Of Titles and Taglines


I first heard the word Quotidian used in every day parlance in 2010 by one of my favourite authors, the British-Nigerian Poet and Novelist, Chris Abani in his TED 2008 talk On Humanity.

The context within which he uses the word is the retelling of a story from his childhood, growing up as a young Ibo boy in Nigeria, having to kill a goat, but finding himself too sensitive to do so. In the end, Emmanuel an older boy who has been a boy soldier in the Biafran (Nigerian Civil) war comes to his rescue, putting his hands over the goat’s mouth and covering its eyes so he doesn’t have to see them whilst he kills the goat. In the story, Chris is moved by the duty of care the older, hardened ex-soldier exercises over him concerning the simple matter of killing a goat, given that he has been involved in fighting a war widely recognised as having led to the deaths of over a million people. That deeply emotive context seems to have left an indelible mark on me, and driven me to associate a double meaning with the word. Whilst normal, everyday things are quotidian, context often colours them in shades and nuances far more complicated than they seem or should be – hence the title of my blog Quotidian Things.

For a tag line, I have gone for The Ramblings of a Lost Son. Ramblings, because if the past few years are anything to go by, my coherence levels reduce significantly as the days go by, and Lost Son for the increasing distance I feel – both physical and metaphorical – from my home land of Nigeria. Both Ramblings and Lost Son speak loosely to a sense of being quarantined – being substantially different from both my home and adopted countries, not quite fitting in either anymore and struggling to deal with the conflict inherent in reaching a new normal.

So that’s the inspiration for this, and my insistence that if I had my way, this blog would be about the simple, everyday things that happen in my world, hopefully with an attempt to understand what deeper meaning they may hold.