February 24, 2016

There are three sides to most stories, the side The Observer jigsaws together from the bits and pieces that fall off the dining table, the side The Observed eats from the bowl that Life has served them and the side that Life itself cooks while stirring its brass pot.

Life will cook a spicy, eye-watering, tongue-burning soup, and with each torturous spoonful, The Observed hops uncontrollably whilst inhaling air into their mouth to cool their burning cheeks.

The Observer, who has no way of seeing the steaming bowl, simply sees the seemingly rhythmic hopping.  Some might exclaim in admiration “Ah! He is break-dancing so well”, some might ask suspiciously, “Ah! Why is he dancing?” and others might conclude disdainfully “Ah! I can dance better than him”.

For in the absence of x-ray vision, they cannot see the peppery soup wreaking havoc as it viciously embraces the throat with its heat and travels down a fiery path to the belly of The Observed.

Perspectives. You see this way, I see that way. We are both seeing.

To a typical toddler, who likes to run around, jump up and down, taking pure delight in simply just being, to be denied this freedom is quite horrifying.  I found a way of punishing my 2.5 year old niece almost wordlessly and without even spanking her. The famous Naughty Corner.

“Go and stand in the naughty corner”, she did as she was told and wept so bitterly, I thought her little heart would break.

Her reaction amused me; it was only a small section of the room not a lion’s den. I suppose sacrifice is relative. Well, I was pleased about this effect and used this method of discipline from time to time.

Recently, while speaking with her over the phone, she said to me “Aunty, I want to see you, I want to stand in the naughty corner” I laughed so hard and asked “You want to stand there?” and she replied “Yes!” delightedly, like I’d promised her a cone of ice-cream.

Alas, the naughty corner had become a sissy; it had clearly lost its effectiveness as a corrective measure. If she was going to enjoy standing there, then why reward her naughty behaviour with pleasure? I suppose, this was her own way of declaring “When Life shows you pepper, make pepper-soup”.

Eventually, after eating Life’s spicy concoction time and time again, The Observed learns to stomach the heat. With each bowl, he becomes more resilient.

Soon, he chooses to hear only the group that admires the “break-dancing”. Then, he decides to actually dance and he flourishes in this dance. The Pepper Dance.

Life sees him and smiles its mysterious Mona Lisa smile.

Perspective. Stones were laid to block my path, but I used them to build a fortress.


©’Nedu Ahanonu 2016


There are some people that you stumble upon and immediately fall head over heels with. ‘Nedu’s writings over at has that effect on me. Her powerful pieces effortlessly draw gasps, laughs, indignation and even tears from me and never fail to leave me thoroughly inspired. ‘Nedu is clearly a master at what she does, and her blog will leave you wanting more, with only one question on your lips, “When is her book coming out??”

So excited to have her on the blog today; thank you so much for contributing to the #XOcollective, ‘Nedu!

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!



(photo source)

  1. “Perspectives. You see this way, I see that way. We are both seeing.”

    Dear Self: This is such a healthy way to handle choices that differ from mine.

    Tell you what Nedoux, I read you to gain calm in my spirit. You haven’t failed me once, I doubt that you can fail me.

    1. Hi Flo,

      Lol @” Dear Self”. I like your point of view. Indeed, our opinions differ but it doesn’t mean that others are wrong, it only shows that interpretation is as relative as it is personal.

      Thank you so much for the wonderful support, it means a lot to me.

      Blessings & best wishes!

  2. “Perspectives. You see this way, I see that way. We are both seeing.”

    This is such a healthy way to handle choice.

    Tell you what Nedoux, I read you to gain calm in my spirit. You haven’t failed me once, I doubt that you can fail me.

  3. I love your mind Nedu. ♡
    We are all making and eating peppersoup sha. Sometimes it’s like I’m eating my own straight from the fire and dancing shoki in Lagos heat, but my observer perspective is clearer now. People will dance according to the heat of their soup.

    1. Hi Doc Sandra,

      Thank you so much for coming by.

      Lol @ “Shoki in Lagos heat”. Ah! This heat wave will induce delirious dancing.

      I love your point of view, indeed, people will dance according to their respective heat. 🙂

  4. I read this the very day you posted it here Cara. I wasn’t of a mind to leave a comment though.
    Anyway, congratulations to your niece Chinedu, she has overcome her fear lf the naughty corner. Or is just pretending to, in which case my respect for her doubles.
    And, I think, many of us have had to do a pepper dance. I do like sipping the peppersoup that comes afterward. It’s mostly worth the wait.
    Excellent writing Chinedu.

  5. Nicely written Nedu as always! As a peppersoup lover, I endorse the peppersoup analogy and will continue to use life’s pepper in my madness-inducing spicy broth!

    @naughty corner. Your niece is such a truth-telling child. Better to leave you oblivious to the ineffectiveness of your “naughty corner” punishment. More fun that way. You can tell I was a naughty child eh? Haha

    Well done Nedu!

    1. Hi Rosemary,

      Trust a genuine Efik kitchen goddess to use generous amounts of Life’s pepper in her tasty broth. 😀

      Ah! You were very naughty . A child’s heart is full of pure innocence, she inadvertently exposed the truth. Now I will think of other ways to discipline her. Lol

      Thank you so much for coming by.

  6. I will not comment on the quality of the writing, the seamless weaving of words, the swirl of colourful expressions that make this post an explosive motif. Neither will I join you to wonder when Nedu will finally bless us with a book or talk about how this post is funny, inspirational and oh so educative!

    I’m just here for Nedu’s niece who is going to take this world by storm and on her own terms too.

    1. Hi Adaeze,

      For some reason, “Explosive motif” made my face break out in a huge smile, perhaps because I felt my heart exploding into tiny, happy pieces. Thank you so much for your kind compliment. 😀

      Ah! My niece is a mini-lady boss. Lol

    1. Hi Grace,

      Thank you so much for reading this, your comments always make me happy. 🙂

      Lol… Now that I think of it, pepper soup and boiled yam sounds like a good idea.

      1. *sigh*
        Nedu. You want me to tear up now abi? Yam and pepper soup! Choi!

        And this piece? Another strong reminder on why I need to live in your mind.
        You write in this beautifully-engaging way, refreshingly-perspicacious perspectives every time.
        Thank you for sharing.

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