One of my best movie adaptations of a book is the Rob Marshall directed film, Memoirs of a Geisha.

The movie follows young Chiyo from her poor fishing village through her transformation into one of the most sought after geishas in Japan.

In a scene where Chairman played by Ken Watanabe (totally a fan!!!) buys young Chiyo cherry flavored shaved/sweet ice on a street in Japan, I am transported to the streets of Lagos.

Once again, I am a child in the green and white stripped A-line dress and brown Bata shoes, walking from the 2nd gate of the University of Lagos campus, past the Nursery section known as Women Society, and entering the gates of Staff School.

It is break time and we are thrusting our hands in front of the women who at break time, sell pleasure in the form of Kuli-Kuli, Epa and Guguru, Cadbury’s Goody Goody, and other assorted candy.

Our fingers go numb as we suck the blackcurrant syrup from frozen plastic sachets of Tasty Time leaving the tasteless soft ice to melt away.

The sound of the bell at the close of the school day signals the time to discover the scents and sounds of the campus.

There is the peanut spiced suya barbecuing from nearby QSS. The ice-cream man pumping the tune of Fur Elise brings us together with the power of a village town crier.

We gather.

We laugh.

We buy.

We fight.

We eat.

We leave.

With the taste of strawberry and vanilla in our mouths, we talk about the day before and the day at school.

Our stomachs growl at the sounds of used newspaper rattling. Akara, Puff puff, fried yam and dun-dun with spicy sauce are the revealed treasures.

We dig in.

And if we meet that stranger on the road, who would offer us money to buy these things we love, we shall forget the warnings our parents gave in the morning, close our palms over the gift, and smile.

Sign up to receive news on art, literature, and travel in Nigeria and select world locations.

Take the first step and sign up! Don't delay.


  • July 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Mmmmmmm… Oh to be young again!


Let's hear your story

%d bloggers like this: