24: The Article

“Hi, I’m ‘Fikayo…”

This is how I start every single spoken word performance, sometimes it gets the audience’s attention (such a cool voice ?? and a not so masculine name helps) other times, it’s the same indifferent Nigerian crowd that do not really care or understand poetry. Anyways, it’s my way of feeling out the crowd and getting comfortable with my good friend ‘the mic’.


How about we start this the exact same way? Yeah? Cool!

Hi, I’m ‘Fikayo

I might have turned 24 yesterday, somehow it hasn’t sunk in yet, I kinda feel exactly the same way (not that I was expecting anything else). On a normal birthday, I would have sat at home and think about my life and how it hasn’t gone the way I thought it would (trust me, I’m nowhere close to what teenage me planned). I’m just going with the popular quote “When life gives you lime (or is it lemon?)…” blah blah black sheep (you all know what the quote says)

Luckily for me, I didn’t get to sulk or think myself into a near depressive place. I had fun (Titilope, you deserve special mention. I still hate you low-key though for making me see those snakes ??). Instead of sulking, I choose to write my fears and my plans…

This wasn’t meant to be quite orderly, so pardon me if this looks not very put together.

“… You have some second chances? I’d really love to borrow those…” I heard this line in a song yesterday (it’s the cover for All time low by Johnny Drille and Ladipoe) and somehow, I feel my life is begging for a whole lot of second chances right now. I’d take these in bits and pieces.

A little over a year ago, I wrote 23 (don’t worry, I never released it). It was a whole lot of complaining about how I was (am) still very single and how every single time I ‘liked’ someone, I managed to blow it. The truth, I’ve realized, is that I’m scared, I’m scared that I would be that individual who seemingly knows a whole lot about relationships (and writes about it regularly) and still fail woefully at it. I want to be perfect, when I’ve always told everyone who cared to listen that love is not a perfect place, and the reason you love is to bring your faults together and find comfort in it. I just want to be a great boyfriend/husband (maybe Titilope was right when she said that I’m putting too much pressure on myself). I want to put myself out there, be a little adventurous, face my fears. A set of second chances at love. “… You have some second chances? I’d really love to borrow those…”

Some years ago, I was asked why I write. I really did not have a perfect personal answer (I said something like, I just love to…). It took me a while to get to that place where I knew the vision for my writing. I realized that I wrote to inform, entertain, motivate and inspire people. I came to the understanding that my writing was not for me or to showcase my skills and intellect. I was writing to touch people. I never wanted to write so people could say “oh, you’re good”. I want these hands of mine to shape ideas in my readers minds. Lately, I have not done any of the things I sought to achieve. In a way, I’ve forgotten to care about my readers than about myself. Hence, I’ve reduced my writing just to get back to the place where I’m not writing for me, where I’m telling stories that brings about some change somewhere, where all I care about is impacting someone’s life (the fame should come as a bonus for the dedication to my readers). I’d want that second chance. “… You have some second chances? I’d really love to borrow those…”

In the past year, I can’t say I’ve been a good friend. Yes, I made some new friends but I still pushed more friends away than I made new ones. I must sound like a broken record when I keep saying that I’d try to be a better friend and I’d check up on people more which I end up never doing. I know that if there was a ranking of the friendship department, I’d rank really low. The truth is that I want to be better, I want to be comfortable with calling people, I want to show up for hangouts, I want to tell them what I’m going through so they’d know, so they’d could help me, so they’d know I’m not shutting them out. I want these second chances. “… You have some second chances? I’d really love to borrow those…”

When 2019 started, this phrase kept ringing in my head.

“Do Better, Do More”

Now I know what to do.

What to do to make 24 better than 23.

I’m going to do more people, I’m going to do better, in every single way I can think of. Thank you all for staying with me all the time. I promise to do better this year. Those second chances? I’d make proper use of them!

Here’s to 24??

“… You have some second chances? I’d really love to borrow those…”

Oyekunle ‘Fikayo Oyediran

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