Trouble in search of the other Nigeria

By Kole Omotoso. Originally published on


E jawo ninu apon ti ko yo!
E lo gb’omi ‘la kana!

Desist from the pursuit of a blind alley!
Follow the path of humane possibilities! Continue reading





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You know how easy it is to condemn something that is against your personal life ethos?  How you can easily tear down the next person for getting involved in something totally out of your moral circle. You know how you become the judge and moral conscience to someone who did something outside your personal belief? That was me, four months ago.

A colleague of mine came to the office and was saying how she had fallen in love with a married man and was head over heels for him. I looked at her with so much disdain and said “you disappoint me. How could you have done that, you’re so morally bankrupt”, and trust me (if you know me), I ended every form of relationship with her. Everybody knew that about me. Continue reading


I could not eat the food in front of me even though a few minutes ago, I was hungry. We were brought up never to complain of anything, especially food. It would result in a slap from father and a long tale from mother. She would tell us how much she suffered to get food for us. She would list all the things her friends had in twos and threes which she didn’t possess because she was more concerned about putting food in our bellies. She would remind us that the reason why she didn’t have a George wrapper was because she had to take care of three children.

“You’re not eating, abi” mother said breaking into my thought. I was so startled that I spilled some grains of rice. Mother’s eyes were fixed on me although she couldn’t see me well because the light from the lamp was dim. Mother must have noticed that I was not knocking my spoon against the plate as was my habit. Her eyes were still on me as she carried my younger sister, Aku from the sofa to the floor. I hastily beat my spoon against the stainless plate but mother was not fooled. She turned the wick of the lamp but the fire flared against the glass and touched the paper that had been used to patch the broken glass. The smell of burnt paper caressed my nose and I sneezed. The lamp continued to burn slowly. I watched as mother lifted the lamp from the stool and shook it, placing her ear close to the base. The sandy rattle finally convinced her that there was no kerosene in it. She placed it back on the stool and in slow measured steps, walked across the small room to where I sat in one corner like a cornered animal. I trembled under her unseen gaze. Continue reading