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The Making Of Tari Ekiyor



Growing up, I was never the girl with long flowing hair, who got the best grades at school and everyone liked and  wanted to hang around.

Nah…I was very far from that actually. My hair was always very “due” with the un-retouched patches (called ‘ajakolokolo’ back then), lining the front of my hair line, or burned to my scalp with clumps of liquid glued to my scalp, caused by harsh relaxers on my tender scalp.

I was the girl with the really bad cough who drew disgusted and weird looks from classmates, strangers and even earned the name ‘Croaker Fish’ from my family members as a result of the frog-like sounds my cough caused me to make.

I was the girl who wasn’t popular in any way, and always managed to make first friends with the weirdest people in class, and so got tagged ‘Weirdo’ myself. Or maybe I was just weird.

I was the girl whose grades were extremely bad and had to repeat classes twice, due to the fact that I was just not interested in anything being taught in class…well, except Literature that is. Thank God I was really young for my class in the first place; otherwise I might have just been entering University by now!

I was the girl who always wanted to be in the funky groups of girls, ‘Bubblers’ they were called back then, but was a little bit too weird and caught up in uncool things to be invited to join the pack. My desire didn’t go unnoticed by them and earned me the horrendously embarrassing title ‘Okoro wanna Bubble’.

Seeing that I’m trying to stop myself right now from crawling under my desk and NEVER emerging, after I’ve revealed all these deep, dark secrets to you, I think I’ll get back to my ‘Cool’ self now and proceed with this Article.

Well aware of all my flaws, inadequacies and bundles of Rejection, I withdrew to the safest and most glamorous place I had ever known – My Mind.

In my mind, I could be ANYBODY I wanted to be.

I was the Chief of all the ‘Bubblers’ and could banish whichever of them I found even the slightest fault with, at any time I chose.

I was the sonorous Songstress with the silky voice that had never had even the slightest hint of a cough in all the days of her life.

I was the brilliant student who was adored by all her classmates and Teachers, and was referred to as the Model Student by everyone.

I was the epitome of all things glorious and the most beautiful creature my grandiose Imagination could project.

In my head, I loved myself…or rather; I loved all the people I could be besides myself!

I could lie in the dark for hours on end, conjuring up scenarios upon scenarios of Me, the Grand Heroine of La-la land, getting up to whatever it is I wanted. If I watched a movie or saw someone I thought was ‘Cool’ do something I considered remarkable, I would capture the image in my head and re-enact it over and over in my Quiet Solitude, only that this time, I would be the one doing the ‘cool’ thing.

I lived a Dual Reality. I say ‘Reality’, because in those moments in which I was completely wrapped up in my Fantasy, there was nothing on the other side that could’ve been more real than whatever I was seeing.

My Fantasy world became for me a Recluse; a Center for Retreat; a place where I made the rules and was always completely in control. In this place no-one and nothing could touch me. I was INVINCIBLE.

It became such a part of my consciousness that through my teenage and even sometimes in my adult life, I unknowingly responded to confrontation, hardship or discomfort by retreating into my ‘Safe Place’.

Slowly, my Realities began to get mixed up. I could hardly differentiate what was on this side and what was the fruit of my Imagination. The power of my mental creations was so strong that it completely de-sensitized me to what was going on this side of Reality.

There are so many things that have happened in my past that if you ask me now, I’d say that I felt absolutely nothing when they happened; break-ups, deep betrayals that could have broken other people, and even the passing away of my Father.

I felt absolutely nothing when these happened, because I immediately substituted realities and thus, protected myself from the pain of the situations.

Over the course of time, series of events and a new Love got me to slowly begin to glimpse and accept the Me whom I was always trying to escape from.

For the first time in my life, I actually began to like the sound of my own voice; I appreciated the width of my nose, the smallness of my breasts and the coarseness of my hair.

For the first time, I found the company of my own presence entirely fascinating and looked forward to spending time alone.  I began to laugh loudly at my own jokes; not the recycled version of someone else’s, but my very own twisted, dry jokes. I found myself amazingly funny.

I began to appreciate my quirks; found value in my perspectives, and suddenly, wasn’t afraid to confront a situation head-on, whether or not I was laughed out of the room or scorned.

Then a remarkable thing happened: because my eyes were for the first time open to life within the framework of mine and other people’s experience, I began to feel the suffering of others.

I began to notice the pain lurking behind the well-penciled eyes, and arrogant swagger of even the most glamorous of people. I began to hear the voice of discontent that rang out from the ‘Whoops’ being screamed by the seemingly happy people.

Then I began to confront old hurts, old pain. Three years after my father’s death, I finally felt the stirring of grief. And cried so hard I felt my heart had been shredded to pieces.

Deep into my Adulthood, I was finally being birthed. The Child I never knew emerged from the cocoon I had placed her and now couldn’t wait to explore the wonders of the waiting World.

She discovered colors; she discovered tastes; she discovered serenity and the pleasures of Music and Art. She discovered people, and the beauty of genuine fellowship.

She discovered Life and gleefully realized she no longer needed to hide.

Her Imagination became the fuel for her passion; it was no longer the luxury prison that had held her captive like a lonely tower.

She found herself. It was love at first sight.

Now she believes; now I am FREE.

Tari’s Blog is ALSO follow TariEkiyor on Twitter

Tari Ekiyor is a Writer, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Servant, Leader, and most importantly, a Lover.


  1. Rosie

    July 28, 2010 at 8:34 am


  2. fokasibe

    July 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Interesting? Are you really talking about You – Tariere or is this just literature?

  3. DU

    July 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

    go girl

  4. fokasibe

    July 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

    OOps…I meant Interesting! Not Interesting?

  5. Yuds

    July 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Oh Wow! Get it girl!

  6. fre

    July 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Awwwwwwwwww, I just love Tari Ekiyor, besides d fact dat we share d
    same ‘Tari’ name. She’s just a wonderful person 4rm wat I hrd 4rm those
    close 2 her. This is so inspiring. Self-discovery is such a wonderful thing 2
    experience, n there’s no better love than loving urself cz without that u cnt love
    others. Looking 4ward 2 being a better ‘me’ wit each passing day.
    BTW, Tari means love.

  7. Ms. Jayee

    July 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Absolutely inspiring. Well done Tari.

  8. Nneka

    July 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Awwww…I’m in tears, Tari.
    This so touching n inspiring.
    I took that decision 2years ago n couldn’t believe
    the potentials I had locked inside of me.
    Keep it up

  9. Adaku

    July 28, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Sounds like you went to QC, lol. Good story though, a lot of people go through
    this process of self-realization but rarely have the courage to speak about it.

  10. sage

    July 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I meet tari’s blog in this piece as she confronts her self!I sense her doubt,her boldness all in one and the pain and emotion in the well as the sincerity I always recognised in her!much more to say but mayb not this forum?!

  11. bethia

    July 28, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Very beautiful piece tari! Am very proud of u!

  12. oladips

    July 28, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Well developed Tari

  13. latasha

    July 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Bloody fantastic…as always!
    But you forgot to mention, amongst the list of things you just discovered…BLACKBERRY oooo!!! Tari baby, you know wasup. Love you just the way u are.

  14. yeah

    July 28, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Nice one Tari, you are lucky to have gone through that at a younger age, believe me, it has made you a formed person and you don’t have to look far to find yourself.I really think you should take your writing professionally more seriously.I also think you should be careful even as you enjoy yourself, that you don’t try to look for acceptance in a way that would damage you as an adult.Remember, adults can really be mean…ciao!

  15. babylawyer

    July 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Another beautiful piece Tari, well done. It spoke to me

  16. wana

    July 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

    self discovery is such a beautiful and compelling thing isnt it…freedom is the only way forward. keep puting your self in the mix….ur always honest that way and we apreciate. nice one…we like

  17. Itsekiri Girl

    July 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Wow. Feels a bit like i just read my autobiography. I can so totally relate with you. I also used movies and books as a means of escape in addition to my over active imagination to escape the realities of my “unpopularity”. And just like you, i have totally bloomed now. LOL.

  18. Juniorandpretty

    July 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Its so funny Tari cos when i saw you in QC & Unilag i though you were that girl!but come playeyed the part of the bubbler well cos i never though you were an “okoro wanna bubble” i thought you bubbled!!Lol

  19. Kay

    July 28, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Beautiful piece. It brough tears to my eyes. Well written.

  20. Amy Ubesie

    July 28, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Beautiful! So many people can relate to this story, I know I can.

  21. Tosan

    July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Yea Tari, never saw the unbubbly side of you back in Qc….but anyway….fabulous piece you got, as usual, keep it up girl!!

  22. Ofili

    July 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Great great great article I can so relate. Very moving and inspirational! Thanks for sharing =)

  23. Ngozi

    July 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Nice…can soo totally relate and good for u u discovered u soon enuf…….took me almost 30 years on dis earth to do same and now I’m taking no prisoners!!

  24. coko

    July 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    U brought tears to my eyes tari…I’ve jus bb’d u to talk abt it. Very wonderful piece….luv u plenty!Okoro is overbubbling now! Lol! Xoxoxo

  25. mizz

    July 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I must say I respect the fact that you were bold enough to candidly talk about your past (believe me people she was a bit on the scruffy side in QC!! but then again we all had our imperfections growing up) especially because I’ve run outta patience reading stories about people I grew up and went to school with, talking about how ‘posh’ they were back in the day..nice piece..

  26. Blackberry

    July 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Standing ovation for you Tari!!! Good write up. I guess a lot of people can identify with your journey. Well done girl.

  27. randommer

    July 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    are you tonbara ekiyor’s older sister?
    cos i went to primary school with her and she could be you – except she seemed to be happy in her own skin and i don’t think she coughed lol

    as for me i fight my okoro wanna bubble tendencies (haha never heard that before but i like). your story really resonates with me and i hope i get to where you’ve gotten to soon.

  28. randommer

    July 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    i guess you are (just read your blog)
    sorry about your father’s passing. i will look tonbara up on facebook – if she is on there. i hope she is doing well, don’t hear about her wrt the st saviours crowd

  29. D.O.T.M.H.

    July 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I cannot believe mizz actually typed “believe me people she was a bit on the scruffy side in QC!!” I mean WHO types stuff like that?! my goodness!! msscheeeeewww!! Tari, well done jare. If this is ur story u deserve a huge huge hug (sumthing lyk the bb hug times 10) QC is a batle ground and anyone that survived more than 4 years with hundreds of girls from different backgrounds deserves more than a pat on the back. I’m glad u’ve dealt with all the insecurities. Please make sure no one takes u back there.
    (((big hug)))

  30. dammie

    July 28, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    lol @ okoro wanna bubble

    honest and so very well written..loves it

  31. Omada

    July 28, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    great piece, very inspiring.

  32. bizzle

    July 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    why do we care? this is like bella naija group of friends united.. dull.

  33. Miss Natural

    July 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Tari this was a fabulous article. I was that girl too back in the day and you speak the truth when you say there is nothing like being comfortable in your own skin and loving yourself. We were fashioned in beauty and that’s the truth. lol wow you really were honest sha haha and those names were cruel but that’s children for you.

  34. babylawyer

    July 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Tari I think you (and possibly all the rest of the people who can relate) should share how you left the caterpillar stage and became a proud butterfly. I believe that would help, in many ways I (at my grand old age) I’m still on this journey.

  35. Toyin

    July 29, 2010 at 3:14 am

    WOW, very moving piece. Love this! I’m glad you found and accepted yourself as some people live their whole lives wishing they were some else.

  36. TBH

    July 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Hmmmn, bizzle, at least we are hearing about different strands of naija life. What is your beef? BN has told people that they would like even more diverse stories, why don’t you write something? Do you remember what blogosphere was like before BN? These guys are doing a good (unpaid?) job regardless of how small you think their research pool is!

  37. JPrat

    July 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

    QC reunite…hahahhhah

  38. Anuola

    July 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Interestingly, from the one QC girl I know, and from what I hear from her, it seems like a lot (note: I didn’t say all) of QC babes are very insecure. Always seems like when there’s a gathering in whatever form, there’s lot of grandstanding, a lot of posing, a lot of feeling the need to be validated usually through materialism, a lot of turning up of the noses etc.

