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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Scorpio Season




There’s a white gold pendant, in the form of a scorpion, which hangs from my neck 90% of the time. At the time I purchased it, there was no significance to it. It was simply jewelry. I loved it, so I bought it. Then, I got a cotton bud stuck in my ear and went to have it taken out at the clinic in Unilag. The woman, whist poking in my ear noticed my scorpion and if I realized the spiritual import of having such a thing hanging down my chest. As a respectful, well brought up Ogbomosho girl, I didn’t interrupt as she as lectured me on why I should quickly find a way to discard my pendant. That time, gold was selling for N3,000 per gram; no way was I going to throw it away. Heck, it was an investment and one I really liked. Plus there’s something about zodiac signs and birthdays that says that my zodiac sign is ‘Scorpio’.

My pendant is me basically celebrating my birthday all year round. I rub it every time I’m nervous or I’m excited. It’s there for me whenever I’m bored out of my brains and my restless fingers need to keep doing something. It’s how I tell my subconscious that I’m alive. It’s how I tell myself that Scorpio Season is all year round and not just at the end of October and most of November.
So, as my birthday approaches, I’ve been thinking of what to do differently. It’s not a significant age, but there’s something about your birthday coming up that makes people who are kind enough to remember you sef want to ask you what you’re doing on that day and how you plan to celebrate. Usually, if you’re ‘lucky’ and it’s on a weekend, you can have friends over for drinks and food. However, that’s not really a fun idea if you think of all the cleaning you’re going to have to do when the friends leave. If it’s on a week day, then you’ll have to buy cake and small chops for people in the office. (That was fun in my former office. Plenty lawyers and plenty small chops).

Some people are very particular about how they spend their birthdays. It’s very significant. Some people are so particular that they get offended if you don’t publicly wish them Happy Birthday. Someone told me of how her friend was upset with her that she didn’t Tweet “Happy Birthday” at her. Apparently, it was not enough that she had called and was going to see the celebrant later that day.

For others, birthdays are a chance to just be happy and take time out to be grateful for being alive. It’s also a time to get gifts and bask in the awesomeness of the reflection of what people think about you. On this end, I never get bitten by the birthday bug. The getting phone calls at midnight stopped being fun after 3 years of being jarred awake by the ring tone interrupting sleep. Then, I started turning off my phone just so I could get a good night’s rest. It was my birthday not a night vigil. But I’m a dour like that and I’m really trying to change.

So this year, I’m going to try do something different. It doesn’t help that I don’t have my friends and family a short Honda drive away. Anyway, I have 6 more days to try and think of something exciting and different. New year, new beginnings and new experiences should count. Perhaps the only thing I’ll be doing is writing limericks and ballads; if that’s the case I best get on with it.

Have a fabulous and exciting week ahead. Please share some of your most memorable birthday celebrations with me, and your worst ones too. What do you do on your birthday? Is there something different you do? Or is it just any other day? Are you one of those people who tweets at Gidi Traffic with “@gidi_traffic, its mai buffdai… give me a shallat”? 😀

Anyway, have fun, smile and remember… It’s Scorpio Season.
Peace, love & cupcakes!

Photo Credit:

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. Shona

    October 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    My birthdays has alwayz been dat “normal” day to me….no much celebration evn tho I wanna change dat…Then I get vexd wn close frnds dnt wish me hapi b.dae tho..E dey vexxx me….Happy buffday in advance Atoke Mammie.

  2. Non professional opinion

    October 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    “It’s Mai buff dai….. Give me a shallat”
    I am died. LMAO

    • whocares

      October 21, 2013 at 10:58 am

      so did I, so did I. and I am in a library so IMAGIVE how bad it was when I burst out laughing in the quiet room. I hate my birthdays. It reminds me I am one year older and no closer to my goals. *sigh*

    • Non professional opinion

      October 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Don’t hate birthdays, because you are 5 years younger than you will be in five years time. As for your goals, the only magic I know is prayer, sweat and self belief. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
      If you are in a library you are probably still young( I know- Assumption!) so time is on your side. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and commit to claiming the gift that God has already wrapped for you. Best of luck.

