the louderARTS Project

Radhiyah Ayobami

Radhiyah Ayobami is a 2006 Fiction Fellow with the New York Foundation of the Arts, a Cave Canem Fellow and a graduate of the Study Abroad on the Bowery Program. She has been published in  the Chicago Sun- Times, Bowery Women Poems, The Mom Egg, His Rib: Stories, Poems and Essays by Her, and TwentySomething Essays by TwentySomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006. She also has poetry online with the Museum of African Diaspora Stories Project.  
 
Some of the places where Radhiyah has performed include Brooklyn Public Library, Columbia College Chicago, the Bowery Poetry Club, and Eastern Correctional Facility. She has been a featured artist with Louder Arts Project at Bar 13, where she was treated wonderfully, given a chair to sit on during her show, and plenty of free drinks.
 
Radhiyah has taught workshops for teen girls at the Brooklyn Childcare Collective and the PEN American Center for Writers. Currently she is working on a novel, growing out her locs, contemplating a spoken- word CD, traveling across the country with her son on the Greyhound Bus, and rediscovering her sanity by way of meditation and reality television.

 

the candyman
(a one-act play)

characters: your mama, my mama, the candyman, me.

setting: nine years ole
your mama said: candy? I ain't got no money.
my mama said: that gal been in the same clothes all week. head ain't seen a comb.
i said: you know this one? rooty-tooty fresh-n fruity lemme see you shake yo booty.
the candyman said: you like chocolate? lemme see that dance one mo time.

setting: eleven years ole
your mama said: gal, you too damn fast. get these big-head boys out the house.
my mama said: what you hanging round that ole fast-behind gal for? that ole dirty drawers, short-dress lipstick-wearin gal. you bet not bring her to the house.
i said: how come you got so many boyfriends?
the candyman said: you the prettiest gal i ever seen.

setting: fourteen years ole
your mama said: pregnant? you got to take care of it yourself. i raised mine.
my mama said: wonder when she gonna have the next one?
i said: what you gonna do?
the candyman said: you a woman now.

setting: sixteen years ole
your mama said: stay out my gotdamn liquor.
my mama said: that gal eyes is red as sin.
i said: why you always smell like smoke?
the candyman said: you got to do something to take off the edge.

setting: twenty
your mama said: all these damn kids! you got to go.
my mama said: bible say, when i was a man, i put away childish things. time to put that gal away.
i said: i'm goin' away to school. you and the kids kin come visit.
the candyman said: stay with me. i ain't going nowhere.

setting: twenty-one
your mama said: night-school? you ain't wanna go to school when i was sending you. i ain't babysitting.
my mama said: she need jesus and a job. supermarket hiring.
i said: i got papers due.
the candyman said: i know something you could do.

setting:
your mama said: i ain't seen her for years.
my mama said: i heard she down there in the city. by that bridge. you know what them womens do.
i said: we used to be in the same class
the candyman said: stick it out a few more years, baby. we in this thing together.

 

Radhiyah Ayobami



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