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Osisiye: I am the Goat That Died



IMG_20140911_205818D’you ever think about your name? A name could hold a decade, a name could be a story.

Osisiye – It sounds like a perfume, a fish and a vain lady. It’s so many things and it’s nothing at all. It’s long but I’ve made it short; I will make it shorter, still.

It reminds me of gratitude, it reeks of sexism. It is for the first – but I was not the first. How can a name be a story? How can a phrase carry a decade?

So it goes that a new wife was gotten and she was given a white goat, for luck. And the goat died. The new wife gave birth to a girl, which is good but not good enough. Then she gave birth to another girl, which was not good at all.

Finally, she gave birth to a boy.

Osisiyenemo. ‘God has done well for me’ because a boy has finally come.

I chipped away at the name because names are not final. Now it’s just ‘Osisiye’ which sounds like a perfume on some days. But that can be shorter still, just ‘Osi’.

My cousin has spoilt the name; he was the first ‘Osisiye’. But he joined a band and smoked too much and you know how these things go. I am like him but I am not like him. I smoke, I am an artist but I know things.

Osisiye, it’s the replacement for a goat. I’m the goat that died. It’s luck come back.

Photo CreditSeun Idowu

Osisiye Tafa is a banker by day, and writer by night. He has been published on The Guardian, Kalahari Review, The Culture Trip, Arts & Africa, BusinessDay, Y-Naija among others. He writes faction - fictionalized telling of actual events - which he shares on his TinyLetter journal. His debut book, ‘Sixty Percent of a True Story’ is available on Amazon and Roving Heights


  1. Marlvina

    September 15, 2016 at 11:41 pm


    • Hannah

      September 16, 2016 at 4:16 am


  2. Anonymous

    September 16, 2016 at 1:05 am

    smh..pointless but articulate poem

  3. Swipzyp

    September 16, 2016 at 6:43 am



    September 16, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Finding it difficult to comprehend?

  5. numom

    September 16, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I like this… kinda short though. I think I want to read your book.

  6. Ochuko

    September 16, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Finding nemo… we must find..!
    Nice write up bruv

  7. De Duchess

    September 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

    You passed the message in the best way. Short, straight and simple.
    I enjoyed the first paragraph, I was expecting more.
    I would love to read more from you.

  8. Anslem Ozor

    September 16, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Nice start but an abstract end. Writers don’t hang their ideas in the air.
    “Osisiye, it’s the replacement for a goat. I’m the goat that died. It’s luck come back.” Reincarnation? Sacrifice? Atonement? Oga where you dey go?

  9. Anslem Ozor

    September 16, 2016 at 10:22 am

    @UNCLE GWE GWE GWE the lil bro said he smokes’ so the import of that statement is that the boy smoked, got on his lappie and wove a basket with incomplete strands of logical bias.

    Nwoke’a anwuala w02 puta’zi ni ero na su pitim pitim

  10. Katiana

    September 16, 2016 at 11:01 am

    A brilliant read. I want more. I love how you write. Are you sure Osisiye won’t end up like his brother?
    Please write more

  11. Omaoma

    September 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Osisiye!!!!!! I love his style of writing,,,Very free…very unhindered

  12. Nne

    September 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I love this write-up. Names can tell lots of stories. It’s interesting to read how you are unpacking yours. I am sure in a few years as an artist your thoughts on your name will have even more layers. Carry on Osisiye

  13. Atebodi Mosi Aisoni

    September 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Osisiye am from Ogori too. U know as he dey be, we people no plenty and we rare gem sha. OREKA GODIS Tryin for us for our social scene bt the rest of us na book o. Now tafa my guy can you help me find the meaning of AISONI. It’s my surname and i have dis kinda feeling about asking my parent. We on this English level i no fit speak my language. So guy u my internet

  14. Atebodi Mosi Aisoni

    September 16, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    And guy osisiye doesn’t sound like a perfume it actually a faRT SOund. Na joke o. 1 love

  15. Valkyr

    September 17, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Osisiy’tunde: you are a goatspirit reincarnated in human flesh.

    First girlchild is good but not good enough, second girl child not good enough until third child was a boy child…

    “God has done it for you”

    You Storyteller, your story reeks of Reverse Sexism.

    That goat is is cute though

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