Connect with us



Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: The Fear Factor



This morning, I found myself taking stock of the holidays and all the activities that made the last two weeks completely enjoyable.

I had attended a party for a 5 year old boy and the place was nicely decorated with lots of party baubles and balloons but the birthday boy had a deathly fear of the balloons. He absolutely refused to go near any of the balloons. I quietly watched the child as he eyed the colourful air-filled rubber orbs. You could tell that he was curious about them but every time one of them burst with a loud pop. Someone had noticed his fascination with them and ever so often would prick one of the balloons causing the noise to send the child running for safety.

I asked my friend if she had noticed the boy’s fear of  balloons and she responded that she had, commenting that the balloons were less frightening than the clowns and those TellyTubbies  costume things that people bring to “entertain” at children’s parties.

“Those things are scary na! Almost as scary as flying cockroaches!”

This was Folabi, who had at this point joined the group of observers! His wife chipped in that her husband had a deathly fear of cockroaches and the flying ones scared him the most. Then, we all started to say what we feared the most. From creepy crawlies, to flying, to missing the rapture, to becoming like one’s mother.(Yeah! Nengi’s special!) we established that we all had that one thing that scared us beyond comprehension.  I asked around when I left the party “What do you have a deathly fear of?” and I got an interesting suite of responses – “I constantly worry that I wont end up being fulfilled and I sometimes break out in sweat thinking about it”, “I have a fear of rejection”, “the thought that my girlfriend will one day tell me that she’s pregnant scares me”, “I’m terrified of dogs”, “tall buildings…. make me look out of the window of a tall building and you’ve killed me”. I could relate with that last bit.

It reminded me of what I’d always term as the most terrifying moment of my life.  Some years ago, my friends and I decided to go to Alton Towers, (a theme park in the United Kingdom). On that day, I never thought I had a real fear of heights. I mean, I’d been on other rides and I wasn’t scared;  at best, I thought it was more of an exhiliarating feeling than fear.

Dearly beloved! All this changed on the day at Alton Towers when I faced a ride called “Oblivion”. Brothers and sisters, I knew what was called FEAR that day. As we strapped ourselves into the seats, I was feeling like a “Bad Guy”, I mean, I’d been on other rides that my friends had said was scary and I’d come out with my blood pumping saying “Bring It On, Alton Towers. Is this the best y’all have got?”  Suffice to say, that when this Oblivion monster started taking us up, I began to confess my sins, committed, uncommitted, and even the ones that I may have been planning. Long story short, I’m so scared of heights now that even the thought of driving on that bridge from Jibowu into Yaba scares me like crazy! I had used my money to acquire a phobia for heights.

Anyway, let me leave you guys to get about your business for the day. Have a great week ahead, find a reason to keep a smile on your face and remember to give someone else a reason to smile.

Don’t forget to share your greatest fear, how it was birthed and let us know if you have a handle on it.

Peace, love and cupcakes!



You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Priscy

    January 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I fear anything that crawls, it creeps me out. I also have phobia for heights.

  2. Neo

    January 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Oblivion is a master oh, respect that thing. People will go on rides in Wonderland and be screaming, if they reach Oblivion nko? I am petrified of turning into my mother the lovely woman that she is but my mother is a hoarder! The woman still has unopened wedding gifts from her marriage like 5o yrs ago and with the way i get attached to some silly things ehn, this fear is legit. you shoulda seen the way i was harassing my friend who i gave food in one of my plastic bowls for not returning the bowl, i actually felt the loss of that little round bowl.

    • Funke

      January 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      You are hilarious!!! Hahahahaha

  3. iamfascinating

    January 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

    give-aways, Olay kit included @

  4. Mobolaji

    January 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

    First to comment…yipeeee! I am sooooooooooooooo scared of heights..

