Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Whoever built the plaza that houses my law firm is either very tight-fisted or very outdated or both. My office is located at the very top of the building; 4 floors up, and without a single elevator in the entire building.

But I'll lament about that some other day coz in truth, the height "is great weightloss therapy for me" (seriously if you believe that statement, I have nothing to say to you) and I've also gotten used to huffing and puffing up those stairs whilst maintaining the famous British stiff upper lip. Plus it does discourage unserious clients as I've been told. I mean if someone takes 4 flights of stairs up in the unfriendly Abuja heat, you had better believe they mean business. 😎😎😎

Anyway, today something happened. It was 1:38pm and I was already backed up on time to complete some assignments outside the office. I raced down the stairs, taking them two at a time in my haste, my thoughts whirling as I tried to figure out the best way to utilise the little time I had left.

Friday came early for me today which explains why I was dressed in a native top, jeggings and a pair of girly sandals; very casual for a workday but it ended up saving my ankle and probably a few other joints.

As I reached the second floor on my way down, still taking the stairs two at a time, I'll never be able to explain what happened next. I'm half convinced the stairs moved when I wasn't looking: One minute I was racing down the stairs, next I had lost my footing and was sliding down at an alarming rate. I tried to break my fall but realised I would only hurt myself more and so I just went with it. To my amazement I landed on my butt on the last stair; absolutely unhurt.

The noise though must have sounded like a bag of rice hitting concrete at 60km per hour or something because the guy seated in an office facing the stairs jerked around at the sound.  His gaze flew to mine in confused alarm and I could see him already half-rising from his seat evidently bent on rushing to rescue the pretty damsel whose butt was currently keeping the staircase clean. 😂😂😂

My reaction amazed me; I was convulsed in laughter. I raised a hand and offered him a cheerful wave, unable to get a word out as I slapped my thighs in helpless laughter at myself. Automatically, he offered me a wave too, his handsome features wreathed in confusion. I could see him now trying to decide if he needed to get the Firstaid box or strap me in a straitjacket. He couldn't look away; and no wonder. Who laughs at themselves right?

As a kid, if I ever fell down, I became so embarrassed and mortified that I proceeded to transfer the agression to everyone in the vicinity who had witnessed my "misfortune". Looking now at office guy, I realised I had grown up when I wasn't looking; I didn't feel embarrassed in the least, I just wished I had caught it all on camera.

I was still whooping with laughter as I choked out an order across the space separating us, "Pretend you didn't see me!"

He understood at once and obligingly averted his gaze, leaving me to nurse my wounded sensibilities in dignified privacy --- such a gentleman. Sigh. Although I did see his shoulders shaking with suppressed mirth at the impromptu performance he had just been treated to.

Well I don't mind telling you my sensibilities were just fine, thank you. I simply couldn't get over the fact that for the first time in my adult life, I had actually slipped and fallen down and there had been a witness. Honestly I've always secretly wondered what my reaction would be if I were ever to fall down in public.  Now I knew--- it was the most hilarious experience I'd had in weeks.

Morale of the story?

Tsk, tsk. What have I been trying to tell you? There's no Morale to this story.  Stop taking yourself too seriously and learn to laugh at yourself sometimes; then even if people do laugh, they would be laughing with you and not at you.

PS: If you've had a similar experience, I would sure like to hear it. No be only me waka come. 😘

(c) 2017  Sherina Okoye

Friday, 8 December 2017


She was bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked with skin the color of dark chocolate.  She had mischief stamped onto every tiny feature and she was bubbling over with enthusiasm and more than a little of that mischief peculiar to children her age.

The driver, as is common with greedy Abuja drivers, had ruthlessly squeezed four grown adults into the back seat of his tiny car and our little comedian was perched onto the legs of the young man seated beside me.

She was three years old if she was a day, with a voice as clear as bells as she made repeated demands of her weary minder.

As the taxi passed underneath the famous Apo bridge,  she suddenly shot to her feet, her eyes scanning the environment while her chubby cheeks danced as she murmured to herself in childish gibberish.  She was so cute.

