AIDEE ERHIME

COCKTAIL OF RANDOM THOUGHTS

THE JJC’S GUIDE TO LIVING IN ABUJA

​The first time I visited Abuja, it was for love. Not love for the city but love for a man and I do believe that’s a good enough reason to travel miles and risk one’s life, yes? Yes. When I eventually fell in love with the city, it was partly because I was in love with a man who was in love with the city. It’s like loving a certain football team because one’s lover is in love with it. However, love between man and lady fell apart but did not take with it love for the city (Too many ‘loves’ for one paragraph I know, I love to love). 

I thought I knew what it meant to work for money because, well I have never been a lazy girl when it comes to working hard for money. I brought to Abuja my business experience which I had gathered from my 7 years stay in Benin and my 1 year in Benue state. Abuja laughed at me. 


I remember once when I drove into town from the airport and took a quick glance at the gas gauge. I noticed I needed to top up the fuel and it was getting late so I stopped to ask a man to direct me to the nearest filling station. He told me that I had passed the nearest one and that the next one was very far but if I could do a reverse and drive one-way, I could go to the fill in station behind me. 

I did not want to take such a risk because I was not on a one-way drive but I still really needed to top up. While negotiating what best decision I could take, two other men came to meet the man, he told them what the matter was and they agreed with his suggestion that I do one-way on a busy highway. That’s when I heard the statement again from one of them, for the umpteenth time, “you no get mind, this car too big for you sef”. I did not lose my temper, no. I simply drove away smiling because in Abuja, everyone is a small girl who does not wear makeup and fancy clothes but has the audacity to have a tiny frame.

Here I learned that no one takes anyone serious who does not look like a rich man. Many times, my sister had tried to no avail to put so much makeup on my face and style me before I stepped out. She soon gave up and I soon got frustrated because no one would listen to me when I went to lobby for contracts. I looked and still look like a little girl. 

Abuja is changing me. It teaches one to spend time and money on appearance, to pretend to be someone else who has it all even when he really stays in a cramped up space and while Lagos teaches you you to ‘hustle’, Abuja teaches you how to ‘package’ your hustle. The packaging is what people buy.  

For anyone who has thoughts of moving to Abuja to start a life, take this as a free tutorial on what you must do to blend in. 

1. Dress well: This is a no-brainer and a tough thing to do if you’re used to the quick Lagos life or like me, the easy Benin life where no one really cares about your looks. You could in those cities, start your day by throwing on a Tee over dirty Jeans and a pair of flip-flops. Here you have to ensure that even if you opt for a casual look, you do not look ‘cheap’. You cannot afford to overlook your dressing. Your clothes must flatter your body and your flip-flops belong to your bathroom no matter how fancy. The saying that you are addressed by the way you dress holds true in this city. This was a hard lesson for me and I learned it after I was told that I would not go with a certain team to see a certain man who may have given me a certain contract and the reason was that I was not dressed in a certain way. You also do not want to be wooed, for ladies, by drivers and security men so take time to dress well. 

2. Make-up: Powder, lipgloss, anything…just makeup. It does not matter if you are male or female. Whether you are going to the backyard store or to your bathroom or to the mall, ensure your face is looking bright because you do not know where you’ll have to pitch a business to a potential investor.  Always make sure your hair looks neat.

3. Always have specific answers: You know how you meet someone and he asks you what you do and you say, ‘well, I do many things’? Stop it! Hold it! What exactly do you do? No one will take you serious when you say you do many things. Even if you have not started doing something, call yourself by the name you’ve always dreamed you’d be called. You have to sell yourself and you can’t do this by being unsure of what your profession is. 

4. Learn the art of connecting: This is almost like number 3 above and yes, connecting is an art. We meet people everyday and make connections. You must seize every opportunity to let people know what you do. Many meetings I’ve attended in Abuja always end with a connect session which is even more important than the ‘item 7’. Your business card must be with you at all times and you must learn to smile even when you are extremely upset. 

ON DRIVING:

Abuja has good roads, so good you may not realize you’ve been over speeding. Mondays and Fridays, the thieving FRSC officials are always on the look for free money so they stop cars and accuse them of beating traffic light. If you know you are innocent, do make sure your doors are locked and your windows are wound up. Do park your car and lock it if you must attend to them but if you forget these rules and they manage to enter your car, you don’t have to bribe them. No one will fine you for beating traffic light. It still hurts that I fell into their trap and listened to the jargon they said about me paying a fine. No fines please. 

If you must drive at night, don’t stop your car to do aproko. Car thieves are everywhere. Park your car in secure locations and like me, put your big handbag in the boot.

If you won’t be driving, ensure you take my father’s advise and ‘la oju e’, Open your eyes. One-chance people are everywhere. Don’t contribute to discussions between passengers no matter how tempted you are to join in. If you sit by the extreme right or extreme left, hold on to your purses, bags or wallets. Some silly boys have started snatching bags and running into the bush.