    • whocares

      October 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      @nonprofessional opinion.. awww . thank you. you have made
      my day. xxx

  3. ReadNG

    October 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

    For some very weird reason, I don’t enjoy the attention that birthdays bring…

    • banimo

      October 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      Same here!

  4. damsel

    October 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I love my birthday and trust me its d most special day in the year for me. I get very offended when people i hold dear dnt reach out to me on dat day. I have dis special frnd who over the years have always been the 1st to call me on my birthday – at 12midnite on the dot!. no one has ever beat her to dat-even tho they have tried,lols. October borns and esp Scorpios r very special people and am sure you agree with me. its my birthday in a few days and believe me when i say i plan to have a swell time. am single with no man in my life and at this time it is safe to say am happy.

  5. Abana

    October 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I loved birthdays!! Normally I would throw a party or have a birthday dinner. However, this year when I turned 25 I just realised, why exactly?! I was perfectly content to spend my birthday working. The woman who gave birth to me even forgot to wish me a happy birthday. So did the man who impregnated her. I didn’t bother, I just sent them a wish list of which I am yet to see half my list materialise. One birthday tradition that will forever remain for me though is the cutting of the birthday cake. I will always order, cut and eat cake on my birthday until I have teeth no more.

  6. Eny

    October 21, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I’ve recently done things on my birthday I haven’t ever tried before. Go-karting, car-racing, camel-riding, hot-air ballooning… Gives you a rush! try it and you wont regret it.

  7. Dolapo

    October 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I actually hate my birthday. I hate it because of the pretentious calls, Facebook posts and messages I get. Maybe because I don’t really like so much attention drawn to me. So this year, I took my birth date off Facebook and I had a really peaceful day. I already had a request I want God to grant before my birthday and he did

    • Naveah

      October 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      My dear Dolapo, my intention is NOT to upbraid you but your comment was very disturbing. This comment is that of someone that have so much that they have forgotten what gratitude is. There are orphans of all ages, childless widows and all manners of displaced and disenfranchised people in the world at large who don’t have anyone to remember the day they came into the world not talk of hearing a wish made for them for the day and here you are actually uttering the word “hate” about your day of birth and the fact that people wish you well pretentious or other wise. You didn’t even separate the real friends from the just-Facebook friends or from family, you lumped everyone into one category – Pretentious callers. Hate is a very strong word and carries a lot of damaging power. People calling, posting FB/Twitter messages, texting, emailing on your birthday no matter their intentions should be appreciated because they took time out of their day to remember YOU. Even if you don’t like attention brought to you, you should always be gracious.

    • Dolapo

      October 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Emotional much? Actually BN cut my comment I don’t know why. It was longer than this and included bits about past birthdays celebrated with friends. Don’t be emotional about it I’m very aware of the less privileged who wished they all you’ve mentioned. And I always celebrate my birthdays with kids. I just don’t like bandwagon wishes. Thank you.

  8. TA

    October 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Atoke mi of life? How are you today? I shall come back next week to read your Monday morning banter…
    Have a fabulous week y’all. 🙂

  9. Shona

    October 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

    “Even the man dat impregnated her”….Lol..Abana..dat cracked me up.

  10. Jk the CEO

    October 21, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Hi Atoke. My birthday is actually coming up soon too. My zodiac sign is also Scorpion. I’ve always being a fan of celebrating my birthdays but this year I’ll be turning 25 and have no idea what to do. I really don’t feel like throwing a party. I’ll like to know what you would like to do plssssssssssssssssss

  11. riri

    October 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    My birthday was in september. I didn’t wnt noise. I wantd it to be memorable. I spoilt myself absolutely rotten. Bought myself perfumes, clothes, books, jewelry. I also gave out 30% of my own belongings in an act of goodwill. I made cake and food and had it delivered @ my office. Later, checked into a hotel and had a loooong sleep, woke up and ordered room service, switched on my fone and read my msgs. I lit Jo Malone candles and had a bubble bath. Afterwards I got another cake, lit it and made a wish. I jad a good time, cleared my mind and made new resolutions. The ppl who meant everitin 2 me called and sent msgs. Those that didn’t, no hard feelings.I already gave myself d best birthday ever

    • tequi

      October 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

      hmmmm, i loved the way u spent ur birthday; had my birthday in march (had lunch with my colleague at a very lovely chinese restaurant, i could be a bore *weird*); probably i should try this! if there is no brother around *winks*, seems like FUN!

