David I. Adeleke
I write essays, creative nonfiction, and short stories.
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Aerial view of Eko Atlantic City from the South-West (Credit: Eko Atlantic City)

I joined Eko Atlantic City as Head of Communications in 2019. In that time, I’ve often had to think about the following questions:

How do you design a communications strategy for one of the world’s most audacious real estate projects? How do you create a message around a city for the future and make it relevant to the present? How do you help people understand what you’re doing without sounding disingenuous and out of touch?

Building what will become the new financial capital of Africa’s largest economy on the coast of Lagos requires a lot of engineering and strategic marketing…

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Credit: Eric Muhr (Unsplash)

I step out of the house and cold wind breezes across my face, making my eyes and nose water. I sniffle and shudder a bit, then lock the door and place the keys in my pocket. I take off my glove and check the time on my phone. It’s 2:02 PM. I replace the glove. My walk today will last just under 30 minutes. I have to be back in the house by 2:30 PM to catch the football game.

The people here call football ‘soccer’ and I don’t know why. They have chosen instead to call a game where…

“Fate is ‘round the corner, right (Fate is ‘round the corner right),

It hit me right between the eyes (Hit me right between the eyes)…”

— 6LACK, ‘Switch’

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That’s Eko Atlantic City in the distance.

Six months ago, I made a career switch from Journalism to Communications. I wasn’t doing badly as a journalist. I was the editor of a pan-African online business publication (Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa — BI SSA) at 23. I’d just finished my Media and Journalism Fellowship with the Charles Koch Institute a year before. I did some high profile interviews — with Toyin Saraki, Chimimba David Phiri, Jennifer Blanche, Davido, Niniola, and…

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When tourists talk about travelling, it is implied that they have a home to which they will return, somewhere to look forward to after every trip. But when nomads talk about travelling, it is different. They have not learned to travel and return home, they have learned to take home with them, to make it where they are, and where they are is but a transient juncture, a dot that disappears almost as soon as it is formed.

I grew up in a family of nomads, changing cities as often as we changed clothes. I learned to make friends of…

“My life is like a speeding bullet that hasn’t hit the target yet.”

— Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi)

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June 2015. I’m a few weeks away from completing my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Ibadan, Oyo State. I’ve spent the last few days doubling down on my plans to create an online bookstore. In the past few months, I’ve read Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Jim Collins’ Built to Last and Good to Great, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and Seth Godin’s Purple Cow.

I have a purple journal dedicated to this idea. I…

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The Kigali Convention Centre

It’s almost 11 PM and the city is shrouded by the blackness of night, littered with tiny flecks of white, yellow, and red lights, like speckles of diamond and gold dust glittering in the dark with the occasional shining of rubies.

The roads are constricted and tight, like crevices on a rock. None of them is straightforward enough for you to see far ahead. And if it is not the bend of the roads that catches your attention, it’s the undulation of the city’s topography. When Jesus talked about the city set on a hill that cannot be hidden, he…

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The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The cold winter breeze slaps my face and almost snatches my soul as I step out of the car. It was deceptively warm in there and I’d subconsciously expected the same outside. It takes me a moment to gather myself and adjust to the weather. Three weeks in the US and I’m still not used to the cold. The March sun is out and bright but its effect is more aesthetic than functional. I put my hands in my coat pocket, sigh deeply, and begin my march towards 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

This is my third time visiting Washington D.C., my…

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Once I bore the sun in me,

It glowed and brightened me,

It rose and set in me,

Through cloudy days and nights starless,

Its glorious gold washed over my heart’s palace.

Once the sun shined through me,

It blessed Earth’s treaders and Sky’s wanderers through me,

Plants and trees and oceans shimmered beneath its glare,

Doves and eagles and falcons gloried in equal share,

Mountains and valleys flourished in its care.

Once the sun lived in me,

We dined and wined and laughed as one,

We wished and dreamed and hoped as one,

We loved and fought as lovers do, forgave and moved on as lovers do,

But what happens when you fight and move on,

Never to be one again?

What happens then?

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Source: Framing Painting

Shall I compare you to the sun?

For one moment it is shining, and by the next it is gone.

Shall I compare you to the stars?

For after night passes, you cannot but wonder where they are,

And even in their shining — by distance! — they seem so far.

Oh what a wonder you are, my love,

The melody in my heart, my revelation from above,

In your eyes are the purity of a dove,

My angel, my goddess, the saviour my prophets speak of.

Your breath on my skin feels like silk,

Like the cotton and linens…

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The gunshots sound like loud bangs from a three-round firecracker. At first, you think it’s playful fireworks, but then you hear the fourth bang. The sound is distinctive. They are here.

You fling the cover cloth off your body and fly out of bed, knocking over the glass of water on the bedside table. You look around the room, spin left and right in confusion, then you make for the light switch. “Oh shit!” you say as you rush back to flip it off, almost tripping on something. It’d be stupid to have your lights on right now.

You scurry…

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