Short Story – Jide Existing as One and Many

A short story on a young man in Nigeria figuring out his indentity.

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Papa connives with Mama to send me to the eastern part of Nigeria, to stay with my grandmother. It is on the realisation of what I am. I do not know there is an existence of my various selves. Mama Nnukwu, Ekwunife exists in different forms, taking control of my body and different others. Somehow, in various ways, she replicates variants of herself.

Growing up, it’s offensive when someone addresses me as, “King”. Because at times, I strut like a woman. There are times, I have some of my friends call me a woman. The phrase, “Queen” has never been ideal. It did not fit what I think I exist as, in my inner conflicting self. It has led to the journey of my self-identity.


It had been a beautiful experience since Papa enrolled me in an expensive private secondary school on Lagos Island, among kids living to their full potential. I am not aware of what reality presents. I do not know the reality of ‘others’ in Lagos, is different, even to exist in their safe space.

In school, others have conflicting realities, especially whenever they arrive home to their parents.
On the dining table after dinner, Papa says I am going to stay with his mother in the village for a few months, which might extend to a year. He says it because she wants her to reclaim my masculinity. He says he misses his father, wishing he is still alive but he trusts his mother to try her best.

After I leave Lagos, I long for home, the same as my little sisters. But the village does not look like it is a bad idea, a few days being there…

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