ON ROMANCE

This is for the ladies and some men.

Remember how Abuja people package? Good. Don’t fall for a guy because he drives a G-wagon. Speaking of G-wagon, these Abuja people make it look like taxi. Anyway, it is possible that the guy wooing you borrowed the car from his friend’s father because he has to look good and package well. That he gave you his business card and is speaking British English does not guarantee that he is real. That he wears agbada and talks like a big man does not mean he is rich enough to be your sugar daddy. Do your research or pay me to do it for you. 

I have never really bothered to find out what a man specifically means when he says ‘let me take care of you’ but I do know that many Abuja daddies like to say it. That statement is like an anthem for them especially when they sense that you are new in the city. Be very careful.
These here are some really important things to do if you want to have a fairly easy stay within your first few months in Abuja. I love this city and pray hard everyday that I marry a man who loves to come back to Abuja after we tour the whole world. I’ve learned tough lessons here, made good friends and am now starting to really enjoy living the life of a spinster. 

Business in Abuja

P.S: We are organizing a business masterclass. If you click on the picture above, you may find something very interesting about me. I’ll be giving updates about this class on social media and/or in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, please follow me on all popular social media platforms (including Linda Ikeji Social). Just type my names, ‘Aidee Erhime’ and voila! My beautiful face!

PPS: JJC means Johnny Just Come i.e., a newbie.

I hope all that I wrote above makes sense and helps someone somewhere sometime. 

Much love,

Aidee.

November 13, 2016 Posted by | EDUCATION, LIFE | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

TO THE MAN WHO LOVES ME

​My darling,

I see the passion in your eyes when you tell me how much you like me. I see the truth in the words you say. When you say I have been part of the drastic growth you have experienced and that I have helped greatly in shaping you to the man you currently are, I believe you. I know how desperately you wish I would remain a part of your life, not as a mere friend but as a lover, a partner and very likely a wife.


When you openly express your gratitude to me and do little things just to make me happy, I want to love you too. When I look at you, I see a man who listens. I see a man I can work with, dream with, live with. 

Mama once said it is better for a lady to be with the one who loves her. She will grow to love him, mama said. I believe her, more from experience than from obedience.

Image source: google images

I have loved men who do not deserve a microsecond of my attention and though I tell you when we have our beautiful talks, that I do not think about men as I should, I lie to myself and then to you! 

I lie like I do about the young man that I like a lot. The one in whom I see greatness in. The one I know I like, to that point that I usually find myself dreaming of making love to him. He is the first young man I’ve ever liked this much. I am scared that I will let what feelings I have for him take over my senses and this is why I do not look into his eyes when I talk to him. I know that he knows that I like him a lot. I know that he knows that I am scared of what may be an inevitable end – hate. I also know that he knows that I know that he likes me too. I fear that our likeness for each other is merely a facade, like dry gum swab which can easily be peeled off from a finger. Every time I think of him, I think I am letting lust get in the way of my feelings.

It is probably just his confidence that attracts me, or the fact that he is a work-in-progress, or perhaps his soft curly hair or his endless optimism. I want to convince myself that these are not reasons enough to like a man this much. 

I say he only likes my hips and loves my brain. These are not reasons enough, young lady! But do I care? 

I think I like his body too, young and adventurous. I want to know, how strong is his game? Will he kiss my nipples and bite them just like I want? Will he let his small man stay in me even after he comes? Will he smell my hair and say that he loves me? Will he stare at my body and marvel at its beauty?

This young man likes me, I know. He said it to me the other day. He said,’ ‘I love you’ and I smiled because somewhere in my heart is a small voice that nudges me to take my time and somewhere else is a loud voice that pushes me to go on and live! 

So I push away my fear and one day I say to him, ‘I think I love you too’ or did I? I don’t think so. These words I fear to say but caution to the wind is accepting that I want him in me and telling him same, seeing each other every other week to fulfil our sexual cravings and knowing that the love he declared for me is nothing compared to the one he shares with the other lady who covers her hair. 

This adventure saddens and excites me and each dose of excitement pulls me away from the knowledge that genuine love would happen for me but I say to myself, this young man loves me and this is a lie.

So my darling, when you tell me that you are in love with me, I think of the men who have said same to me. 

When you say you never want to see me suffer, I think you are reading to me a script. 

When you say you admire my strength and affection, I think you are merely trying to buy into my weakness. 

When you scoff and say you can never marry a woman from your tribe, I think of those who said same to me. 

When you can’t control the urge to hold my hands, I think you need reassurance that life can be lived and dreams can come true. I do not let myself think that you hold my hands because you love me. 