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

      not…LOL.. kidding.. that phrase is so rinsed out..:P

  5. Adey

    January 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

    “”Suffice to say, that when this Oblivion monster started taking us up, I began to confess my sins, committed, uncommitted, and even the ones that I may have been planning.”

    I’m exactly the same way…totally petrified of heights. Started with the 3rd mainland Bridge then we moved to the UK, I couldn’t look out of windows in high rises and rides were the worst. Went on a trip to Thorpe Park for a school trip and NEMISIS INFERNO oh Lord Almighty, when the ride stopped I couldn’t get out myself, I was shaking and hyperventilating soooo badly, I couldn’t move my legs. They had to give me one of those paper bags to breathe in….NEVER AGAIN. I’ll stick to teacup rides and bumper thank you very much.

    • B

      January 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Try SAW and die! lol.

  6. adenike

    January 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

    I’m thanatophobic (the fear of death). I know death will definitely come someday but I’m terribly scared of death. I don’t like visiting cemeteries cos of this phobia. Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend I’m dead (hoping I’ll get over the phobia) but for wia? I’ll jump out in fear seconds after. I’m also scared of the fact that when I die, folks will leave me alone at the cemetery and go back to their various destinations and I’ll be left alone in that hole. Urrrgggggggghhhh! I’d rather be cremated.
    I’m sorry I’m being spooky this morning.

    • Deeevah

      January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am

      isecond that. i am terrified of death. Whenever i think too deeply about it (usually when i hear of someone’s passing), trying to decipher how no man knows what could happen the next second or minute, my fear intensifies and i feel…well, dead already……its crazy but i also have thanatophobia.
      A close second is my fear of heights. I can look out of the window of a tall building and literally swoon. its totally terrifying and its no wonder my nightmares are made of me falling off a tall building

  7. Bimpe

    January 7, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Lol. I haven’t smelled near Alton Towers yet. Disneyland Paris has scarred me for life. I keep finding excuses anytime friends invite me for an ALton Towers or Thorpe park trip. I’m deathly afraid of flying, yet I take loads of trips every year for holidays. I’m deathly afraid of snakes, worms, anything that crawls or flies. Like the other commenter said, I’m scared shitless of turning out like my mother. I love her to bits, but my mum is fierce, and scare the living Jesus out of people. I can already see the traits myself, and it makes me break out in a sweat. Doesn’t help that i’ve been told by people that I sound like her. I have this fear of crashing my new car (irrational i know, I’m a pretty good driver), fear of not finding love, I so know what I want, and so far, guys have been bleh. None has driven me crazy yet (crazy head over heels), and the biological clock is ticking. I used to be scared of being stuck in my dead end job, gotten over that, I have an amazing job now. Uhmm, what else, scared of having a mother in law from hell (dont blame me, my last 2 potentials were terrorists), fear of not having kids (i have a medical condition), fear of needles, I pray like crazy and imagine Barbados. I’m claustrophobic (its bad, I cant stand behind people in a queue, I have to stand apart a little bit, I also hate lifts, I had a full blown panic attack on the day of my first MRI. I saw the machine, I lay down, as soon as it started moving, I screamed like a banshee and was crying like a toddler. The technician was so shocked, he didnt know what to do with me. Another irrational fear, is the fear of dying. Anyone reading this must think I’m a basket case of idiosyncracies. It’s part of my charm. I’m crazily adorable. or so i’ve been told. Lol.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

      lool…. U are one serious random babe..

    • yooflah

      January 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

      can somebody yell hypochondriasis?

  8. Purpleicious Babe

    January 7, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I have to think really deep about to mention key things am scared of but I know rides are one of them but the thrill is somewhat amazing… lol.. weird.

    But I remember as a child, i used to be scared to eat and touch fried plantains until the black studs or little black warever are taken out. I thought they were insects…loool. :).

    • twerky

      January 10, 2013 at 1:04 am

      girl ikr? the ride might look scary but that feeling when it takes u up and brings u down, also when it’ll be twirling u around and u’r yelling with others is AWESOME!!! weird huh? lol. the up and down part are my favs, just like takeoff and landing when in an airplane, i love love love those…..