  12. Miss Eke Adugbo

    October 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

    That’s how a friend really took it personal because I
    didn’t change my dp to her picture because it was her birthday,even
    after I called her first thing in the morning,on a working day for
    that matter.some people sha.this year I didn’t try myself,on that
    day I quickly change it.i don’t need drama in my life.

  13. shenugs

    October 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I really really don like wen people call me on my birthday.
    I just dont get why people have to call u from midnight just to
    wish u a happy birthday. I mostly just turn my phone off. I dont
    like to have parties or get together, cakes and all the birthday
    shenanigans. My friends say i’m a sadist. Lol. I swear i’m not. I
    just have never been excited about any of my birthdays for as long
    as i can remember. I just usually want the day to end

  14. Brownie d

    October 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Scorpio peeps happy birthday to us all.I hadly get gifts
    but I pamper myself wella cos it’s my day and it’s once a
    year.Though,this year amd optimistic about getting gifts but dont
    know how or from who and who,just sure am gonna get gifts and one
    special gift I asked from God.

  15. Abby

    October 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I love memorable bdays.. i have always loved my bday
    celebrations.. im a capricorn babe 🙂 and this year i plan to
    travel and spoil my self…HBD in advance Atoke 🙂

  16. 'Vana

    October 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Happy Birthday in advance Atoke!

    My most memorable birthday ever was the birthday I turned 15 on the 15th of March one year. I didn’t even get a cake. 🙁 I remember that day ending with me sitting on my mother’s kitchen floor and thinking ”what a waste”. Ungrateful child abi? lol
    For me, the most depressing thing about birthdays is the mornings after!
    However, regardless of how grumpy I get, I never forget to stop and say ‘thank you’ to God who continually gives me life! 🙂

  17. Cuter mee

    October 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    i am a fan of birthdaysssssss. thats a day that is solely for me and me alone.over the years, i used to have mini parties every year to celebrate the day ,until recently . these days, since i turned the big age[lol], i would rather just reflect and enjoy my ‘mee’ time on my birthdays. seriously,birthdays are special days.

  18. X- Factor

    October 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Happy Birthday In advance My Darling Atoke
    Your Birthday should be a public holiday for some of us (you die hard fans)…lol

  19. Thatgidigirl

    October 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I knew u were a scorpio atoke! There’s just something about “us’ scorpios :). Anyway, my birthday is next week and as usual, i don’t expect my family to remember till 2 days later. Don’t expect to get gifts either cos i’m new to this town….oh wait! theres dhl, fedex and their cousins. *sigh* old age…….

  20. Floral

    October 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    My most memorable birthday was when I clocked 14. I had a party and everyone from school came plus I got over 40 gifts from my school friends. Still my best yet. My worst was last year, I was writing my semester exam the following day, so I was indoors all through studying for my exams. My birthday is also in 6 days (yaaay Atoke is my birthday mate) so i will probably go to the spa with 2 or 3 friends then dinner with my family later in the day. Happy Birthday in advance Atoke.

  21. Miss Anonymous

    October 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Atoke, every age is significant.

  22. precious

    October 21, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Birthday hmmm…..I usually dnt make a fuss about my birthday buh dis year August I was so eager 2 celebrate ȉȶ ,my parents 4got,BF sent his late,was mad wen he dint use my pix as DP sha I got ova ȉȶ had 2 treat my sef nicely,went 2 beach with my SIBS,BFFs,I partyed lyk crazy,uploaded some pix with my BFFboifriend carrying me on his back my guy got jealous n asked wen he saw d pix on BBM,if dat was my new BF,lawd I cudn’t stop laughin cos he was paranoid,at tym ȉȶ gud 2 lyk u dnt care even if u do,I dnt mess with such special days,if I do 2 u,u must learn 2 recipoprate my kind gesture=D AToKe HBD send my own cake n chocolate tru FedEx or DHL INUeGO

