

“Because you are the most sinful thing I have ever seen.” She’d claimed she wasn’t that type of girl and left him chuckling after her.
Having an Achilles heel for broken things and bad mistakes, she’d been drawn to him and the rest, as they say, was history.
Funny how she’d thought she could fix him.

Turns out he was the one that broke her instead.

‘Yes, it had been worth it.’ 
Only she hadn’t expected him to leave her in this hopeless universe after he had shown her the stars beyond Midgard. No, death couldn’t separate them.

Smiling, she pulled the trigger.