Lova Lova

Nigerian writer Ukamaka Olisakwe shares her personal reflection of Lagos.

By Google Arts & Culture

Wavy The Creator (2018) by @__tseOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

She steps out of the uber
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She steps out of the Uber, tugging the hem of her mini skirt. It’s past nine and Lagos is just gearing up for a feisty weekend.

Revered Dream Sellers of Lagos (2019) by Victor EhikhamenorRele Arts Foundation

Yesterday she sat through a twelve-hour ride
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Yesterday she sat through a twelve-hour ride from Aba and spent another three hours in the hold-up at Berger. Her joints are sore, but she walks resolutely, certain of what she has come to do.

Adenrele Sonariwo (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

She has only entered the premises
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She has only entered the premises when she catches the eyes of a man at a corner, the couple leaning against a Toyota Venza. Someone whistles. “Hey, fine woman, how far?” he says.

Artworks at Nike Art Gallery (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Face down, she matches toward the entrance
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Face down, she matches toward the entrance, and bumps into an impressively built man whose shoes shine like he’s slicked them down with groundnut oil.

Lagos skater (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

He is speaking softly into his phone.
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He is speaking softly into his phone. His voice cracks. “Why do you keep doing this to me?” he tells the person at the other end.

Rail with clothing items (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

She thinks of her children, of the life
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She thinks of her children, of the life she’s left behind. Wasn’t it yesterday that she’d married, that she gave birth to her first daughter?

Store holder (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

She feels a pang for him
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She feels a pang for him. How refreshing it is to hear such emotion. She waited for seventeen years but couldn’t tell what her husband sounded like when he was vulnerable, not even when they had sex.

Phlow (2019)Original Source: Homecoming Festival

Glasses clink. Her ears hurt
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Glasses clink. Her ears hurt from the chaos, but this is the moment: the day she will do what she’s been told was reserved for bad women. The disco lights reflect on faces, on glasses, in sparkly drinks.

Odunsi (The Engine) performs onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

She pushes through a sea of perfumed
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She pushes through a sea of perfumed or sweaty bodies until she is standing by the bar. She glances around, notices a girl giving another girl a lap dance.

Kishi the Saxist performing onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

She waits for the music to soothe her body.
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She waits for the music to soothe her body. For a moment, she feels she has made a mistake; she should leave; she should return to Aba, to the dull life she’s known since she turned eighteen.

Fireboy DML performing onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

Then Lova Lova spurts from the speakers
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Then Lova Lova spurts from the speakers and the music wraps itself around her in a comforting embrace.

Santi and Odunsi (The Engine) perform onstage (2019) by @deeds_artOriginal Source: Homecoming Festival

She dances slowly, her face washed
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She dances slowly, her face washed over by the rainbow lights. Someone grinds too close. Another whispers something seductive. But she is lost in the music, her chest bursting with emotions she has no description for, hips swaying this way and that.

Ukamaka Olisakwe (2020-07-01) by Yẹ́misí Aríbisálà

It’s the night before she flees forever
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It’s the night before she flees forever. And this night feels like healing.

Credits: Story

About Ukamaka Olisakwe 
Ukamaka Evelyn Olisakwe is a Nigerian feminist author, short-story writer, and screenwriter, author of two novels Eyes of a Goddess (2012) and Ogadinma (2020). In 2014 she was chosen as one of 39 of Sub-Saharan Africa's most promising writers under the age of 40 featured in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara, edited by Ellah Allfrey. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times and various magazines including the Nigerian Telegraph and African Hadithi.


Explore more at g.co/ekoforshow 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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