You look forward to your first time and all you remember is the pregnancy scare. You look forward to your first flight and all remember is your stomach sinking. You dream of meeting your crush and all you remember is that she’s human, a bit.

I have always known fear but she likes to change her looks. First, she was the koboko my dad hung on the wall – 4 strands of dried leather, cream coloured and innocent. Then the silent hush of an assembly as the Principal called out the punishment for the ‘bad eggs that were caught in town’. Then it was the harsh glare of the bathroom light, smell of urine and harsh whisper of you asking ‘What did it say? Are you pregnant ni?’ Then it was your job, your boss and now you called it a new name, ‘anxiety’. So you left the damn job but that was throwing drops of water on a fire because anxiety fear is a sly thing who knows your home address.

This year disappointed me, like the rest. Maybe because I thought I would achieve Finish. But you walked on water when you published your book, then you learnt how to swim because one thing leads to another and even that didn’t last. I should stop looking for success in one place, because things have come and gone and all that remains is whisky.

Reading is as important as its accompaniment. Read ‘This Bitch of a Life’ with Fela playing. Read ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ with Bob Marley playing, and ‘Midnight Ravers’ on a continuous loop. Read ‘Gone with the Wind’ with Frank Sinatra playing. I read this year with the wrong song playing, with no song actually. We experience what we experience but how we experience it is what matters. It seems as if this year was a beach party and I showed up in brogues. It was supposed to be a party but I turned up sober. It was a Muslim get-together and I brought pork chops. I told Efe the background to this and I hope he told you because I can’t write everything down myself

In 11 days, I will be 26 and that is far from 25 and even farther from my twenties and I miss when life was a party to be thrown. But there’s an issue, I can’t remember being 22.

I remember 20 – graduated school.

21 – worked for a campaign team.

Then 23 – changed alliance from vodka to whisky.

But see, no 22. I try to remember being 22 but I can’t. No one can. There’s also another thing, I fear that I never had the chance to be young. I was too eager for life to start properly, and that’s why I pressed the Pause button recently.

If you date somebody who didn’t live good before and you start giving him blowjobs and doing different positions, you can spoil him. – Svetlana Z

That’s what happened to me. I turned down the volume on life but I am not used to this silence. I gave my life’s occupants a quit notice but now there’s air whistling through the spaces and I want my life back, not that one, not that f***ing one.

It’s still not Finish. I fear that I will crash and burn, that I’ll never have kids or be able to afford them. D’you understand what I’m saying without speaking? This year disappointed me, like the rest and I could come here and say I want to do this and that next year but I don’t like people who only talk about what they are about to do.


I feel what happened to you this year. Your sense of humour in looking at it all will be your final victory. Yes, when you are able to look back on these years and months and days and laugh at them genuinely, then you will know that you have won. Thank you so much for sharing Osisiye.

Osisiye Tafa

Osisiye Tafa is a Banker by day and writer by night. He has been published in The Guardian, Businessday, Thisday, Ovation, Y-Naija among others. He writes faction-fictionalized re-telling of actual events which he shares on his blog, LINK . His debut book ‘Sixty Percent Of A True Story’ is available on Amazon, Konga, Terra Kulture, Laterna and Patabah bookstores.


  • Tobi says:

    Raw, sobering… hope 2016 gets better…
    thanks for sharing

  • Amiee says:

    Such emotions your words evoke. Seems like you’ve had a really tough year but be rest assured 2016 will be better and like Efe said, you will look back on these other years and smile. Your best days are yet to come

  • Mercy says:

    *sigh…2016 please be nice!

  • I feel you Tafa, I feel you!

  • Bishop says:

    Behind the humour there’s a constant struggle, a fight for self actualization, you don’t want to wake up one day and find out life passed you by while you were living. It’s a trick. i’m glad you are consciously trying to write your life’s story, i’m worried that it bothers you when every detail doesn’t go according to your plan, maybe you forget that there’s a bigger power, a bigger control. Your greatness isn’t in question bro!

  • gboukzi says:

    “It seems as if this year was a beach party and I showed up in brogues. It was supposed to be a party but I turned up sober. It was a Muslim get-together and I brought pork chops.”

    Story of my life this year. Put so succinctly.

    But one can only hold on and hope it gets better.

    Feel you Osisiye. Totally.

  • Tunrayo says:

    My sister gifted me the ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’ book and gave the same advice! Contrary to what you say, 22 is the year I remember the most.. 🙂 So far…

  • Eloxie says:

    Very relatable and emotional piece.

    Sometimes, when things don’t go the way we plan, we only realize in retrospect that they went the way they were supposed to go ‘cos there is an end picture. I hope you find peace in accepting the pluses and minuses along the journey, day by day and that it all makes sense in the years ahead.

    Here’s to a better 2016!

  • Motunrayo says:

    Everything good will come, Osi

  • Adedayo says:

    There will always be the fear. It never disappears. You will feel fear if you stay on one spot, (because you fear becoming irrelevant); fear if if you move, (because you have no idea what the future holds).

    The earlier you realise this, the greater the progress you’ll make.

    Feel the fear. Make friends with it, because it will always keep making an appearance till the day you die.

    Faith however, is the antidote to fear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: