London Style & Lagos Living – Best Foot Forward


Continued form here.

I can’t contain myself. A barrage of expletives come out of my mouth and before my mum could have the last word, I walk out of the kitchen and back into the living room. Omodale had finished with her drink. No more sloppy noises. I’m grateful for small mercies.

I looked at her intensely. She can’t exactly be described with any of the generic adjectives that come to mind when staring at a young woman. She is neither beautiful nor pretty nor interesting to look at and yet she carries herself like the Mona Lisa. She has curves all right but just like countless girls out there and yet there is something about her that arrests your attention.

I can’t tell her age by looking at her, but she has these “knowing eyes”, like there isn’t a secret the world holds away from her.  I’m in the mood to socialize, after all I had just made myself promise to open myself to new friendships and yet warning signals are ringing in my head about this worldly girl. For the first time I noticed her outfit, the very short black sheer dress, the garishly bright nails and yet my mum didn’t seem to be ready to inflict one of the many speeches about appearance that she had so mercilessly bombarded me with.


Rummaging through my bag, I pulled out my phone. I glanced at the screen and my cheesy wallpaper stared back at me. No missed calls, no messages. Blank. My heart stilled momentarily then continued it’s steady beat.

Omodale was watching me quietly with her knowing eyes. She opened her mouth again.

“Your life really is like a play. I take it the broad-chested-broody-almost-all day-everyday-black-wearing hunk is now the steady boyfriend. What happened to the yellow pawpaw that came here with his parents?”

Kubi: “Jeez, yellow pawpaw? He wasn’t even that yellow and he goes by the name Chima. How do you even know all these things? My God, do I have any secrets at all?”

I throw my hands up in exasperation.

She nodded in her moms’s direction where she sat arranging some files and papers and then tipped her head towards the kitchen where my mother was.

“They talk a lot and I’m always at home so I know bits and do the remaining mathematics myself.”

Kubi: “You should get a job and stop frolicking with these old women.”

My mum walked in just then. I should have helped her out in the kitchen. She looked tired and the age lines on her face were becoming more prominent.

Mum: “Some people like to spend time with their mothers rather than walk up and down the street of Lagos jumping from one man’s car to another.”

“There are only two men though.’” Omodale quipped.

Mum: “At least that Nnanna is better than the black charcoal of Ghanaian descent I rescued her from.”

“Oh girl, you is the truth”, Omodale said, a sly smile on her face, “You’ve gone multinational and here I was thinking you were naïve.”

Kubi: “Enough about me please, why are you here at ours? My dear Mum”, I looked at my mum sideways, “was being rather difficult when I asked”.

Omodale: “Oh? You don’t know that too? What do you now know sef you this American girl? Anyway, it’s for the fundraiser tomorrow. The charity organization that both our mothers are involved in. I hope you know about that too oh, if not I will just ask that they auction you on OLX straight away.”

I didn’t know what OLX was and I wasn’t about to let her know that but I made a mental note to Google it when I was alone.

Kubi: “I know about the charity, I’ve just been so caught up with searching for a job, going to countless interviews and playing pretend fight with my mother so that she would stop berating me about marriage that I didn’t check up on the schedule.”

Omodale: “Don’t you want to marry?”

There was a bewildered look on her face and immediately I knew she was one of them. The ones to whom marriage is the ultimate goal.

I said yes of course and quickly shifted the conversation to the fundraising event instead. An hour later we all retired to bed, Omodale and her mom, staying in the guest room prepared by my mother.

I woke early, with a sense of urgency. I have the meeting with Uncle Kachi today and I’m feeling positive. Something good will come out it, I’m sure.

I go for a simple taupe coloured dress, Jimmy Choo Typhoon heels and my Chanel Boy bag.  I keep my makeup to the bare minimum; Uncle must see the picture of a desperate woman on my face.



He had sent the address and luckily Google maps functions in these parts of Lagos. I drive carefully. No splashing water on old women or running my car into the bumpers of cars driven by gorgeous men who leave you feeling breathless when they kiss you but still don’t know the first rule about handling a woman.

Rule Number 1 – Never Deny Your Woman, No Matter What. 

I reach my destination in good time and stare up at the massive building. In the reception, beautiful girls, their heels clicking as they walked, sashay in  an out in their expensive looking suits. And the men?  A few could hold a torch to Nnanna. I send a text to my uncle, informing him of my arrival. He gives me precise direction to his office on the 10th floor. I walk towards the elevator and step into it when it opens.

I’m the only one in it and the doors are shutting when suddenly a masculine hand holds the doors apart and followed by his body.

I can’t believe my eyes. It is Chima, iPad in hand, looking even more stunned than I am.

He steps into the elevator with me. The doors finally shut and we are alone.


To be continued next Friday.





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