  23. Tayo

    October 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Happy Birthday in advance Atoke

  24. Ayorinde...

    October 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    forgive me i’l be off point cos dis matter worries me day
    and night: i was with this guy for 2years, he called it a quit some
    months back for reasons best known to him cos i honestly cant
    phantom y on earth he’ll want to loose me when his departing word
    was”babe you deserve better”, you re too good for me” . Y den would
    he want to leave? Anyway, he left. I have never felt broken cos i
    was left to figure out y he has to leave. I got ova him and moved
    on. The big issue naw is: about 2months ago, my ex’s bestie who
    resides in the Uk called me up that he was in Nigeria and needed to
    see me. we hooked up and to my surprise his intention was not to
    settle scores (as so i thought) since that was his place in me and
    my ex’s relationship*He has since been on my neck that he wants me
    so badly and as a wife. he said his bestie has told him a lot about
    me and that was all he needed in a wife, he said he knows it sounds
    weird and very inappropriate buh as much as he tried to get his
    mind of me, he gets more attracted. He admitted it wasn’t going to
    be an easy task because my ex is his childhood bestie and they are
    like families naw, moreso, people around him and my ex knows me to
    have dated my ex for a while (even if it neva worked btw us)buh he
    was ready to pass through the hurdles. I must confess i am
    beginning to like him and kinda getting attracted too but so scared
    to be humiliated once again. How can i know that his intentions are
    right? is it right for me to date my ex’s bestie?How do we get over
    people who knew i dated his friend? will they begin to see me as a
    bad girl or mayb justify my ex’s action for leaving me?I am
    honestly not a wayward girl.i’m totally confused! please i need

    • Hey

      October 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Don’t try it

    • Banke

      October 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      babe do not complicate things for urself. Free ur ex and his friend. Your own husband is smwhere, clearly nt one of these guys. My two cents

    • Dr Who

      October 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      You having cold feet says it all…….in my own opinion
      you had better pick race

    • Abana

      October 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      You want to run away o. You can like to pick race sha. I started getting romanced by the friend of a guy I almost dated. When I told him I had a thing with his friend and he pretended like it was nothing, I started to be afraid. When I found out how close they were, I ran. Guys would be guys. You don’t want to be the subject of conversation over beer and pepper soup.

  25. Rynyx

    October 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    hehehe, no darling, dnt do that. u need to break out of that circle or you will find it hard being genuinely happy later.

    Back to the birthday gist, my worst birthday was in 2009. I had just finished serving and most of my friends called to tell me they were coming to my house and it was a weekday, since we were all jobless at the time, I used my last allowee to cook and buy and cake and nobody showed up, as in not one person. I felt to worthless. plus I had a boyfrnd whu arranged his friends to fake calls from radio stations and told me I had a cake I should come and pick up.he kept discouraging me not to go and I didn’t get it. it was the cheapest thing I had ever witnessed and to think that my neighbours were very envious of me that day. I could not bring myself to tell them how it turned out. I spent the day alone and my ‘honourable’ boyfriend showed up for 15mins and that was it. I dunno if I will forget that day in a hurry. but in 2011, I married the best man on the planet on my birthday so now I have two reasons to celebrate on that day. marrying that man is one of the best decisions I made so far, ok, thank you, before I go into the story of my life.

  26. alldatallure

    October 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I am a January baby and y’all know how it can be after all d Christmas spending, so i’ve never really been a birthday person. But i make sure above every other thing(gifts or no gifts, calls, dps, cakes or nothing) i have a good sleep. My most memorable bday wud be in my sec school when i lied that my birthday was Dec and i had to borrow a friends bag to pack my gifts home cos my bag was too small. That was the first time i ever got birthday gifts from my friends. You know this days peeps don’t even mind receiving souvenirs on ur birthday……lol

  27. Ekwitosi

    October 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    @Ayorinde your ex wants to be in a relationship but not with you! As for his friend, he is not looking for a wife or a relationship he wants to score. Don’t give them both that satisfaction of talking about you later because believe me they still be friends!

  28. Shona

    October 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Really…stay away from both of dem..sounds lyk a game to
    me…Dnt be confused,Act!

