Tuesday, 30 August 2016

THE COLOUR PURPLE

(Uniben Pains & Gains)
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Monday, 29 August 2016

UNIBEN MEMOIRS: UNTAMED {25}

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                “Yeah… You wanted me to ask you right?” I asked.
                “Ummm… My Mother had married another Man and Dad wouldn’t let me grow up in a civilian house. He was not always home so he had no idea I was like a housemaid in his house. Step Mother was not as wicked as the Patience Ozonkwo and co in Nollywood movies though” she smiled.

                “She liked me but hated my Mum, so sometimes she took out the hatred on me. So on this faithful day, she got back from a weekend holiday trip with her children; while they were away, I was left in the house under the care of her brother who was doing masters in the University.  She came directly to my room and saw me crying. She asked why I was crying like a baby while the house was in a mess. I had been crying the whole day… He had forced himself on me the previous day in my Dad’s sound proof study room. I bled for hours and he made sure I stayed in the bathroom so I won’t stain anything else apart from my Dad’s white rug which was already stained. I thought I was going to die, of course he told me I would die if I told anyone but I kind of dreaded the blood flow more.”

                My hands were shaking… Each word she said tortured my soul. I wished she could just skip the story and freaking answer the question. “Ok… Stop, Please?” I said.

                “Nah! I am not going to stop. Because he raped me again the following day, the day Step Mother caught me crying in my room. And then I told her the whole story, what did she do? She called her Brother and he denied being home the previous day. Saying when he got back that morning to get ready for class, he caught a young man hiding in the study room and that he called me to advise me and promised to keep it a secret bleh bleh bleh. Step Mum went to the study and saw the stained rug and guess what she did? She started shouting and this attracted the attention of her children, my sisters.
 Slut, like Mother like daughter and the list goes on… names she called me. Dad was the only one that wanted to hear my side of the story and I couldn’t even tell him because I wouldn’t afford to play it all over again… After series of tests, they discovered he was guilty and Dad had him locked away. And then the step mother started saying my Mum had given me her witchcraft so that I will destroy her Family… He was released after she pulled some strings and ummm… everything became normal… except me. The memories tortured me, nightmares, low self esteem, inferiority complex, depression and in an attempt to send me out of the house, Step Mum sent me to a boarding school, all girls. And then I vowed never to be weak again, never to be subjected to anybody… I decided never to be subjected to the norms of the society…”
                I didn’t know what to say. There she was, another Lydia in disguise. I sat still and I must have said “God! Not her!” a hundred times with my palms shielding my teary eyes from the stares of Lami, reenacting her words over and over again.
             
                “Sorry Bala, I seriously didn’t mean to take you through my past.”
                “No no no… I should be the one telling you sorry. I am sorry Lami,” my sorry was not intended to console her; it was somewhat an encumbrance.
                Let it go Oga, you have nothing to lose here.
                And so I started… For the first time, I was ready to tell all.

                “She was the Gardener’s daughter, the closest I had to a friend. We spent time at home alone after school and we would talk about our dreams. She wanted to be a lawyer and I wanted to be an FBI agent. My brain was messed up, at 14 my innocence was gone, Kate had been sacked, after she destroyed my life and I hated how everyone in the house pretended like I had no devil in me. So it manifested, she trusted me and I messed her up with my fingers. Her Dad caught us, reported me to my Mother and I lied against her, saying she was the one that was begging for it, pathetic right? She stood there, blanched, the little hope in her gone.
                Mum knew I was the one that started it somehow, so she paid the gardener a large sum of money to shut up, her cry was silenced with her Dad’s desire to be rich, and he indeed became rich… Sometimes I live that day over and over again and I wish things had gone the right way. I guess am not different from your Uncle.”

                “You don’t send pictures of your manhood to Lydia on whatsapp do you?” she had gotten up from where she was seated to sit close to me, holding my hands.
                ”What the…” like the hell. That guy dey madt.
                “Yeah!” she smiled and assured me that I didn’t rape Lydia, she teased me about being a hoe and she... wssssh…. I used to tell myself that I didn’t rape her just to console myself but at a certain time, telling myself that I raped her kind of made me feel more miserable, a good feeling.
                “I built a wall around myself; first you were climbing and now you are planning to send it crumbling down… Thanks for being the best.” Lami said. I am not sure I understood what she was saying, I hate figurative sentences because they are just not ideal for human beings. Sha, I smiled. That shoddy smile you give when you don’t have any idea what somebody saying but you are happy that person is talking… Yeah!


