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Oluwadunsin Deinde-Sanya: The War Within You



dreamstime_m_48371933Dear Kokumo,

I hope this letter meets you well.

So this is your month huh? Remind me again how old you will be in few days, oh! 23. Tell me what you are? What did you say you want again? Humph, you want to be famous, for the world to know you. You want to be rich. Is it to drown in the avalanche of notes or be able to get what you want when you want? Anyway it doesn’t matter, or does it? Your life is like a rolling drum, empty and blown away by the whirlwind. It is like those dry mooring leaves that have no more use and are fallen by the teensiest release of breath.

Your life is unstable- or maybe I mean to say your emotions- for you wake up on Monday morning okay, but on Tuesday, you stare hard at the person in the mirror with a prickly feeling burning at the corner of your eyes and then fat balls of hot salty water stroll down your lids, majestically at first and then they rush out more now like the water from the tap you fetch every morning. You are scared, scared of what exactly?

You ask yourself, but answering that question is like discovering the mysteries surrounding Hades, you are scared-scared of the unknown. You lie on the bed on one of those days; those days when the sun is directly jeering at you or are you imagining that? You know those times when PHCN has graciously decided to bless you with electric power and the ceiling fan is rolling hard, yet your pores ooze water – when you lie on your bed and the tears go across your temple unto your pillow, when the icy sword of failure keeps jabbing at your chest.

Those times when an invisible hand is really around your neck, pressing hard, you want to suffocate, the creeping creatures of doom stay lurking at the corners of your mind, whispering softly, singing the eerie songs of depression, telling you your life is a wasteland. You sit upright and then begin to cry now; you remember all your past failures, you try not to think about them, they are like green bile strolling down your withered lungs, burning it in the process, but you cannot help it and your mind keeps telling you you are no good.

You cry, you cry and then you wipe your tears and ask yourself what’s really wrong. Your good spirit tells you your major problem- fear. It tells you that fear makes you a failure before you even fail, fear keeps telling you that you can do no good, it keeps comparing you to others, it shows you ‘miss neighbour’ who is just 21 years of age and already has a booming business and that wonderful writer who secretly intimidates you when you read his stories, you wonder if you can write like that. Fear tells you, you cannot; fear says you are not intelligent enough, you are lazy and sloppy and it would be better if you do not try new things because you won’t really go far.
This fear makes your heart hammer hard against your chest as though struggling to be freed, sometimes, the beating of your heart becomes so fast as though you have run a marathon, you want to take a deep breath and calm down -but you cannot. The gbim gbim sound can be heard by your ears, it even makes your head ache and your eyes sore.

Ssssh relax, you are like gold that goes through the ‘warmth’ of the furnace before coming out perfect.

Your life is boring, really boring if you ask me. All you do is think all day and write, you read books but still feel dull. There’s a vacuum somewhere, that part of you that is void, you crave for it to be filled, as though it’ll make you fulfilled- yet you cannot tell what it is, your short pretty fingers cannot find it. You need friends, real friends or don’t you think so?
You need people who can share in your dreams, who can sit with you and argue on different types of feminism. You need someone who is almost like you – who can talk about corruption, who will also get angry that a 90 year old man can marry a 9 year old girl in the North, who also believes that ethnicism and tribalism in Nigeria is almost worse than racism.

You need someone who you can argue with about books; someone who loves novels as much as you do and wouldn’t say who novel don epp? who you can sit with and share a laugh; someone who wouldn’t say you are odd, when you tell him you couldn’t sleep last night because yesterday, you went to Ketu Alapere and a policeman was assaulting an innocent person while his colleagues laughed as though it was nothing. He wouldn’t say “is it your business? Or is the person related to you?”. You do not need to talk too much for he understands your words before they are spoken.
Aha, don’t get me wrong, I do not ask you to fall in love; it wouldn’t be a bad thing though, but that is a topic for another day. I don’t want people to know you will soon be 23 and have never been in a relationship.

Kokumo, do not even let me start on your spiritual life, ah! Today you are on bended knees pouring out your heart to the One who listens, and next you are tired, you walk about disconnected from the world, your shoulders resigned.

Sometimes, your spirit is lifted, it is one of those moments when you close your eyes and sojourn to the land of the fairies, when you dream and see yourself with awards and trophies, those are the rare moments when you build mansions and then open charity homes because you have so much and you have become a blessing unto others. It is those moments you are a renowned writer and you are a voice in the world, when you are on the podium talking about Africa, racism and feminism, those moments you are laughing, your dimples sinking deep into your cheeks, your teeth white against the blackness of the world . . . and then you open your eyes, you see the ash coloured ceiling, you see the truth staring at you callously.

You remember your real world – where the stars are sad and the mornings gloom, where life gives you an accolade of grime and death and feeds you with dust and specks – then you toss on your bed, listening to Darey’s ‘Pray for me’ and cry. You do not even know why, it just seems like the saving air is retreating.
There’s a war within you, it makes you ask yourself if you are disappointing anyone. It gives you an illusion of self insufficiency. You fight within yourself; sometimes you are happy with yourself, other times you are… ssssh, relax, you are like gold that has to go through the furnace before turning out perfect – but you know that already you say, you know the future is good, you know your dreams will come through, but that nagging sense of fear asks when?

You will soon be 23, the clock is ticking fast. You ask yourself what you have achieved so far. You are scared…of the unknown.

Relax honey, relax. The future will surely come, the queen moon shall sit on her throne, in the makers bosom you shall crouch, when night owls do cry and when the raging storm is calm, the sun will rise again.

Relax honey, relax.