  29. Bide

    October 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    @Rynyx ur story brought smile to my face..

  30. Busy

    October 21, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I just love birthdays.All my friends know this about me,I don’t care if u don’t wish me a happy birthday or not or use my pic as ur BBM dp for the day,all I care about is celebrating the day.I like to have friends over if I am not working on that day and If I am working I take finger foods and drinks to the office,cake is also very important.My worst birthday ever was in 2004,I was working in Port-Harcourt then and I came to Lagos and was going back to PH on my birthday and was in a near crash,Belview Airlines then.It was a very bad experience and I thought I was going to die on my birthday.All I kept thinking of was born 15th M….and died 15th M…After that horrific experience I have continued to celebrate my birthday.

  31. mia

    October 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    My last birthday was so memorable,got a call from my ex at exactly 12:08 a.m, was I shocked? Yes. Then my fiance ‘shipped’ down my cake and gifts to me, very romantic. My colleagues gave me a mini party, fun. Later in the evening, I broke down with malaria, I couldn’t go to work for the rest of the week!

    On my birthdays, I always make sure I meditate, assess my life for the last 365days and make sure I receive a word from God for the year,it’s priceless!

    The lady with the love triangle matter, ask yourself very candidly, what do you really want from a relationship? Do you see that in this guy? do u have peace with this guy? Whatever consequences that could follow dating him,would it be worth it? Is it any different from his friend who left you without a reason? The answers to these questions will give you a concrete reason to make a decision you will look back and smile over. Be strong!

  32. unsocial~butterfly

    October 22, 2013 at 2:58 am

    i love birthdays! may 31st is a very special day for me. my friends and family had better not forget it is my birthday because if they do it is war! i remember my birthday in 2011, i was in my final year. my girl friends, made shirts that the 3 of us wore, in my favourite colour: purple. i got this massive cake, i got gifts from my friends. You would think i would have been happy by now, no oh! nothing from the oga i was dating at this time, he lived in another state so he was supposed to come down. he eventually did and he got the tastiest chocolate cake ever, a bag which everyone in school had been eyeing and later we all went out for dinner. it was the beeeeeeeeeeesssssssttttt birthday!!! the worst was this year, my mum and dad totally ignored me, answering with my nose was what i did for a whole week. @riri, i cant wait to start celebrating my birthday like you. checking-in to luxury hotels, splunging on perfumes&jewelry and stuffs! i shall not hold back,amen!!

  33. Ayorinde...

    October 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

    uhmmm… dis really did me alotta good (really) cos i was almost pacifying myslf dat der aint no crime in dating him. tanx guyz

  34. chinco

    October 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    My birthdays used to be quite emotional, filled with thots of what I should have achieved or who didn’t say hello to me… Blah blah… But now I’m all grown up, I’m more positive, appreciating those I have and what I have achieved so far. I spoil myself with trips(cus I love to travel) and gifts and most of all I’m grateful to God.

  35. nwanyi na aga aga

    October 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My birthday was on Sunday(20th) like last year I went to church first, prayed then i got an unexpected cake from a friend who traveled to the East. I went for movie which I didn’t watch. Met with my Ex- we talked and poked fun at each other just like last year(we are better off being friends the relationship wasn’t a good idea). Then I ended the Day in Church. I was so excited, my phone rang non stop. I was so happy with the day that I didnt eat good food, all i had was junk ( cake, ice cream, malt, biscuit) loool!. The day was worth it. I have always enjoyed my birthday whether with friends or alone.

  36. Modella

    October 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Did you actually sleep with ur ex? If no,give it a chance

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      October 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      loooooool! No I didn’t sleep with him and No we are not
      giving it another chance. Some ppl can only function well as
      friends. Over familiarity has a way of telling on relationships
      that is what I experienced.

  37. D

    October 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Last year’s birthday kind of sucked, spent half of it, sitting on the floor of malaga airport because our flight was delayed and the darned people didnt have enough benches! this year was alright, even tho i spent it a million miles from most loved ones, i got loads of messages and the boo made up a couple of weeks after. So all in all i am just always grateful

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