  9. Cindy

    January 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I used to have intense fear of loosing my virginity- d pain, d blood (urrgggh), buh i ve since gotten rid of that. Now my greatest fear is not being rich. I really understand why Gabrielle Solis of Desperate Housewives was materialistic. it takes u coming from a poor family to drive you into wanting more. If not for you, your kids. And no, I am not a golddigger. Le hubby and I will have lots of money 😀

  10. Ph Boy

    January 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Truth is that am now totally scared of flying. I will do anything humanly possible to dodge it. During the period after the last Dana plane crane when the shock was still abound, i was on a bumpy flight back to Lagos when the plane hit an air pocket and practically flew out of the sky. For the long 3 seconds or so men were screaming like girls and calling on God, luggage flying allover the place . In fact, It is still indescribable; an experience one should never encounter…..EVER!. Long story short, when we landed,there was almost chaos as everybody was scrambling for the exist at once…me inclusive. I still get the jitters just thinking about that day.

  11. oyinda

    January 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    am scared that İ might end up alone because for some reason i find every possible means to drive away every guy that has ever shown me love and its when the relationship ends that İ start feeling remorseful….God help me because İ want to get married…..

  12. Gbemi

    January 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    My greatest fear was ‘rejection’, I just went through the worst ever rejection and i came out stronger than ever. Would i ever be rejected again? Maybe/Maybe not but the most important thing is If i went through my past i have strength for a better future 🙂

  13. divea

    January 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Am height-phobia…if there is anything like that… before now when i was a kid i usually climb up and down from 3 storey building with rope, stand on the rails of our balcony and sing, shout Micheal Jackson song ‘am bad”. All this changed when i flew (in my mind) from our house to another house in other to get to a friend who provoked me since i don’t know how to get to their house.
    Also, creeping things like roaches, rats freaks me out

  14. Miss Anon

    January 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I have a phobia for DOGS and CATS!! I cross the road or even climb a fence at the mere sight of them.

  15. Miss Anon

    January 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Forgot to mention that I am a 35 year old who is scared of sleeping in the dark. Always sleep with my light on

  16. Zayt

    January 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Scared of cockroaches. its soo bad dt i cant even use a broom or packer to carry a dead one! if there’s a cockroach in a room or somewhere even before seeing it i feel it cause all the hairs on my body stand!!!! i’ve tries overcoming my fear but for where? 🙁

  17. PLUSH & LUSH

    January 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I don’t like walking past a madman or woman. I fear they’ll chase me around. The mere thought that sth bad cud happen to my daughter makes me break out in cold sweat

  18. Sparkle

    January 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I have fear for spiders, I can’t even kill it whenever I see one.

  19. Sparkle

    January 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I have fear for spiders and cockroaches, I can’t even kill it whenever I see one.

  20. mama

    January 8, 2013 at 12:21 am

    hmm lemme see
    im scared of snakes that is my number one fear everynight i feel like they would climb on my bed to bite me. im trying to get over it atleast nowadays i can sleep without my bed cover.
    im scared of darkness. i cant sleep without light.
    im not scared of death but im scared of the process involved.
    im scared of roaches.
    im scared of heights i can get woozy just looking down from a tall building.
    im scared that i may not be a good mum to my future kids so i dont want to have kids.

    • mama

      January 8, 2013 at 12:23 am

      im scared that true love maynot find me.most of all im scared of HELL FiRE.
      ooh im also scared of flying btw.

