Thoughts. Ramblings. Heavy-hipped. Mango-obsessed.

Beneath the Bravado...

Back in December, I ran one of the most challenging workshops I think I've done in a long time with a group of Year 10 students. I've never come across a group of kids so resistant to writing. And yet, most of them ended up making such a transformation within the time I was with them. I was left amazed, humbled and honoured.

Before I started, I was warned (embarrassingly, apologetically) by a teacher that I shouldn't expect too much from them - that these children wouldn't do very well. How the hell can I go into a workshop thinking like that?

The kids came in dragging their feet, talking, not sitting where they were supposed to, dazed, rude, nonchalant, not participating much. It just all seemed disjointed. One girl just plain refused to take part - she vocally said it. So I asked her to leave. And as she left, she started mouthing off. Another student, quite firmly, told me to leave him alone. And when I asked a teacher to ask him to leave the workshop, she didn't. Instead she asked him to join her so he could work around her. He just sat next to her and didn't lift a finger. One student just kept on staring at me, not smiling or looking away when I noticed.

As the workshop progressed, I was beginning to feel out of my depth. I can't say there weren't times when I wasn't tempted to walk out.

Turns out the students were more pissed off than usual because they hadn't been told they were coming to a workshop. I assumed they had been told. You'd think they would have been. I felt I owed them an apology as we'd both been put in the dark about that. Some students do have a thing about creative writing, so not being told they're going to be in one, for a double period, well, I can imagine that would lower the mood somewhat.

Somewhere amidst all the chaos, most of them eventually got into it and an amazing amount of work was produced. These weren't the worst of the bunch at all, these weren't 'underachievers' (I don't believe in the word anyway) - these were very intelligent kids who were rebelling for whatever reason. Maybe rebelling makes them feel they have immediate power - 'cos if they're disrupting a class, they're having an effect on something, albeit negative.

I worked with 2 students whose circumstances almost broke my heart. I hate having one-off workshops with those type of students - they open up to you and then you say bye.

I also learnt that boys have as many self-esteem issues as girls do - just that they face different challenges to girls.

Beneath their bravado, these were really beautiful, highly-intelligent, creative kids.

(poem): Yes...

Handsome smile
Lightning-white teeth

He'll shake your hand
with so much warmth
as if you've just saved
his life.

'You're special', he'll say
'Beautiful', he'll say
'I've never met anyone
quite like you'

He'll whisk you away
if you let him
to a place
where the sun sets
over a white dome,
where stars cavort
with the sea.

And you'll let him
oh, you'll let him
'cos no-one's ever paid you
that much attention,
twirled you around as much,
no-one's ever looked at you
that hard
or that long
or with such intensity

no-one's ever rubbed flattery
into your pale skin.

no-one's ever told you
just how good you are.

Yes, yes, his hands
are warm
So warm.
And, yes, he has
a handsome smile

But have you looked
into his eyes?
Really looked at them?

Yes. His hands are warm.
Yes. Handsome smile.


But have you looked

into his eyes.

© ebele

Anarchy is...

...eating a big tub of tiramisu while watching Celebrity Diet Secrets on VH1. ;-)

Which is what I did last night.

And ooooh it felt guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuud. :-)

What? Not All Nigerians are Scammers?

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather - I tell you, I almost dropped my cup of tea. Had to sit down and take a breather – did my calm-me-down mantra like they taught me at last week's class.   Breathe. Breathe.

It didn't help.

Neither did the Bach flower remedy.

Not all of them are scammers, you say? How do you know that? Have you met them all?

Ha!, who told you there were more graduates per capita than scammers?, and that there are actually hardworking Nigerians out there making an honest living?, AND there are video diaries on youNube to prove it?

Whoever told you that ....was a scam artist.

You think their flag's green for nothing?

Scam artists, the lot of them.

Besides, we never covered any of that in our Diversity Training course. So, no. I will not treat every Nigerian on merit.

They're all the same.

Every bleeding one of them.

(Conversation secretly taped in a locker room near you - brought to you live & direct on the StereoHype Channel)

Haiku: on da Central line...

pic by: Mr Delgoff

I know it was you.
Suited man. Metro in hand.
You... who just farted.

© ebele

Strange film I watched. Strange.

I watched this weird film the other night – a French film. I didn't catch it from the beginning, but it was about this guy, an artist, who was staying in a hotel for a night or two. I caught it where the guy was taking a walk. He heard an animal in distress, it was coming from a shed. When he looked in, the poor thing was being buggered by a couple of guys.

He walked away.

The hotel owner who initially seemed ok, increasingly got weirder. He was meant to fix the artist's caravan, but instead went through his things and stole nude pics of his girlfriend. He then told the guy that he still hadn't fixed the van when the van was in perfect working order.

When the artist was ready to leave, the hotel guy insisted that he stay for another night (which he did).

During dinner, the hotel guy started talking about his wife, Gloria. She'd left him years ago. She was an artist too, really talented artist. He missed her a lot - when she was around, nothing else mattered, he felt complete.

He then asked the artist-guy to sing for him. The artist said no. He insisted. The artist said no again. He insisted again, saying that the artist owed him for the dinner he'd prepared especially for him..

Reluctantly, he sang.

Then, stopped half-way. Saying he must go to bed now as he had an early start ahead of him.

Why stop now?, the hotel guy said – after the story I've shared with you in confidence – did I tell you half a story?

So the artist sang the rest of the song.

Hotel-guy thanks him for singing such a beautiful song.

Artist-guy heads off to bed.

The next day, hotel-guy goes completely WAWA, pointing at the artist-guy, shouting "I'm not going to let you leave me again, Gloria. Not again". What?, this f*cking guy thinks the artist-guy is Gloria?

He hits the artist real hard on the head with the battery from his van then torches the van. He then drags the guy, unconscious now, back into the hotel, up the stairs into a room where he dresses him up with his wife's clothes.

When the artist comes to, sticky blood on half of his face, the guy's got him tied up and he's shaving his hair (REALLY badly – a patch here, a patch there).

He keeps him tied up, never cleaning the blood off his face, puts him to bed and.... well... use your imagination.

The next day, they go out to get some wood in the forest, 'Gloria' with him, all tied up in the back of the tractor. "I've found myself again", the loony guy says. "Maybe we should reopen the restaurant", he says.

The first opportunity the artist gets, he legs it, running through the woods as fast as his tired feet can carry him.

He doesn't make it.

When they get 'home', the guy nails 'Gloria' to a post in the barn, Jesus-style.

There aren't many folks in this little town – only a handful – there are no women either – but they are all weird as f*ck too. The hotel-guy warns them that if they come anywhere near him or Gloria, he'll shoot them.

Turns out the real Gloria had an affair with one of the guys. That night, this guy Gloria had an affair with and 'his crew' ambush the hotel and there's a shoot-out. Before that, the hotel-guy had untied 'Gloria' for dinner, so while the shoot-out's happening, 'Gloria' bashes hotel-guy on the head and the real Gloria's ex-lover finishes him off with a bullet in his skull.

The hotel guy's dead. Yippeee! The artist is safe. Sigh of relief.

Err. No.

Turns out this guy and his crew think the artist is 'Gloria' too. The guy presses a gun to 'her' cheek, saying "Why did you leave me, Gloria? Was I not good enough?" Then he says to the rest of the crew "make the bitch suffer".

In the midst of being raped, 'Gloria' escapes, running through the woods again but this time being chased by not one, but a bunch of lust-ridden loonies with guns. They send a pig ahead of them to trace 'her' tracks. Yes, people, a sniffer pig (like a sniffer dog.) Oh and this is the same pig they buggered previously.

It's below zero outside, snowing and dark.

It's now getting light and after several hours of trying to track down 'Gloria', the crew give up. But the ex-lover keeps going. He sees 'Gloria' ahead of him. Walking over a frozen lake, he falls through a vulnerable crack of ice. He's reaching out, asking 'Gloria' to help him. 'She' turns round, walks slowly toward him and watches him. He begs. 'She' crouches down and watches him.

He asks 'her' why she went away, whether she loves him.

The water is sucking him under.

"Say you love me".



"I love you"

'Say it louder'

'I love you'.

The guy goes under.

'Gloria' stares.

(A few snapshots of the village)


Well scripted, directed and shot. I can't remember the name of the film but boy was it weird, interesting, disturbing. The whole production probably needed therapy afterwards.

haiku: 4 da elusif summah...

i fling my arms wide
sun melts my chocolate skin
my face becomes jazz

© ebele