WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 2)

To read WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS (Part 1), click HERE

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g1The next morning could not come fast enough. So at the crack of dawn, we were awake and rearing to go. In the daylight, the ugliness and utter dilapidation of the environment in which we spent the night was stark.

One of the runs I came to see, a married guy, had called me the previous night, and I informed him of our relocation from Iyana Ipaja to Shomolu. He offered to come pick us up and drive us over to Shomolu.

So the morning saw us inside the perfumed, air-conditioned, plush-leathered Honda of the man I met for the first time that day, chattering and quickly recovering from our horrendous ordeal the night before, as he drove us to Shomolu. His wife was out of town, and he actually offered us accommodation in his place at Ikeja. But as appealing as that was, I wasn’t ready to curtail the freedom this trip to Lagos was offering. I’d go to stay in his place, and the next thing I’d know, all the excitement I was out to get would take a nosedive. The man (let’s call him Mr. Big) actually believed he was the one reason why I came to Lagos. #shakingmyhead The sheer naïveté. Continue reading

WHILE WE WERE YET KIDS

g1I recently took a trek down memory lane, remembering those days of my past as a gay Nigerian, fresh out of my teenage years. Wait, I was eighteen or nineteen. So, scratch that ‘fresh out’ bit. And these memories awakened different reactions from me as I pondered them. A reminiscent smile. A ‘what was I thinking’ cringe. A ‘did that really happen’ incredulity.

I decided to share one particular memory because it stayed with me the longest, especially since I’d just recently read Queer Mike’s A LOT LIKE LOVE, which smacked of ‘Johnny Just Come Lagos.’

I live in Lagos, and I’d like to think that I’ve been hewn appropriately by the city’s unpredictability, unreliability and topsy-turvy way of life. But I wasn’t always Lagos-savvy. I was brought up in the East, and my earliest visits to the city were under the care and supervision of my parents. My mother would accompany me to Lagos during my holiday, drop me off at my uncle’s place and then return home to the East. And then, I’d spend the vacation either being a homebody or being shepherded through sightseeing outings by older cousins. And when my holiday was over, a cousin would put me in a bus and my parent would be at the park back home, waiting to receive me.

As is typical of this kind of sheltered upbringing, I silently rebelled. I wanted to visit Lagos, see Lagos on my own terms, and not under the stranglehold of family. But such a venture required financial means and a place to stay in the city, all of them options which I didn’t have. Continue reading