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Saturday, 27 August 2016

UNIBEN MEMOIRS: UNTAMED {24}

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                Lami came out of nowhere and stood beside me, I was taken off balance and totally forgot that Lami and Miriam know themselves. I wished the air poisoned my lungs so I would die that moment because I started doing introduction of names which was uncalled for because I didn’t even remember the names of the other two girls. It was freaking obvious that I was tensed with Lami and Miriam around me.
                “Hey Olamide, it’s been a while”
                “Yeah! How’s been your exams though?”
                “Fine Dear, I love your outfit”
                “Thanks. You look ravishing by the way…” and the chat extended to shoes, bags, hair and even make up. I was the odd one out, I just stood there looking at Lami and Miriam and I thought how cool it would be to get to know my half sisters. I got to meet them when I was 14, their Mum brought them into the Family house telling my Mum that since she had sealed up her own womb, it was high time her own children get to stay in their Father’s house. She kind of made a good point, except that I was the one that sealed Mum’s womb and umm… the house was not my Father’s. I checked them out on facebook one certain time and found out they schooled at UNILAG. 

                Anyways, we said our byes to Miriam and her classmates and then we spent minutes arguing who should drive the car. I came top and collected the keys.
                “Miriam is cute... and from what I heard, she is the most wanted in Life Science.” She said on our way home.
                “Ok… Who are you telling?”
                “Fool! I am not the one that is falling head over heel for her am I?”
                ”Nah! Are you?” I asked, cutting her a wink.
                “No no no… Don’t even go there. I mean, she is has nice lips but nah…” I looked at her shaking her head and when she caught me looking at her, she continued talking…

               “Ok…. Maybe she is extremely endowed too. And damn she is beautiful, like she looks even better without makeup and that shape? lips? Common even a woman that goes to Deeper Life would wanna kiss those lips man…” I had never seen Lami that free; she was talking and didn’t care what I was going to think. It was like that very moment, a weight was lifted from her body. 

                The only thing I could do was park the car and before I could say anything, she said: “I know you have wanted to ask. Can we at least go home first?” I pulled back into the road. I didn’t intend spending more than an hour in BDPA, but then my plans just had to change. We went to Chicken republic along Uselu road to get lunch and dessert then finally, it was time for her to take the wheels. I was having a severe headache and it seemed I kind of stood for a long time. It sucks!

                “Alright… Ask your question, and be plain.” Lami said immediately we got into her room. I couldn’t access my room because I wasn’t with the keys. She went to her kitchen and came out with my food in a plate and a cup of Hollandia Yoghurt. My body was weak, but isn’t that what it knows how to do best?

                “Are you Bisexual?” I asked with a tingling sensation somewhere below my rib cage, something in me wished she was, not because I liked the idea but common… wouldn’t it be awesome telling people that my bestfriend is Bi?
She laughed and said: “Seriously? Bisexual...” She sat down on her the tiled floor and took a deep breathe. "You just want to know everything don't you?" she asked, a savoring smile somewhere visible on her cheeks.

                Ok! Maybe now is the right time for me to tell you that I checked her browsing history some days before and almost everything had to do with stories of how people become the L-word.  
Till today, I find it difficult writing/saying the L word. I mean, I could shout GAY anytime but the other one? I think the word is gross.  Why didn’t the English fellows just call the two females doing it Gay and that of two males the L word? I think calling a Guy a Lesbian would get him depressed for days – There! I wrote it!!!!!!! Gay is kind of better on girls… My thoughts sha.
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2017 Commonwealth Short story Price

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BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual award for unpublished short fiction administered and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is part of Commonwealth Writers the cultural initiative from the Commonwealth Foundation.

OPPORTUNITY OFFERED: Story Telling Competition

TOPIC:
Any topic of your choice

PRIZES:
The overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize will receive £5,000 and the remaining four regional winners £2,500

ORGANIZER:
The Commonwealth Foundation

ELIGIBILITY:
The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone. There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.

DEADLINE:
November 1, 2016.

GUIDELINES:
Please read these eligibility and entry rules before beginning the online entry process.
Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules.
Entries must be submitted via the online entry form by 1 November 2016 (11.59pm in any time zone)
No entries will be considered if submitted after this date.
Entrants must be citizens of a Commonwealth country – please see Section 4 for the list of Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth Foundation will request verification of citizenship before winners are selected. Writers from non-Commonwealth countries (including the Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe) are not eligible.
For regional purposes, entries will be judged by country of citizenship. Where the writer has dual citizenship, the entry will be judged in the region where the writer is permanently resident.
Entrants must be aged 18 years or over on 1 November 2016.
There is no requirement for the writer to have current residence in a Commonwealth country, providing she/he is a citizen of a Commonwealth country.
All entries will be accepted at the discretion of the Commonwealth Foundation which will exercise its judgement, in consultation with the prize chair as necessary, in ruling on questions of eligibility. The ruling of the chair on questions of eligibility is final, and no further correspondence will be entered into.
Entries must be made by the writer.
Entries will only be accepted via the online entry form.
The deadline for receipt of entries is 1 November 2016 (59pm in any time zone).
Only one entry per writer may be submitted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
The story must be the entrant’s own work.
The story must be original and should not have been published anywhere in full or in part before 1 May 2017. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.
Entries previously submitted to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize are not eligible.
All entries must be in English. Translations of short stories written in languages other than English are eligible if submitted by the writer (not the translator) and provided the translator is a citizen of aCommonwealth country.
Entries must be 2,000 words minimum, 5,000 words maximum.
Entries should be uploaded in a PDF document. Please save your document as a PDF and use the title of the story as the file name. Please note the story must not be saved as ‘Commonwealth Story’, ‘Short Story’ or any other generic title. If it is not possible to save the entry as a PDF document, it may be uploaded as a Microsoft Word document, with the file name in the same format as above. The first page should include the name of the story and the number of words.
The author’s details should be included on the entry form. They must not be given anywhere on the uploaded document. All entries are judged anonymously.
Where applicable, the translator’s details should be included on the entry form.
All entries should be submitted in Arial 12 point font and double line spacing. All pages should be numbered and include a header with the title of the story.
There are no restrictions on setting, genre or theme.
The story should be adult fiction and must not have been written for children alone.
Entrants agree as a condition of entry that the prize organisers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered or shortlisted for the Prize.
Worldwide copyright of each story remains with the writer. Commonwealth Writers will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning stories (the overall winning story and the four regional winning stories) in an anthology and for promotional purposes.
The overall and regional winners will be expected to take part in publicity activities including social media where possible.
The overall and regional winners will be expected to undertake a mutually acceptable programme of regional outreach activities to develop and promoteCommonwealth Writers.

INQUIRIES
For any entry or eligibility queries not covered below, please email writers@commonwealth.int for clarification before submitting an entry.

Click here for more information.
 
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LIFE SAVER ESSAY CONTEST

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BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Life Saver Essays is hosting an Essay Writing Contest for budding writers. Our goal is to encourage rising talent and promote the spirit of writing, which seems to have diminished.

TOPIC: You can choose any topic, but we encourage choosing topics that you feel passionately for and where you can voice your opinion. Refrain from choosing overly simple topics. We do not have a set of specific topics because writing is creative and you are free to write on anything you feel for.

PRIZES:
The prizes are sponsored by our partners.

Winner gets $1000
The first runner-up gets $750
The second runner-up gets $500.


:ELIGIBILITY
Anyone is free to enter.

GUIDELINES:1) The essay should be at least 700 words and not over 1100 words. Essays violating this criteria will not be evaluated.

2) You can choose any topic, but we encourage choosing topics that you feel passionately for and where you can voice your opinion. Refrain from choosing overly simple topics. We do not have a set of specific topics because writing is creative and you are free to write on anything you feel for.

3) All essays must be absolutely original and in your own words. Copied essays will be disqualified.

4) You are free to use images but they must be copyright-free.

5) Submissions are accepted only in Word documents.

6) The contest is open from 01 August 2016 to 31 August 2016. Any submissions after that will not be accepted. The final decision will be made by 20 September 2016 and the winners' details will be mentioned on our website along with their essays.

7) To submit your essay, simply visit our website and send it in to us.

8) The essay will be judged by a panel of expert writers and the top three winners will be intimated through email / phone. The decision of the judges will be final.

9) The cover page of your essay must contain your complete details such as your full name, phone number, address and the reason why you chose the topic.

10) The essay must be written in English

INQUIRIES
For inquiries, please send an email to livia.susan@outlook.com
Source: naijacompetitions
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

UNIBEN MEMOIRS: UNTAMED {23}

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                During one of my exams (PHY111), I got to see UNIBEN Security men at work. There was a student that was about four (4) seats from where I was seated. He looked normal but there was something fishy about him. 30minutes into the exam, I was having difficulty breathing, the exam hall was crowded and there was no other means of ventilation aside the windows because the Faculty Gen was yet to be powered up. I called the invigilator to explain to him that I had to be moved to a place where I can breathe very well. I had started drawing in air like I was asthmatic so the Lecturer needn’t doubt me. 

                However, in relocating me, he told the ‘fishy’ guy who was sitting close to the window to move to my seat and in the course of him standing up, chukuli[sic] fell out of nowhere. He had written all the formulas as far as the course was concerned in a white handkerchief (YEAH!!!) so it would be easy for him to solve. He tried running out of the exam hall but sadly for him, there were two security men waiting at the door of the Physical science 1000LT, with the way they handled him, you would think they were White Policemen and he was Mike Brown. I felt bad for him and I could bet everyone blamed me for the incident.

                Why he go say e want go where window dey? Na only am sabi fresh air?

                So because e don dey drive car, he think say e don arrive? – Nice rhymes!

                U dey mind am? See e glasses sef. Ask am question, e nor gree tell you. Mtchewww

               
                Oh! Don’t get carried away, I was in my Peter Petrelli mode reading the minds of all the students that were looking at me. The truth is I was unavoidably popular in the faculty as a whole, if not for anything, for the fact that before that exam, I ignorantly parked my car where the HOD of MATHEMATICS usually parked his. Ok, that reminds me, please somebody should tell whoever is in charge of allocating parking spaces in Physical Science to please take a clue from the Faculty of Law that has reserved spaces with names for HODs and Deans. In case you are a fresher, HOD means Head of Department. 

                There was no sign to tell me that space was for him and guess what I got as punishment… the security men barred the car from being parked in Physical science car park. Lami thought it was funny, she was the one that collected the keys from me and wheeled the car away to the back of Geology class (front of ICT building) as I stayed back writing a report at the security office for an undertaking never to park my car at the car park. We did final revision in the car, A totally different Security official approached us muttering some words, when he saw a girl dressed in white denim and a white top that had ‘NERD’ crested and some crazy heels to elevate her humble height coming out of the car, his “You also can’t park here” turned to murmuring, you just have to love UNIBEN SECURITY personnels. Don't mess with them biko.

                Why do you have to dress like this to write just a common exam?” I had asked Lami when I picked her up at home that morning and she said “Because I have a car to jump in and I don’t have any other shoes to match my bag.” SMH!!!!

                After I finished my PHY111 exam, while I waited for Lami to finish hers, I realized that I actually had no friend in my department. Making friends was not that hard for me but remembering their names freaked me out. I could meet you today, introduce myself and ask that we be friends and tomorrow, I will ask you to remind me your name. While I was seated under the tree in front of the ICT building, two girls that I could guess were my classmates were passing by and one of them waved towards my direction, something in me warned me not to wave back but I ignored and waved back with a smile. Then I realized I was not the one she was waving at, have you ever been in this kind of situation? I wanted the ground to swallow me.

                “It happens, but the ground won’t open you know?” The voice was familiar but I had to turn back to see who was trying to impersonate Miriam. Miriam was standing behind me, a black skirt and white shirt with her hair held at ponytail… She wasn’t alone, she had two girls with her but I didn’t seem to think they existed.

                “Now I have a stalker who reads minds, God why me?” I said.

                “I came to physical science complex to buy something and saw you sitting alone”

                “Oh! Yeah, I am waiting for my friend to finish her exams”
                She asked me how my exams had been and I did same. Then the two girls with her came into existence. She introduce their names of which by the way, I had no interest in remembering. They were classmates and they had a paper to write in the afternoon. Miriam seemed to be the youngest among them and they both looked at me talk to Miriam like they were accessing me based on what they have heard about me. Few minutes later, Lami came to join us under the tree, the same thing I was trying to avoid.

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

JAMB ADMISSION UPDATE: NO POST UTME

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JAMB
THE Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oyolede, yesterday in Kano, cleared the air on the processes for admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria for the 2016 academic year.

He said it is the Senate or Academic Board of each institution that has the prerogative of admitting candidates to their respective institutions, subject only to the existing national policy on admission into tertiary institutions.

Addressing participants at the first Technical Committee meeting on 2016 admissions to first choice institutions at the Bayero University, Kano, he explained that  JAMB’s responsibility was to coordinate the process and not to usurp the traditional responsibilities of the senates and academic boards.

“Consequently, no candidate must emanate from any other source (JAMB inclusive) outside the list prepared and recommended by the institutions,” he stated.

He explained that JAMB has the right to reject candidates for non-compliance with the extant rules and regulations, but has no right to substitute or originate any names without prior concurrence of the institutions.