"Seat down," the young man carrying her ordered, trying to get her to seat back down.

She ignored him.

"Police will catch you ooo," he lied baldly.

Apparently for the Nigerian child, the fear of police is the beginning of wisdom.
She hastily sat back down and proceeded to hide her face in her hands; evidently if her face was covered so was the rest of her little self and the police wouldn't see her. I hid a grin, willing myself not to laugh and ruin the young man's good work.

Few minutes later, just as we were nearing Apo roundabout,  our little bundle of mischief surged to her feet again,  eyes as bright as stars as she looked around.

"Why are you standing up again?" Her minder demanded.

She turned to face him, her expression very adult and wise as she declared in a voice as clear as church bells, "I WANT TO SEE POLICE."

THE entire occupants of the taxi roared with laughter.

Evidently she had decided she had had enough of being threatened with police and was now her own one-woman liberation squad; facing down her fears in the back of a crammed taxi.

Morale of the story? Most children do not truly know what fear is and in my book, that's the best way to live. Preserve their spirit and their innocence for as long as you can. 😘😘😘

Monday, 4 December 2017


So this evening yours truly had a poolside to-do and while we were seated, I couldn't stop my gaze from straying repeatedly to the pool. It was filled with dozens of little kids splashing around,  shrieking and laughing as they tackled one another in their little watery paradise. A couple of adults were also in the pool and I don't mind telling you, they seemed lip-smackingly happy to me.

I jerked my gaze away, trying very hard to force my attention back to the 'weightier' matters being discussed at my table. Unfortunately, my attention kept wandering right back to the pool because, hey, I love swimming okay?

Anyway, mild interest soon turned to an almost jealous desire to join the happy folk in the pool and I ruthlessly squelched the green-eyed monster when he made an appearance.

Few minutes later, a man showed up dragging his son  by the hand. The boy had reluctance stamped all over his petrified, little features and unfortunately Daddy dearest didn't seem to know how to talk his son out of his reluctance. He apparently wanted his son to join the frolicking kids in the pool; and why not? Every parent wants to watch that carefree, happy abandon on their children's faces right?

I didn't need a fortune teller to tell me we were about to be treated to a scene. The child was clad in a pair of over-sized 'shorts' that came almost all the way down to his ankles; he had on a thick tee-shirt and his googles.

Other kids kept diving into the pool in relentless search of fun whilst screaming at the top of their lungs in sheer excitement. They kept diving in and surging to the surface in wide showy arcs that I couldn't even dare for a fee. They were as attractive as dolphins, I mused in admiration of their water art.

Reluctant boy's dad grabbed him by one hand, lifted him, and placed him in the pool. He stood at one corner of the kiddie pool, fright making his eyes wide as saucers as he gawked at the other kids.

His little size as well as his obvious fright made me think of the little minnow in the midst of dolphins.

His dad smiled with joy that his son was finally swimming (even though I'm yet to see anyone swimming,  successfully by standing upright in one corner of a pool). As Daddy made to step away, one overexcited kid gave a mighty roar and tossed his float in the air. That did it; the dam burst!

Reluctant boy opened his mouth wide and began to wail his hands stretched out as he signalled to his father to pull him out of the pool. He sobbed so hard I was almost afraid he would make himself ill.  His dad pulled him out immediately and wrapped him in a comforting hug while other kids in the pool began to apologise politely for scaring him.

I hid a grin as I watched Reluctant Boy demand an ice cream in a shaky voice. Minutes later, he was also as happy as the kids in the pool but the difference was he had an ice cream in his hands and he was on dry ground. The happiness on his face and the chagrin on his dad's told its own story; he had not wanted to swim but his dad had insisted, thus earning himself a tantrum. Reluctant boy got an ice cream out of the whole ordeal and I guess in his book that wasn't such a bad deal either.

Morale of the story? Kids have a mind of their own. 😘😘😘

Learn the lesson and share the story

©2017 by Sherina Okoye

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