Saturday, 26 September 2015

Dear mum, I heard you passed

Photo sourced from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153279010745809&set=pb.545405808.-2207520000.1443293626.&type=3&theater
Dear mum, I heard you passed 
Time has stopped
The voices have started
They say death ends everything
Dreams
Hopes
Lives
They say love charms everything
Music
Flames
Bites
...But for motherhood, you, they say the world
That you own everything
That you are wisdom, truth
They are not showing me graphs or reports
But pictures
Pictures and words
Words and stories
Like they see you through my eyes
And taste you with my heart
Several faces, and loves will compete
Festivals, dances and destinations will scream
Suns will rise, and friends after them
But none of them will tell me like you
You didn't tell me their truth
Nor spank me by their standards
You told me better
And spanked me still
You loved me differently
For that I fall flat on my face
Like a thousand tsunamis standing still
Adoring your grace
I insist that you are my truth
My one sweet forever
For accepting me
For loving me tender
I heard you passed
So sleep well, smile
Till some other journey
Some other life's mile.
#RestInPeaceMaGraceAdukeBademosi
#TakeHeartKennyBrandmuseAndFamily

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Nkem's Letter



Dear Nkem,
I am dead. I hope you are happy.
I willed everything to you. But I demand a fabulous funeral. I will have it no other way.
Photo sourced from 'Empire' Season 1
If Korede Bello and Will Smith refuse to anchor my service, I will not have any. I insist that Yemi Alade sings me Johnny twice: The first during the service (if it holds) and the second during the actual burying .
I do not want black, white or shady Ankara prints anywhere close to the funeral arena or else it will rain, heavily. I will not have you cry because you are the devil’s muse. You will not miss me, so let us pretend it is my sweet sixteen, again.
I will have a royal blue hand knitted woollen interior for my coffin which must be black wood studded with thirty hexagonal shaped onyx crystals on the outside. I want to be worn my white Gucci jump suit, strapless push bras, and silver accessories. You need not be told that my all my hair extensions go down with me. And thunder will fire whoever tries to bury me with a fake tiara, plastic flower, wedding ring or gown.
Of course, only chops, smoothies and bottled water should be served at the reception. I was very healthy and health-conscious. I will not be mocked by high calorie eba and ofe-akwu.
Take note that if there are no fireworks at the closing cocktail, I will haunt your dreams, or ask Mama Gee to do so in real life.
Nkem, I hate you madly for cheating on me and I took my life to set you free. But I will reincarnate as your malaria if you mess up my funeral. Even WHO will see reasons with me, you bastard!
Your loving wife,
Somtochukwu.
(My Flash Fiction entry for the Etisalat Prize for Literature Flash Fiction Competition's 2015. Voting Commences on 9th November, 2015 if I'm shortlisted)

Black, Blue, Bold!

photo captured from Lagos Cougars, the movie
How can our difference frighten us
And our diversity smack us in the face?
How can our stories brow beat  us
And this endless war, the centre of our race?
How can Igwenga tell eteka that distance is just a closer far away
And you tell me, that our struggles are here to stay?
How can love end this nightmare
When love itself started it
And you say in your fun fare
That simplicity can heal it
I'm done playing games with you
Because you seem not to know the rules
That this is our lot
For the things we should know
We prefer to play the fools
And being simple and silent won't just cut it
Being indifferent will never heal it
All the universe conspires to instruct us
Screaming, lashing out at our hearts
You can't win by falling apart
And you can't soar by staying intact
That fighting is our lot
Believing and demanding our fire
I'm done having this conversation
I'm hitting the road
Taking my colours
Screaming black, roaring blue, growing bold!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Kase Greatness, His Secrets and the Next Level



Art, love and spirituality are some of the several fierce and unique themes that Africa bears both as a continent of several states and as a place of so many beautiful, gifted and magical souls. One of those souls being Kase Greatness, a Nigerian born and bred gospel artist, domicile in Delta State, whose love and passion for God, life and impact has struck him the gold of several light years, the gold of music. And like the elixir of life, he wields his art and gift to teach, heal and make whole by bring God and heaven so many lyrics and verses closer. Opportune to have him met a few years ago, I have been drinking from his well ever since. Dear world I give you this African jewel, Kase Greatness!