PS- Kokumo, I do not write this letter to you. I write it to myself.

Photo Credit: Michael Spring |

Oluwadunsin is a realistic fictional writer. She has stories and thoughts within her that threaten to choke her if she doesn't write about them. She loves to be secretive, but her pen is a gossip. She loves God, love, books and blues. She writes from her soul.She is the founder of The Pen Blog @ where she pens down her thoughts.Want to get in contact with her? Easy!! Send a mail to [email protected] can follow her on Instragram @dunsin_writes and on [email protected] Deinde-Sanya.


  1. Tessa Doghor

    November 10, 2016 at 3:32 am

    You will be fine
    Win the battle
    Feed your mind with the right information

  2. EE

    November 10, 2016 at 3:37 am

    All this poetry just because of two simple premises: I’m bored and I want a boyfriend ?????

    Joking, you write beautifully, hope you find what you seek.

    That said, I’ve always wondered why people say all the varied isms are bad? In my view, it is simply human, animal nature. If you’ve ever say, made a “tiny Asian penis” joke, that is racist. So rather than complain about racism, why not work towards a future where “our” racism isn’t solely based on the size of our appendages or athletic prowess but on our superior culture?? Where the Nigerian flag flies on Jupiter or we at the technological forefront.

    As our great brother Yeezus once said, “Tis better to be the dick, than the swallower”. If we went this route, we’d all be too busy competing to care about “isms and schisms”.

  3. nigerian

    November 10, 2016 at 4:42 am

    This article explains my present predicament, 23 and nothing seems to be working out. But I believe, ‘The future will surely come, the queen moon shall sit on her throne, in the makers bosom you shall crouch, when night owls do cry and when the raging storm is calm, the sun will rise again.’
    In the words of Darey, ‘Pray For Me’. Thanks Oluwadunsin, God bless you for me*wipes tears*

  4. uwaye

    November 10, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Hi Oluwadunsin, how are you? stumbled on your post while searching for contents for a new magazine. Contact me, let’s have a chat.

  5. funmilola

    November 10, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Dearest writer, we will surely get there as long as the One who sits enthroned never sleeps nor slumbers…….
    relax honey,relax.

  6. Oluwadunsin

    November 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

    @Nigerian-we will be fine. Thanks Tessy. Uwaye, you didn’t leave your mail or any form of contact. Funmilola, thanks.

  7. Mo'Diva

    November 10, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Much thanks ‘Dunsin you wrote my heart exactly. I keep praying to God to help me fill that vacuum

  8. Henz Daniels

    November 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I must say that am wowed! by this piece, not just because my undergraduate crush wrote it, Na but be cause I feel every bit if the word. lol. just as Eugenia Abu in her collection “In the Blink of an eye” confirms that there ain’t no love like that of two writer’s, its always out of this world, men you and I will be a bomb men. you doing good babe. sorry my comments is carried away by too much eulogy, yeah? men just keep blushing, girl I see the light for you in this… keep up.

  9. Muhammad Nuhu Babawuro

    November 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Hmmm actually am out of words but am impressed with your write ups.

  10. Uyi

    November 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    I must confess, this writer is amazing. She wrote every bit of me.

  11. Moniker

    November 10, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    This is my life but I’m neither kokumo or 23. It feels weird that this is my life written with someone else’ pen. I’ve been rejigged by this. Tomorrow may be Friday, next year or a decade but I’m sure it would come. Dunsin, keep your pen alight and its no crime to give that brother a chance. Who knows you may just keep the name after all???

  12. DD friend sammy

    November 10, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Hi dear, you never cease to fascinate me with your writings. The future is indeed bright I look forward to celebrating you in a grand style soon.

  13. Oyinda

    November 11, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Oh my goodness, I am Kokumo!

    • Ais Osa

      November 23, 2016 at 7:39 am


  14. Panda

    November 11, 2016 at 4:06 am

    i’m 23, the single since birth thing never really bothered me, haha, i don’t even hesitate to say it though. singleness is the least of my problems, or should i say its none of my problems, my issue now is getting a job and career that i like so i don’t open my eyes at 40 with mid-life crisis or something.

  15. Mzphunby

    November 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I’l be 23 in few days and I can relate somewhat with how you feel. But I know it’s just a phase life.
    ‘ Man is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present ;the result being that he does not live in the present or the future ;he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived’
    Live this phase.

  16. Hannah

    November 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    awwwww some beautiful piece there

  17. Excey

    November 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    “The future will surely come and d Queen moon will surely sit on her throne”, we can confidently say dat cus we have a God who can do all things………thumbs up gurl!!!!

  18. Iya

    November 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    As soon as I started reading my eyes started watering. Shout out to all the Kokumos of the world, 23 and otherwise.

  19. chai

    November 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    this is exactly what im going through i thought it was only me! i turn 23 in 1 month and 3 days…

  20. the age of confusion - 23

    December 7, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Dude, I think this is like a 23year old thing…when you are a fresh graduate or in your pre-career phase (cause most people have to do odd jobs before entering a job that is career worthy). Mehn, the disturbing thing for me is I don’t know what I want or too scared to know…It becomes so overwhelming that I put off researching and asking myself. But I have to learn to dream again and then put in the work on step at a time…beautiful writing by the way 🙂

  21. Omolade

    March 21, 2017 at 9:40 am

    This is lovely. Kip it up girlfriend.

  22. UniqueOJ

    October 28, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Thumbs up babe….kai but na winch you be o ?, i comment my reserve sha… Your words are so encouraging and soul lifting, get ready Oluwadunsin you are going places…. God bless you

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