“The only difference between this year’s admission process and what has always been the practice is the policy that there should be no written post-UTME test. All other processes should be and would be as they have always been,” he said.

He tasked the participants, which included admission officers, registrars, directors and several stakeholders to act with focus on that which would be beneficial to the largest number of Nigerians.

“We must avoid adding to the burden of the masses of our people who rightly yearns for higher education as a veritable means of active participation in public life,” he stated.

He reiterated the fact that the National Policy on Admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria remains a 60:40 (Science/Art) ratio for conventional universities, 80:20 Science/Art) ratio for  non-conventional, universities, 70:30 ratio (technology/non-technology) ratio for National Diploma awarding institutions.

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in his remarks, applauded the resolution of the controversy surrounding this year’s admission into tertiary Institutions, saying there ought to be a difference between the regulators and implementors.

“You  cannot regulate and implement. The two must not meet else you will be compromised,” Ganduje who was represented by his deputy, Professor Hafiz Abubakar said.

source: Sun News
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Sunday, 21 August 2016

UNIBEN MEMOIRS: UNTAMED {22}

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                It was two weeks after the event, exactly the day I was to start exams. I woke up that morning doing the same thing I do every single morning; check to see that I am still alive. My GST paper was by 8am and by 7:30am, I was still at home trying to do final revision. Lami’s GST exam was by 11am. She called early that morning wishing me success in my exams. Since the hotel incident, we had somewhat been busy with examination preparations. She had to make a good result to finalize her transfer into Medicine and I umm... had to make a good result for no reason, whenever we hanged out, there was always that awkward moment that we just want to talk about the Hotel secrets we revealed but I guess none of us was ready.

                Mum called the previous night to wish me success and she jokingly reminded me of the Aso Villa contract thingy. I was yet to hear from Miriam but I did attend her fellowship the Sunday before and she was too busy to see me.

                Actually, she was not really busy. I walked up to her that Sunday to say hi totally not being aware that she was in the midst of a meeting – excos meeting. The reception was not cool I tell you, with the way they all looked at me, it felt like I had something inside telling me I was guilty of whatever crime every single one of them was thinking.

                “Excuse me,” she said to whoever was heading the meeting.
                “Ummm… Just wanted to say hi, bad time I guess?”
                “Not really, hope you enjoyed the service?” Something was wrong, the meeting didn’t continue, they were waiting for her to come back and I felt like a barf.
                “Yeah! Anyway, like I said, I came to say hi. HI!”
                 Miriam smiled and replied “Kay…”
                “Usually, it’s Jay but since yua looking so good today, beauty over brain it is.”
                “Hmmm… I see you are getting smarter. 23rd is my Birthday though, see ya soon” Her body language gave her away – she was blushing… not like the The Last Airbender Katara blushing though. 

                It was after she joined the meeting that I realize that just maybe my voice was a little bit too high, thanks to my vocal cords that does not know when to compliment codedly.

                Do you by any chance remember Joshua? I mentioned him some 40,000 words ago, the Brother’s cord of the fellowship? (see episode 7)… He was standing right there, looking at me ummm… lustfully. I believe that was an inappropriate word. The truth is I was the one that was looking at Miriam as she motioned to join the gathering of excos – Although I can’t really say if I was looking at her lustfully, but honestly, the only thing my brain could think was "Chai! That skirt paid her curves to the last!” and that is not exactly how my brain brought out the thoughts, but that is the equivalent translation of whatever language it was thinking in.

                 I left my house by 7:45am, I had not taken my bath and slightly escaped leaving the house without brushing and ummm… I was on the wheels. Taking the car was the only way I was going to get to school in time for my exam. On getting to the exam venue, I got down from the car only to remember that I left my School fees print out and clearance certificate in my sitting room. I was flabbergasted. I hate using grammar but that would really save me writing in plain words what I was feeling, which by the way, would have been shorter than this rubbish. I had to go back home to take it and that would perfectly explain why I started my first exam in UNIBEN 25minutes after my classmates had started.

                The exam was awesome, although I don’t remember finishing. The computer was way too bright and when I asked one of the supervisors if I could adjust it, he started speaking English language some people would rather call insults. After the exam, I waited for everybody to leave before I entered the car, the feeling of people seeing me drive a car was not a pleasant one I must say. So after 20minutes of waiting, I finally entered the car and wssssh… I went straight home with all intentions of sleeping till the next morning, only that I had approximately 46hours to prepare for my next papers
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