    I am not being accusatory people, just saying maybe it’s time we lose this attitude of ‘I am better than you, see what I have’ and just be. Our parent’s did it but can we not break the cycle? Isn’t it too much work to not be free to be yourself? To constantly feel the need to ‘oppress’, to sound or speak in a particular way, to be seen at only particular places, isn’t it too much work. We are unique in God, shouldn’t that be enough?

    *Disclaimer* I did not go to QC, just writing based on what I have heard and observed. I am not saying of QC or children of the elite are the same, but for those that the shoes fit…

  39. JPrat

    July 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I jsut read through all the comments and i have to say LMA…i can’t believe Mizz just reconfirmed that a former classmate was scruffy back then…geez…you are part of the problem. You are the reason some parents keep their kids out of certain sschools cos you are there to just bully those non-commisioner/ non-governor kids who can’t go to London every summer. Geez..grow the heck up. It’s been years ago so why are still kinda snortish? Tari has grown into a beautiful woman despite all the urges to fit in and feel among back then. I bet now you are just average too right? Most of the high school super stars are just another Joe Schmoe today. It’s not about being the most popular girl in high sschool, it’s what you have done beyond those years of fake wanna be…I am sadden still when i see some of these same chics, trying by force really hard to keep those fruitless vain cliques going even beyond high school. Get a clue ladies and use this as a lesson to raise your kids properly and train them to never look down on another just cos today, yoru dad might be a governor and tomorrow, become inconsequential as the case has always been and will always be. 🙂

  40. Adaku

    July 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I transferred to QC from Vivian Fowler and believe me that place was a
    battleground, trust! Even after 5 years I never got used to it. Just getting to
    know Tari and I’m very impressed with her honesty, most girls who have
    achieved what she now has will NEVER talk about what it was like for them
    before. Nice one babes.

  41. tonbara

    July 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Randomer! I was never as depressing as Tarii!! At least I seriously hope not. I’m not on facebook 🙁 (should get on soon tho) but u could send me a msg on [email protected], and we could catch up! 🙂

  42. buffy

    July 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Tnks @ adaku,a lot of us cn relate wit ha story.I dnt tink mizz sayin she wz scruffy backdn means she tryin to “downgrade” her or sumfn,to me jst shows hw she grew frm wat she wz bck dn to I wud hv considerd myslf scruffy too bk dn cz I wznt soo posh buh wit ha truelife article wud wnt to renew my mind nd belive in myself cz truly,we may nt all be d best dressd,best skin,finest nd flyest chics arnd buh we cn find joy within.I rily apprciate bella 9ja fr ds article evn if dy r clique of frnds as “bizzle” sed,dts nt necessary.nuf sed

  43. randommer

    July 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    haha no you weren’t, i was probably lol – will email you soonest!

  44. WaleAdeniji

    July 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    This is awesome. It says a lot about my growing up years too.
    Kudos to the writer.

  45. D.O.T.M.H.

    July 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    One day later and I’m still angry at mizz for that statement! >:O I know I’m drinking panadol for Tari’s headache (does she even have a headache?!) but I don’t care, I’m still downing the panadol, infact, “malla!! u get panadol extra?”

  46. Teemeegurl

    July 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Nice piece. Keep it up!

  47. mizees.O.

    July 29, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    hmm…i honestly didn’t wanna comment..enuf said already but it’s imperative that i dropped this after reading d comment by ‘MIZZ’..dat was totally [email protected] DOTMH..abeg take as many P.extras as possible..just don’t overdose..ur anger is ‘righteous’ jare sista..well done Tari…
    p.s..over half of d so called bubblers can’t hold a thing to you are free indeed!

  48. lmfao

    July 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    my own be say d pikin dey talk about im self, all of una make am to qc issue, rubbish

  49. mizz

    July 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Quite disappointed at the unessecary responses my comment got, I definetly did not say that to put her down in anyway and if you read my comment as a whole you would get that…this is bella naija not sahara reporters ladies, let’s avoid getting personal with each other..Peace and love

  50. jadesola

    July 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    whoever wrote dis probably went to Qc, i can relate wit all she has said, But thank God to finding ourselves! beautiful write up!