What is Kase’s story?
Kase Greatness, from the city of Warri in Delta State Nigera, and  was born into the family of five- four beautiful girls and one boy. He is the last child and only boy. He has a lovely mother, Queen Kase. His father, Mr. Johnson Kase died in his early 40s while he was just some months old in the womb. He attended Ighobadu Primary School Warri, Hussey College Warri but rounded off  his Secondary education at St. Augustine's College, Ibusa. He Graduated from Madonna University Nigeria Okija Campus in 2014.


What is your educational qualification?
 I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy.

What led to your studying Philosophy?
The love of the abstract! Wanting to know more about the universe- especially the secret behind the Gulf of Alaska where two oceans meet but never mix. And so many other reasons too numerous to mention.

You have been weaving so many beautiful sounds with fierce lyrics for years now. How did that start?
I started in the church while in the children’s choir. Since then it has developed to a more mature me. How time flies.

Having heard few of your tracks and seen you perform live on several occasions, I know that your art is not just a show of talent. Honestly, what is the secret behind the heat of your performance?
 The secret is quite simply prayer and seeing lives blessed by my ministrations. I do not do songs that after singing people just clap. No I like doing songs that will drop a strong lasting message inside someone that needs a Word to move to the next level.

In 2010, when I watched your ‘Roll the Stone Away’ ministration alongside Caleb and Tari of the Glory and Virtue Mass Choir of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Madonna, I cried. That one ministration has never left my heart. What inspired that particular song?
(Deep sigh) So touching, It's well. So many lives where touched that day. It was that song that made me discovere my music ministry. I just recall Eddie, Alumona, Rume, Anthony, Princess and others who also participated in that ministration. The song was inspired by the Bible story of how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after four Days. All thanks to Papa Josh, the Evangelism Leader who asked me to write a song after giving me the theme and text for the programme, John 11.  After studying the scripture on my bed, I picked up my guitar and I started playing along and that was how the song came.

What inspires your creativity?
The study and the deep understanding of God's word also situations around us.
How has your music career been since the release of your debut album ‘Roll the Stone Away’ in 2013?
It has been moving from Glory to Glory.

What privileges come with being a Nigerian gospel artiste?
Not much, just that I’m opportune to be a blessing to people's life and God blesses you as well

What challenges follow this status?
Finance is one of the greatest challenges- especially in Nigeria where people love free things.
 
How many songs have you written from inception till date?
I have written about 20 songs for now.

What other things outside music take your time?
Fashion.

What are your plans for your music in the future, life-long full time career, or part time?
 Music first. Any other thing I do will be consider as part time

Being a gospel artiste are you considering other genres of music?
Yeah!  Like doing a slow rock love songs.

I understand that 2015 has been a really busy year for you as regards your music. What’s up with that?
 I’m just trying to make a mark in the industry at large.

Who do work with on presently on your music?
I work with the Greatness Music All Stars:Ccj, Jubby, Pearl, Mcdee, Angel, Kielz, Kachi,and Kayceeh Grace.  We are a team of musical friends who graduated from Madonna University Nigeria, Okija Campus. This is the fruit of a vision to create a gospel music label in order to encourage young upcoming gospel artistes from deciating to secular  music because of fame and cash.

I have been opportune to be under your leadership for a while, and I know that there is a lot more than just your music on your table at any given time. What other project(s) is on your table in 2015?
No other project other than music for this year.

What do you read?
Motivational books.

What do you listen to?
Inspirational songs and messages,

Who are your mentors and role models?
Pst Paul Eneche, Pst Sam Adeyemi.

What’s the very next step for you as regards your career generally?
Shooting of my music videos.

In 2013, during your interview with the Organised Press Crew of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Madonna, you said that you need to get balanced before you can get into a relationship. Are you anywhere near that now?
 (Laughs) Very funny! I’m still not in a relationship.

What’s your most empowering personal philosophy?
 Make impact before you depart

Please kindly share a word of advice for the youths of Africa.
 Be strong. Hold on to your dreams more than your Job. Someone may need them to explore their world and affect their generation positively. 

Below are some links to Kase Greatness's mind blowing tracks.

Hosanna in the Highest:   www.reverbnation.com/greatnessmusic9

Sunday, 13 September 2015

I Dare You by Afoma Chiegboka



(Retrieved from 'http://omachies.blogspot.com.ng/2015/08/i-dare-you.html  on 13/09/2015 )

‘Haayyya!!!’ ‘Kinsh!Kinsh! Kinsh!’ 
 We all grew up with variations of these silly expletives. We’d leap upon our beds with fiery expressions, our ‘swords’ (usually rulers bought with our parent’s hard-earned money) held in a death grip, fighting our enemies (our poor younger ones; we never could win against our elders- it was too unbecoming to see them crying to report to Mummy or on the flip side, turn the play to a real fight…) with the surety in our hearts that we would win because we were the good guys, and the good guys always win, right? And even if we didn’t win that day and we had to weep our broken little hearts out, we’d still try again the next day, and the next, until we were finally able to conquer ‘the Boss’. Yessssss!

I think it was then that we had the real capacity to understand true heroism.
 
We hear all these stories that take our breaths away, that inspire us but it was only when we were children that we ever thought of taking it beyond a smile and a sigh at the end of the tale. Who wasn’t Jackie Chan when they were little? Who wasn’t Sinbad? Who didn’t try to use the Tortoise’s cunning to outwit his/her family? I even remember wanting so badly to be an Avatar after I watched the movie (and that was in 2011. I could even speak Na’vi!)

When we were little, we tried. We understood that we had to work to be heroes, that we’d have to fight against the world if we wanted our names to be remembered. Now, all we do is live average lives in an average environment and we are OK with mediocrity. What happened to our valiant little hearts?

Everyone talks about how they would prefer to leave Nigeria because other countries are better; how many have stopped to ask, ‘Who made those countries better?’ Rome wasn’t built in a day and it was by the concerted effort of each individual that it was built at all. Come on people, listen to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror! It is you who can make it better by being better, by doing what you can to make it so. Why would you go enjoy the fruits of the greatness of others when you have all you need to establish your own name here?

You admire heroes because you know that is who you should be. God has blessed you with the capacity to be amazing; do not bury your talent. You may not be able to conquer the world, but if you can conquer yourself, if you can make just one person’s life better, if you can swallow your pride and forgive, if you can love unconditionally, if you can desist from putting others down, you already are. But one thing you must know, a true hero is one who can sacrifice everything for what they believe in, for who they believe in. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains no more than a single grain, but if it dies, it bears fruit in plenty- John 12: 24.

So I dare you today. Make the world remember your name.


For death and for glory!!!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

We are in this together

Dear Africa,

Quite often these days, I have seen you in the lives and hearts of your best, the youths. They are scared. So scared. The pressure from all that is happening burdens them. Even if, like myself, a good number of them are yet to grasp the big picture. New policies are being made. Old resolutions yet unresolved and unrealised consolidated by new ones yet unarticulated...the fear, the horror.

Amongst the pain that I see in their eyes is the fear that they are alone.  Each one feels locked up in a shell of his/her own. Each feels that his life will be a continuous battle against the rest of the world. A battle to fight hunger, validation, rejection, prejudice...a battle that has already been lost.

I'm not hopeless Africa, I'm only writing about the things that I see right now. Especially of the faithlessness in your system. Of all the things that have been oversaid. And the things that people are too polite, too pious to talk about. Perhaps about prejudice, and the desperate need for inclusion.

My brothers and sisters feel all by themselves, they are frightened. They believe that running away is the answer. Even when it isn't an available option. I don't know about a victory that was handed on a gold platter, or a lasting freedom that was never professed or defended.

My Africa, quite often, I'm scared too. Frightened to my bones. And I hope that some of these days you shall look on us kindly, and perhaps confirm that we are all in this together: Broken, strong, grieving, celebrant, wishing, faithless, christian, muslim, straight, gay, lesbians, jews, traditionalists, bisexuals, transgenders, dreamers, realists, fast, slow, wreckless, meticulous...we are all in this together. Part of this perfect circle. For ourselves, and in a more beautiful equation for each other. One phenomenal people within God.

My Africa, nkem. The pressure is here, but it will help to know that I can tell my brothers and sisters that we are all in this together, working hard, breaking through.

Yours hopeful,
Nnanna


Monday, 7 September 2015

The Language of English


photo captured from 'the Sleeping Dictionary'

Let me teach the language of English
And the so many metaphors that string from her
Let me show that words could mean so much
Even while being so little
Let me teach you the patterns of the alphabet
And stun you flourish after flourish
Show you that really
Books are neither dark nor secrets
Nor the terrible works that plague are lives
But the sweet records of the ever changing now
Let me teach you the language of English
Let me show how sweet poetry and laughter can be
We don’t have to shake spear
Before we see the beauty that will always be here
Let me teach you the language of English
And perhaps in words and kisses you’ll learn
You could doubt every other word I say
Except when I teach you the language of English
So look at the dance of my tongue
And the silhouette of my lips
And open your heart to listen, and mouth to speak
But first, let me teach you the language of English