Let me tell you about my sister

I have always loved my sister.


Apart from the fact she also had tenancy in my mother’s womb for a while, Cynthia – who used to bully me – was terrified of Yemi after the one time she stood toe to toe with her, a teeny 4 year old to Cynthia’s 7+, and warned her categorically to NOT bully her sister again or face the music! I don’t know what instrument she planned to play, but she was fearless, I can tell you.

She protected my quiet space, after she came to understand it – which was a while – and would tell my mum to leave me alone when she got worried that I was cuddled up with a book for a long time, as I was wont to be.

But I didn’t always like my sister.


She was the epitome of an amebo – always downloaded stuff to our mum that happened in her absence. For a child who created her own world, I couldn’t understand why it was difficult for her to keep quiet.

She used to read my ‘secret’ journals without permission. I mean, at the time, I was in the middle of some apocalyptic teenage moments and I wasn’t shy about sharing with my diary. At least I wasn’t until it became clear someone had been snooping.

And oh yes, she was not a fan of school. For a student who was the teacher’s favorite, it used to drive me nuts.

Today is her birthday, and I am awed by my sister’s growth – emotionally and mentally.

I will never forget when in 2015, I hit what felt like bottom and it was difficult to find my own voice. I woke my sister at midnight and told her; “I don’t know what I’m going to do, Yemi.”

And then I cried. I can imagine how scary that must have been for her, because I’m always the pillar, the strong one who can weather any storm. But I felt like this particular one was going to drown me.

It didn’t, because I had her. She sat on the floor with me and told me I was strong, I was the strongest person she knew and I would weather it. Not only weather it, but come out smelling like roses.

Through this period I was in a zombie state, she acted as my buffer, protecting me and being my voice.

For as long as I live, I will never forget that.

When she was in 100 level in the university, we often joked about her level up from being a child who hated school to a lady who was on a First Class degree in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan.

In my final year in the same university, knowing how occupied I was, my sister would call me randomly and ask to bring me cooked food or take me to lunch at our favorite cafeteria.

My dreams have not all come true, but my sister keeps me gassed up! She calls me many names – writer extraordinaire, my sister the money maker, the mover, the inspiration – and others.

Olayemi, happy birthday. I didn’t check, but I imagine that at midnight today, the stars came together just a little more and twinkled just a bit brighter because well, it’s your birthday and they had to take notice.

I hope you always remember that the very essence of you is made of rivulets of magic, bright and ever-evolving. I hope you remember that this world is your oyster, and that you can be anything you want to be. I hope you realize how much we love you, and how lucky we are to have you in this family, even though you stay piling up our debit alerts.

May the universe always listen when you speak. May the stars always align for you. May the earth stay solid beneath your feet. May the sky be receptive of your flight.

Back at the University of I.


I create worlds with words. I think the universe is a canvass, and I want to paint it with the color of my dreams.


  • Lara

    ???? So emosh!
    Happy Birthday, Olayemi. I wish you prayers that are answered and dreams that come true. Stay slaying, stay beautiful and keep piling the debit alert. ?

  • Ndi

    Yemi my lover…Happy birthday sis
    Omolara chai….if me that is not the birthday girl is moved to tears i wonder what Monsurat would be feeling
    God bless you real good darling
    The epistle was worth reading ???

  • Chidera

    This post touched my heart; I imagined it all, laughed and actually had tears gathering in my chest.
    Happy birthday Yemi. You are an absolute delight to love. I pray God always comes through for you and you continue to shine.
    Tawakalit, every time I read your work, I say to myself, “My God, this girl is an amazing writer. Ha! She can write o”. Apparently, Yemi has a more encompassing phrase, “writer extraordinaire”. The way you articulate points, puntuate and just the command, it’s powerful. Keep doing this and growing on it.
    Happy birthday again Mansurah. You were family by association but became a soul sister by your evolution. Again, you’re easy to love, for me.

    • Jade

      “Family by association, soul sister by evolution.” Well, come all the way through, V!

      I don’t know where to begin from with your comment. I appreciate it, so much. Thank you, Chidera.

  • Ajatontiriajabale

    Mehn…gimme a sister like Jade who will write me a post like this to celebrate my birthday…lol. This is beautiful. And the only thing more beautiful than this is the celebrant herself. Happy Birthday Yemi… I celebrate your growth. I know you’ve grown so much from all those days in the University… So, keep growing bigger and better for your world. Keep my cake biko… We don’t want what happened in 1967 repeating itself right?

    • Jade

      Mr Roof aka Aja. Lol.

      Ibrahim, you were such an integral part of that growth and I cannot thank you enough for your interest in Yemi.

      Wait; 196?. You know what, I’m just going to keep it moving. ?.

  • Olafash

    Aaaww…. this actually touched my soul….omolara thanks for writting so much epistle about my olayemi …but that amebo part is what i dont like …..growing up with u both was funfilled …just hope there is goona be a reunion one of this days …heart u both ….cheers

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