  21. Pd

    January 8, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Fear of heights! Eg 1004, ninja cockroaches,HIV(sabatical tinz) afraid of dying and nobody will find my body….so i prefer fast dying……dying in my sleep 100 years from now!plenty great grand children to bury sexy grandma….hope heaven is sexy oooh! *sweats*

  22. feisty chic

    January 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I’m afraid of death, not the dying part but the part where i cease to exist. Sometimes I wonder what next, what if there is no heaven or hell and you just cease to exist when you are gone and people just forget about you; or if they do exist where I will be headed to. Also afraid of cockroaches esp the flying ones(I always run for miles when i see one). Afraid that i may never be married or have children. Afraid that I may not be as successful as I would wish to be in life.

  23. Abana

    January 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I was a dunce in secondary school. Ever since then, failure frightens me. It’s so bad that sometimes I don’t even try. Failing includes underachieving in life. I cope with my fear of failure by putting myself in situations where I have to try. The funny thing is a first class degree, a distinction in my masters and an amazing job later, I am still scared of failure! Secondary school has scarred me for life.

    • Joke

      January 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      OMG, tell me about it. I was a dunce in secondary school too. I couldnt get anything right. It was a boarding school and everyone picked on me because i was the youngest, very short, and not very bright academically, and didnt reach puberty early like my other female classmates. Boys teased, girls teased, teachers humiliated. I was so miserable, i told my parents to remove me, more like begged, they didnt listen. So of course my first WAEC result was woeful. I had to resit WAEC again while my mates were writing JAMB. more embarassment. Funny, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Away from that environment, I blossomed, as in blossomed intellectually, academically, even height and weight, and physical attractiveness. My parents couldnt believe the difference. I got a scholarship abroad, graduated top of my class at uni, I went on to do a masters degree, and got a distinction also. I have this seriously amazeballs job, not tooting my own horn, but I dare my high school classmates to bring out their repertoire now. I still have scars though, I’m painfully shy, my fear of failing has been channelled into this aggressive desire to succeed. Like I will never be made fun of again. Like me Abana, you have to let go of that fear. You are doing well now, you have nothing to prove to anyone again. I should listen to my own advice sef. My shrink has said subconsciously i’m still competing with my high school classmates, and i have to stop, as they dont count anymore and learn to enjoy life as i’ve earned it. Those losers dont count. I’ve bumped into a few of them over the years, and the envy that comes across is unbelievable. To make themselves feel better about their sorry lives, some have said ehn, see you o, that small rat of those days is now this big senior executive, see o, see life. It used to affect me at the beginning until I responded one day o, see o, see that bully of those days, here you are working as a floor manager in Walmart, wearing uniform. See life. The feeling was elating. Now, I always have smart mouth responses when they dare bring up my high school days. One step at a time Abana you’ll get over it.

  24. Blessmyheart

    January 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Hmm. Many things I suppose. I have a terrible fear of heights, even going down steep stairs or stairs without railing. Terribly scared of missing rapture/ going to hell. I have a fear of failing and being mocked which makes it difficult to try something new. I’m scared something will happen that will cause my wedding to be canceled. On the other hand, I’m scared I won’t be able to cope with marriage. Whew!

  25. truetok

    January 10, 2013 at 1:21 am

    fear of SNAKES!!!!!! omg!!! i’ll die if i even as much as hear abt them. they scare me to the extent that i’ll grow wings and fly (if that is humanly possible) and stairs without railings in a very tall building like @blessmyheart said scares the crap outta me! (am not really that scared of heights) now most pple here are talking abt not getting married, finding love, or ending up alone; now that just started scaring me, because not only have i never been in a relationship, but i have this mean streak in me that i think keeps guys at an arms length of me lol…..i dont think if thats funny or not. i’ve been told that am like my dad (sorry some of u that are scared to be like their mom, but i’ll rather love to have some of my mothers trait than my father lol), this dude is a disciplinarian…he dont take ish and blurts out his mind, hence “moi”. i just figured out that some guys dont like that (i know….naive huh?) anyways roaches and rats next (shivers) they give me the hibbie jibbies.

  26. genesis

    February 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I ave a huge fear of committing 2 a wrong reationship and am also very scared of heights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa