Ekene Benjamin: One thing you should NEVER take for granted… Nigerian cake (30 Days, 30 Voices)


All I know is I relish every moment I can bring the first spoken price to a fraction and when the seller is not “cooperating” I move on to the next one.

I can’t sleep. I have an assignment that’s proving a little difficult so I thought I’d sleep over it and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed enough to tackle it head on. So I crawled into bed and pulled up the covers over me but I still can’t sleep.

This is the part where my mind begins to wander. And as it happens, I’ve got more than one now. Like I have my own mind – the overall mind, my coarse, natural Afro hair runs its own government; my edges are an entirely different republic on their own and my sweet tooth thinks for itself. Yes, my sweet tooth has a mind of its own and tonight, it’s doing all the thinking.

I’m really craving something sweet. I’m craving it so bad I’m beginning to feel hungry which is a little off considering I ate to my fill at dinner. But I’m not just craving anything sweet; not chocolates, trifles, sponge cakes or those cookies that miraculously have a jam filling – I’m actually craving Nigerian cake; soft, moist and delicious Nigerian cake. And the more I think of it, the more I miss home. It makes me want to break down and cry but I’m too much of a strong black woman.

It’s a tad frustrating you know. How one minute you’re thinking of Nigerian cake and missing all the joints you could get it from and all of a sudden your thoughts wander off to missing how one can enter Ketu market and haggle with market women like a boss. Believe me, I can’t even begin to explain the correlation between the two myself! All I know is I relish every moment I can bring the first spoken price to a fraction and when the seller is not “cooperating” I move on to the next one. Most times, she’d call me back and I’d grin for a split second – then turn back around with my face looking like that of a boss. The V’s for Victory – Donald Trump style.

Back to my hunger, I’m not even sure if I want the cake anymore because now I’m craving “dun-dun,” that’s fried yam. And since in my mind’s eye I’m too tired to make it myself, I can see us (my brother and I) take a little drive down to get some of that good stuff. This is torture. I kid you not.

Now I’m getting all emotional and wondering why on Earth I took all those times for granted.

You should never take anything for granted – not Nigerian cake or the fact that your negotiation skills are on point. And especially the fact that one can take a stroll and buy roasted maize on the way back. Or akara. Or boiled groundnut. You must never take anything for granted. Appreciate the small things in life – they’re the ones that make it all worth it.

I still can’t sleep.


Ekene Benjamin is a Certified Trouble maker. Worbia. First a Nigerian citizen and then a global one. Wannabe Londoner. Still hustling for a British Passport. Will come back when Nigeria’s like London – or never will.

30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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