Review: “I learnt to kill” by Aisha Saludeen

Hello you cuties! Got my grandma cap on and my all seeing glasses and decided to check up on one of the writers I interviewed for LitiTalk (by the way, stay tuned for my new interview sessh!). I know Aisha personally and she told me that this story is based on true events (The Jos ethno-religious conflicts in 2001). First of all, I commend her for being brave enough to share her story. Second, I’m thankful that she survived and has not let such a terrible event define her. She’s a funny kid and you can tell by the way she chooses to write. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten sentimental, let’s rip this piece to shreds, shall we! 🙂

When I read the story, I fell in love with it. It’s a story that has the potential to become a great story. It’s real, told lightly and most of all, and doesn’t waste hundreds of pages on horribly written erotica (anti-fan of 50 shades, HOW did that book become a bestseller?!). So far she has written part one and two and they have been good.

I would have loved to see more detailed descriptions in there. What was the day like before the horrid event? Descriptions of her relationship with her best friend?… just details that will fill out the story and give me a better idea of the look and feel of what’s going on. That’s what this story needs to go from good to great. For anyone that’s skeptical of the use of humor in the story, I thought that it was a unique way of lightening the horrors of the story and for me that is the story’s gold.

Here are excerpts from Parts 1&2, read it yourself by clicking the quotes, share & give it a bunch of stars!

Part 1:

They trooped into my class, I was shaking, one animal placed an axe on my throat , he asked “kin iya hausa” (you understand hausa?) I couldn’t answer on time, I was too scared, he landed me a heavy slap that brought me straight back to reality, the slap was too good…I could feel the blood going to my head, I answered him as loud as I could. He gave me another hot slap, I fell “ki dinga mun hausa, Shegiya!” (Speak hausa to me, bastard). Lol lol omo the hausa just started flowing.

Part 2:

AGHHHHHH!! I was brought back to reality… I felt that sharp pain on my thigh, I fell to my knee, it hurt so much. I looked down at the knife in my thigh, I cried. “Kill me” I said, “shut up!” He replied. My blood was very red, I was scared, “dan iska” one of them said to me.
My brother was crying, he tried to help me up, BAM! I heard him fall, he had been hit too. They left…


I had never been so happy to see the Nigerian police in my life!!…. Okay seriously, they ran away. Police officers took over, the red cross… They were so many dead bodies… I felt worthless, nothing made sense at that moment. I was in so much pain, I cried throughout…I couldn’t even walk well.
My brother was busy cursing and biting his nails, worst day ever for him.


SPOTLIGHT: Opal Jewlery

Although the science of Opals is not something I fully understand, I think the little knowledge I have about Opals lets me appreciate Opal jewelry in a different way. According to ehow.com,

“Opals are formed when a mineraloid gel mixed with water begins to dry. A mineraloid gel is a mixture of minerals and chemicals that does not contain any crystals. The gel will not crystallize when it dries; instead it will harden and create another type of stone. For opals, as the mixture dries it leaves behind a rigid structure of silica that will be able to refract and diffuse light. Opals are considered precious gems when the gel has less than 10 percent of water left in the structure. This means that the gel has hardened enough and will not change shape any more.”

All that still seems like mumbo jumbo to me but one word that stuck out to me was “mineraloid”. A mineraloid is a ‘naturally occurring, inorganic material that is amorphous and is therefore not considered to be a mineral. Also known as gel mineral.’

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AMORPHOUS!! … synonym for words like formless, shapeless and unstructured. To me the Opal represents a preciousness that is so amazing that it cannot be defined simply! The opal is the freedom to be whatever you want to be against stereotypes and societal judgement. As you think about ways to show people you support and care for their lifestyles, choices and so on, consider the beautiful, strong and free opal; a gem that keeps the mystery alive.

BTW!! FUN FACT: The Opal is the birthstone of October (holla to all my fellow October babies, we kick ass!) and is titled “The Queen of Gems”.


Works Cited

“AmorphousAbout Our Definitions: All Forms of a Word (noun, Verb, Etc.) Are Now Displayed on One Page.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amorphous>.

Johnson, Sophie. “Opal Facts.” EHow. Demand Media, 02 June 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/about_5066366_opal.html>.

“Mineraloid.” TheFreeDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/mineraloid>.

Smith, Brittany. “How Are Opals Formed?” EHow. Demand Media, 15 Apr. 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4911640_how-opals-formed.html>.