I know the girl that you adored, 

she’s dead; it’s to fucking mourn. 

This December, I’ve been reminiscing on what I did this year and how I can be better. To that end, I asked one of my closest and oldest friends to write the last guest newsletter of the year. So, enjoy Tolu’s words to you.

I wanted to write in metaphors, to express myself in a sing-song way that almost feels like dancing. I have now, after deleting three paragraphs, realized that I am too firmly rooted in bleak reality to express myself beautifully. I will be raw instead and hope that you’re so fucked up that you find some beauty in this. My name is Tolu, and my entire personality is Scorpio. 

When I asked Zia what direction she wanted for this newsletter, she said end-of-the-year reflection, but that’s been done already. I must make myself memorable, even if it involves loads of self-pity.

Regularly Scheduled Programming

Mental illness is beating my ass. I find not enough people speak on motherhood and mental illness. This is why I started building Mamere, but in a very ironic fashion, my mental illness has been the reason I haven’t been able to take it to the level it should be. We shall see what happens next year. Maybe the dollar would go back to 450 naira, and my salary would have some value, and then I could indulge in retail therapy.  #VividImagination.  

I have also found out, within the past two weeks, that I hate my job. I think that doing marketing in a startup that has no budget is the 10th circle in hell. I am already living in Nigeria; I don’t need more suffering. I won’t quit, though, because even though I want to rip my ears out during stand-up, I can occasionally afford data to watch TikTok of dogs doing the lambada. 

Do you know how hard and expensive it is to raise a well-adjusted child in Nigeria? Very hard and very expensive. Raising a bigot is so much easier, and I see why we go about the country with foolishness like Yoruba Ronu. I don’t think I am a great mother, which saddens me. If you were parented in the trenches by a mother who battled mental illness, please, what would you have liked that she did differently? 

My friends say sometimes, not all, because even their delusion has limits, that it might be imposter syndrome. Is it still imposter syndrome if you are indeed an imposter? 

On Life

In the past year, I have ingrained myself firmly into stan Twitter; some of you reading this probably have blocked me. I don’t think it was a conscious process, but I do believe that, now that I am aware of it, I do not want to change just yet. I weirdly like it there, and I like the friends I have made.

We all hide behind something to project a persona, good or bad, to people. Everyone has a mask, but when you’re on stantwt, your mask is another person’s face and boy, who doesn’t like playing pretend? It is easier to wear someone else’s face when you do not want your own. Or if you don’t know your own. Why wear a mask if not to hide? To protect yourself. I wonder what mask you wear. Work? Music? Or maybe you don’t even know that you wear a mask. I envy you. 

I think of Vagabonds when I think of this. At what point does the mask become your skin? Is the mask to hide you, or is the mask the new you? 

What makes the mask appealing is that nobody can see your face. In the case of stantwt, that’s as literal as it is figurative, but I find that that makes it dangerous and off-putting. How can people love you if they can’t see you? Do they love the mask? Where does the love go when the mask falls off?

The goal is to be loved with and without the mask, first by the face behind it and then in front of it. 

Is this gibberish? Should Zia not have allowed me to write this? We shall find out.

On Books

I read a lot of fantasy. Given what you have just learned about me, does that surprise you? Recently, I have been reading the Wheel of Time series, and so far, so good. But if I were to create a library of books I could read over and over again, it will be with:

  1. N.K. Jemisin, The Kingdom of God's trilogy. Here's an excerpt from book 3

  1. NK Jemisin, The Broken Earth trilogy, here is also an excerpt from book 3

  1. Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice:

  1. Seth Dickinson, The Traitor: Baru Cormorant:

This is more than the usual recommendations, but it’s not every day I get to show off my superior taste in books. These books are footprints in the concrete that is my mind. 

On Music

Music is where we shall have some issues, no?

Recently, I have fallen in love with Demi Lovato’s 2022 Album, Holy Fvck. The entire album is fucking gold. My favourite songs are 29, EAT ME and SKIN OF MY TEETH. I beg you, if you take nothing else from this newsletter, please take this album.

Also, Pink Friday 2 by Nicki Minaj comes out this Friday. I can tell that I will be obsessed with the album already.  The throwaway single, Last Time I Saw You, from the album evokes feelings of regret and nostalgia and makes me think of making peace with what I cannot change, especially when it comes to people I have lost. You can listen to the album when it drops here.


My lemonade is that with next to no budget but all the teamwork in the world, my friends and I were able to secure a collab with Tacha for our event happening on Saturday. If there is anything that numbs the feeling of imposter syndrome, it is this. 

Another thing is the gworls and the geihs. I am forever grateful for their presence in my life. I am thankful for community and the sense of belonging, if not in whole, then in parts.