  51. mizees.O.

    July 29, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    @MIZZ: ok…sorry i misunderstood your comment…no beef….cheers*

  52. Tosin

    July 30, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Fantastic article! Love it
    Walked some part of that journey too and thank the good Lord, its a beautiful thing!

  53. dankeo

    July 30, 2010 at 11:51 am

    hahaha, love all the comments. Immediatelty i read the article i figured out that Tari went to QC…”Okoro wanna bubble” aka ”Bubbler by force”. this article cracked me up reall good.
    Thanks Tari for sharing your story… was neva a bubbler in QC but those chics sure made me laugh and still do…like someone said ”it’s crazy how they still try to maintain their vain cliques and oppress people,” like who cares? *mscheeew*. crazy chics!

  54. dankeo

    July 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

    meant *real*

  55. ibinike

    July 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    The best part of BN are the comments! I love this write up. Thumbs up, Tari

  56. couture

    August 2, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Tari, the power of self realisation and individualism of the mind can never be over emphasized. Trust me, it opens u up to boundless opportunities that one will never get if locked up.
    This is just the begining for you, trust me greater things are yet to come in addition to the success of ur writing career.
    And also, let’s all pick lessons from the past n move on wit our lives, all this nostalgia stuff bout QC aint solving d problem of most people.
    Tari has done the most important thing which is revisitin the past and learnin her lesson.
    If u r revisitin the past n still complainin of how things were in QC witout pickin ur lessons then you still hav a long way to go. Well done Tari! I’m proud of you.

  57. Fey

    August 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Hey Tari,
    As always, you make for an interesting read! Your articles also make me realize
    that i am not alone in this journey of self-discovery. Now i know why you are always
    bubbly-bubbly([email protected]). But seriously,your story is really not so
    different from most of us as we all had to struggle with issues of acceptance
    from our peers being social animals that man is. Thank Goodness you were
    an Okoro because that in my opinion made you blossom into the fullness of
    His Perfection that you are today! Speaking of Secondary School scruffiness, i
    used to be called “Sufferman”(amongst my mates n seniors just the males
    called me that) because of the fact that when i was in school then, my family was going through
    going through our own Seven Years of Leanness (as Pharaoh saw in his dreams
    before Joseph interpreted the dream) and it really showed on me. i was
    probably the least visited student( spent six years in Ado-Ekiti) and my provisions
    being scanty initially always ran out before mid-term. This name calling ingrained
    in me a low self-esteem and inferiority complex which to the glory of God
    made me a much better person today as it was through fighting this low
    sense of self-worth,esteem that i was able to discover myself that i was not a sufferman in the eyes of
    Him that matters the most. Today, people see me and think that i am too cocky,
    arrogant, proud etc. but i laugh because they see cockiness, arrogance and pride but all i see is SELF-CONFIDENCE! Thanks for sharing yourself with us as always!

  58. Oyinbra

    August 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Awwww….totally love diz piece.. U just talked abt so many people.. Welldone!!!

  59. glory edozien

    August 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I have often felt that, as a writer, you are at your best when you are most vulnerable. Tari, this piece touched me at the very core of my soul. Beautifully written and exquistley depicted. I am in utter awe!

  60. Deza

    September 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Very prolific…bless ur heart tari for liberating many

  61. molarah

    September 3, 2010 at 6:02 am

    hmmm…QC for show. I TOTALLY relate with all what has been written, (including the self-realization part), and the comments of other ex-QC gals are pretty revealing. But I’ll always believe that school was a training ground, and whoever it didn’t break it built up. Nice article

  62. Tamara

    November 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    “Deep into my Adulthood, I was finally being birthed”. I absolutely love this sentence.

  63. toyin

    December 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    listened 2 u on saturday & reading ds nw is…………1daful. babes u’r giving me d ginger i need

  64. Pingback: Tari’s Diary…UNCENSORED!!! Office Diaries…Farewell! – TARIERE

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