I brush away thoughts of us together, not because I do not find you worthy but because whether or not I accept it, I am a broken lady. Look beyond the strength I exude and see the fear I nurse. Loving a man is never enough. I’d love to love you beyond your expectations, to cheer you through your journey into success. Indeed you’ve seen the extent to which I go for those I love but love shared to all is to me better than love lavished on one. 

Do not believe what I say about the mistakes I made with past love. Do believe that they do not stop me from loving but do not believe that I have not taken down lessons from them; mental lessons that play out when another comes to declare love to me. 

I want to love you in a special way but I can’t. Knowing how I’d thence be called your partner and would not be able to declare the love I have for others without first wondering how it would make you feel, scares me. Knowing how that special love would eat into my soul that I’d be in a level of social bondage, irritates me. I’d rather love everyone, my darling, and love you same way. So no, I cannot give you that special love you crave.

September 1, 2016 Posted by | love | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

FICTION: COLOURS WASHED AWAY

You are on your way home where you’ll be spending the Christmas holiday. Your friend, who you paid a visit, sees you off to the park and waves goodbye as he watches the bus leave. You adjust properly on the seat where you are cushioned between a very fat woman who’s wearing cheap, tight bracelets and two other people; a young man and an elderly woman. The bus is in motion and the elderly woman who sits on your right starts to sing.
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February 12, 2016 Posted by | RANDOM THOUGHTS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

JUDE’S CROSS

MR IBEH ANDRE NNANNA IS BACK AGAIN. I MISSED HIS WRITINGS… READY OR NOT, HERE WE GO…

I swear to God if I knew she had a terminal ailment I would have given her more attention, ‘oh God this suddenness, see how pale she looks, God, oh God please let this cup pass over me, please God, I promise to love and care for her, I would change my ways for the better, oh God please hear my prayers………, “
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March 13, 2014 Posted by | LIFE, Love Haven | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

….THE BULLSHIT WE LIVE WITH 2….

love gone sourIt’s the other part of Mr Ibeh’s Love Life gone sour, it makes me wonder “Where do broken hearts go?”….Enjoy

We met on that day.. I had spent the last week lamenting on my ex who left me for another. My crazy friend, Moses considered my broken state and decided to take me out.. his thoughts were good but cursed be that day he took me out… it was meant to be a distraction. We headed for Benson Idahosa University… that evening felt so black, I don’t think i have a darker night like that evening…. even the evening that my younger sister and elder brother died (blessed memory). I stood placated in broken fetters. I still can remember his words. “There is this cute lady, she is my course mate, she is a model and flashy to the eyes” 
My meet with this organic cruelty was like jumping from frying pan to fire. I suffered heart break but was yet to suffer the greatest of them all, one that would leave me broken for life. the player got played! The slight wry to my chin as I reflected to the good old days.. like the saying, ‘ignorance is bliss but outright foolishness is a self dug grave’. I fell in love!
From the moment I saw her, I knew I was in for it. She was tall and had a smile so attractive, she had an attitude, a charisma that called out.. she was a product that needed no publicity she just sold herself.. she had a perfect command of her diction.. crossed her t’s and dot her i’s she caught me off guard and a heavy punch below the belt..
I loved her.. she was the sun to my morning and a diamond in my sky… she dazzled.. she took me to the height and let me fall. Her name was Isioma. She was my world. She was my everything… I lived with it for six years… I loved with hurt. Welcome to the house of pain…
We spent six years together and, of the six she was faithful for just a year….
If i was a saint would be mistaken.. but i had stayed glued believing in this thing called love….
…. I wasn’t me anymore. I had turned numb.. love had no hold on me… broken.. torn to shreds…. I was so numb I couldn’t feel sex anymore…. I looked at the lady sharing my bed tonight. I couldn’t remember her name all i could pick was she had some resemblance to Isioma… but it wasn’t her… I couldn’t hold the centre together. Like Achebe, things had fallen apart… I had no one to blame, not even the gods….
My vessel that held the very soul of love was broken and the fluid of passion thrown to the gutters… stripped off its beauty… stripped off its humanity.. scorned.. thrown to the pigs and fed to the dogs…
I felt the steady bang of my temples. From the feeling within, I knew my blood pressure was high… I had suffered this feat from the very day she left me… there laid the electronic sphig… picking it up i reclined fixed it in my hands and pressed the button start… the sack inflated and i could watch the pressure metre rise.. rise and it rose… systolic 170 diastolic 105.. high blood pressure… swallowing a vial of soluble aspirin, I searched and prayed for sleep… I watched this fair lady as her breathing eased up and down.. she slept with peace… I needed this peaceful sleep…. “the bullshit i had to live with”
it continues… the chapters are written.. broken harp that plays no more….
the bullshit i had to live with…
A.I

March 26, 2013 Posted by | LIFE, love, Love Haven | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments