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  • Walt Shakes

    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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This is a story (fiction or fact, you’ll never know 😀 ) dedicated to a good friend and fellow SARTian, Chinazaekpere Sallie Enwere. A sort of belated birthday wish to her. Enjoy 🙂


“Walter.” The call was a faint echo, as though resonating from a distance.

“Walter.” The voice was clearer now. “Na pikin you dey born inside there?” Even the mocking irritation was ripe and apparent as I blinked my eyes and looked around.

I was in a convenience room. Toilet cum bathroom. The countertop was a gleaming granite, atop which was arranged shampoo bottles, a cup stacked with toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste and a pile of shaving sticks. The ceramic of the bathtub and toilet bowl had the freshly-scrubbed look of attentive housekeeping hands, and there was a wicker laundry basket tucked away in a corner.

Somebody rapped on the door, and the female whocalled my name before said, “Bia, enyi a, born quick. I’m about to serve desserts.” There was a rustle of clothing from the other side of the door and the slap of slippers on the floor as she walked away.

I looked around again, my bewilderment deepening. I was in somebody’s bathroom. A woman’s. I’d obviously just made use of the toilet, because my belt was unbuckled and I didn’t feel any pressing sensation in my groin. And that was where my understanding of the situation ended. Questions careened through my mind with the mad rush reminiscent of zebras fleeing the hungry wrath of a lion. Who was this woman? What was I doing here? What was the connection between us? Were we longtime friends or was this the morning after of a one-night stand?

Only one way to find out. (more…)



Sunday night was ticking close to the witching hour. I yawned and blearily began to sign off my chats. Facebook. Twitter. Whatsapp. BBM. Good night friends. We shall banter again tomorrow…or whenever. Another yawn trembled through my lips. I drew the bed covers over my body and shut my eyes in sleep.

And opened them again in a matter of what seemed like minutes.

Ah-ah! Daybreak already? And wait, what on earth…?

I looked around. I was in a kitchen. A large and compact kitchen with white Formica countertops and wooden cupboards. The room was redolent with the aroma of something cooking. I sniffed. It was jollof rice. A muted bubbling sound came from the pot atop the gas cooker as steam escaped through the edges of its lidded top. Spread out on top of the kitchen table was a cornucopia of kitcheny bric-a-brac and an assortment of culinary items. Diced carrots were soaking in an aluminum bowl of steamy water. A cabbage sat on a chopping board with a knife next to it. Peas and all other sorts of greens filled a smaller dish beside the board. Someone was halfway through making a very delicious lunch.

Lunch?! I blinked. How did I get from my bed in the middle of the night to this…this…kitchen in what was apparently the middle of an afternoon? My brows crocheted in bewilderment. This must be a dream. It had to be. I’d been having a lot of them lately, so much so that I could recognize the signs. A deep sense of discombobulation. A lack of knowledge of the ‘before’. A strange new place. An unknown period in the vastness of time. This was a dream –! (more…)


“Witch!” A strident voice cut through the din like a whiplash. “That woman is nothing but a conniving witch!”

Instinctively, the soldiers began to clench around us. Startled faces turned this way and that, seeking to locate the source of the budding rancour.

The men were in a corner of the square. Some of them were armed with swords; a few others wielded clubs, sickles and pitchforks. Their faces were ravaged with the hardship of the streets and the lethality of their purpose.

“Let me guess,” I said in a low tone to Yvonne, “these are the rebels from the MEND.”

Her face had tightened into hard angry lines. “Yes, my lord. And they have no doubt come to ruin my day. I will not have this.” She turned her flinty stare on me. “We cannot have this on this very day. You have to give the order.”

But my eyes were on the gaggle of rabble rousers who were glaring back at us. The one who appeared to be their leader was speaking, spitting out his words and gesticulating wildly, brandishing the sword in his hand in the process. “That woman is not fit to be queen! She has no royal breeding – just a commoner like the rest of us who managed to trap the king’s desire with her wiles –!”

“Your Majesty…” Yvonne seethed at me.

I ignored her still.

“She’s cold and grasping, and sought not to content herself as the king’s paramour,” the rebel leader was snarling at the crowd. “Instead, she schemed to have the one true queen ousted from her position so she could wear her crown! Tell me, my fellow Sartians, is that any conduct fit for a queen –!”

“My lord, stop this…” Yvonne hissed urgently by my side.

I lifted a hand.

The soldiers tensed, battle-ready.

“And our king stands by her side, proudly proclaiming her as his wife and as our queen! Well, we say nay! We say, give us back our rightful queen! And keep the filth of your inner chambers inside there, where they belong!”

“Walter, please…” Yvonne husked. (more…)


“Your Majesty…”

The intrusion was the dulcet tone of a female voice.

“Your Majesty – Walter, wake up.”

A hand nudged me gently, and I felt my body sway with the rumbling motion of whatever I was inside.

“We’re almost there, Your Majesty. Wake up.”

The nudge was firmer this time. I blinked my eyes open. Who is this ‘Your Majesty’? I wanted to ask as I turned to focus on the woman who’d been trying to awaken me. My eyes bugged when I saw who it was. Yvonne. A queenly Yvonne. A medieval queenly Yvonne. She was dressed in an Anne-Boleyn-like dress of rich ivory-white brocade, shot with silver lace. Around her slender neck was a chunky necklace of sapphires and diamonds, and ivory-coloured suede gloves sheathed her hands from her fingers to her elbows. Her dark hair was pulled back and adorned with gold hairpins and a jeweled diadem that flashed a myriad of colours when the rays of the sun coming through the window of the carriage hit her head.

Wait – a carriage?! (more…)


The filming of the reality show’s pilot was underway. The cameras had started rolling. John Nasiru was at the helm of the affair, his sharp directorial gaze darting here and there, taking everything in, and gesturing this way and that as he directed the crew on who and what to focus the lenses on. Everywhere in the commodious living room were scattered the different men and women of SART, all of them carrying on pockets of conversations, munching on the dinner that Florence’s and Binta’s combined culinary skills had made happen, and studiously ignoring the cameras that were focused on them.

It was a reality TV program designed to capture our collective drama, and everyone was supposed to give the potential viewing public a good show. The problem was – the show hadn’t started yet. Sure, Ben had changed from his street clothes and was now wearing a dressing robe. Just a dressing robe. The sash was loosened and the folds of the robe were hanging open, affording us – and the cameras – tantalizing glimpses of his flaccid manhood. Each time that brown-skinned shaft peeked out of the shadows of the robe, and crossed my line of vision, I shuddered with mounting distaste.

Please, stay covered, please, stay covered, I found myself feverishly muttering.

Then there was Emem, who maintained a brooding silence in one corner of the room. A lack of drama meant poor sales in popcorn. Besides, who would pass up the plates of rice, chicken and coconut chicken curry sauce for the crunchy taste of the snack? No one, that is, except Chrome, whose umbral presence hovered over the saleswoman.

“Gerraway from here, you this agent of darkness!” the snappish voice of a very irritated Emem carried from her corner to my side of the room. “Who knows, perhaps it’s because you’re here that people don’t want to come and patronize me.”

Chrome merely chuckled darkly and continued to silently torture her.

“But wait oh, how did our ancestors come about foofoo?” (more…)


“Walter…Walter, are you listening?”

At the call of my name, I blinked my eyes rapidly, as though groggily pulling myself from sleep. Then I turned to stare at the questioning expressions on the faces of Eketi and Ebuka. A faint stir on my left made me turn to face Ifeanyi Nduka on my other side. Four of us were seated on cushioned, straight-backed chairs on one side of a large office desk. On the other side lounged a pot-bellied, dark-skinned man with a heavy jowl and beady eyes that peered out from a face made complacent with prosperity. He painted a veritable picture of an oga at the top.

Wait – where did that thought come from? I thought. Where are we? What is wrong with me?

“What is wrong with you?” Eketi asked softly, reiterating my last thought.

I suspected we were in the middle of a meeting – an important one, judging by the tense postures of Eketi, Ebuka (I’ll start calling him by his nickname ‘Yakadude’) and Ifeanyi. I must have experienced a blackout episode, because I had no idea why we were here and who the man before us was; although, judging by the plaque on his desk upon which was stenciled the block letters ‘AIT’ and all sorts of important-looking paraphernalia hanging on his wall, I suspected he was some sort of top executive in the TV station.

I wasn’t about to let on my discombobulation to them. I cleared my throat and said, “I’m fine – really, I am. So…um, where were we?”



Chrome told me about it. Not his wedding, silly. He told me about the Valentine note he was going to post on the 14th. And I looked forward to reading it. Because there’s just a few people whose Facebook notes I enjoy reading with relish – Eketi’s when I’m poised to enjoy razor-sharp witticism, Yakadude’s when I’m ready to be bowled over by literary savvy, and Chrome’s when I’m in the mood to ponder on that brilliant mix of somberness and humor, which he does so well. So you can imagine my surprise when I began to read and followed the sweetly-introspective, poignantly-romantic lines of the note; that is, until I remembered it was a Valentine note. Apparently Love turns everyone to mush, even guys as badass-looking as Chrome. When I was done reading, I put down my phone, turned off the lights, got into bed, and slept off.

Only for me to wake up so soon after. Haba! My sleep-wearied eyes fled to the windows, and indeed, dawn had given way its soft colors for the blazing lights of the morning. How is it I’d slept for such a short while? I groused. I know all about longer days and shorter nights, but c’mon! Seriously? This shorter night felt like five seconds too short.

And then I looked around the room I was in. It was my room, but…em…it wasn’t my room. I mean, it wasn’t the room I slept in, the room that was bequeathed to me by my uncle when I arrived his house in Lagos. There was no Etisalat calendar hanging from the wall, or my cousin’s television and DVD set on the table; that table, by the way, had vanished. But I could see my laptop, bags, clothes strewn all over the place, and a bulky valise filled to overflowing with novels I was yet to read. And then horrors upon horrors, the door opened and in walked….wait a minute, is that Heiny? I asked myself. For those of you who aren’t in on the joke, that would be the Chrome-christened name for my cousin, Uzoma Maduwike. But this Uzoma wasn’t the slim, slender, boyish-featured one I knew. This one was taller, bulkier, with a hint of a paunch and well-barbered mustache and beard. My jaw dropped wide-open. Uzoma with a paunch and a mustache?! What is wrong with this picture?!


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