Saturday, 30 November 2013

He Still Calls Her Elewe-Ukwu

Silver cymbals clinging in chime
 They grey together
Words and wise fade in time
They gracefully live out their forever
Might and fright shaking hands...
 Love stands taller
 After all these solid years
 He still calls her magic tower
elewe ukwu egbu ewu
and tickles the girl in her
 At midnight, he still calls her flower
'Ezinnem' to tease and admire
 As he burns in love and nuptial fire
 Books and tales of history's love
 Cannot compare to this bond blessed by Above...
'Nnem' his lover
'Nnam' her loved
I'm walking behind and wishing well
Please the secrets of love to me do tell
 Time from now when I'll stand with nkem
 And you'll both be my memories
'Elewe ukwu' your words will be my treasury
 I wont forget this time well spent
 And from this time of love I'll never repent
Perhaps, I'll call nkem elewe ukwu as well
Or something sweeter, something swell
But I will look on you and relish true
Your love is beauty and powerful

(inspired by mum and dad...25 years and still counting)

Like Two Spirits Walking Away

When light finds two broken pieces
And enraptures the raving wind
All is well seemingly
As peace once more finds it’s glee
When I’m bored of being alone
And sanity suddenly means something else
I’ll take my stand and head out true
All the while I’ll be looking for you
When life finds another flesh
And our silverness finds a different rest
Don’t cry, It will be a brand new day
We will be like two spirits walking away.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

'Spirited Dialogues'

'Your mama!!!'
'What?! How dare you call my mama. Your papa!! Your mama!! Your family!!!'
Hey!!! take it easy, kids are listening.
In a world where everyone has to make a statement, a point, and worse still, ensure that he/she is the most heard and most accepted, we can't help having spirited conversations. There are several other metaphors for them: Some call it 'heated argument', 'shouting out', 'making a point', 'setting him/her straight'; 'expressing myself'; 'airing my views'; 'setting myself free'; 'showing her who is boss'.... The list is indeed endless.
However, we see that this method ends up denting our relationships and the public perception of who we are and what we represent. More often than not we regret most of what is heard and said in the course of these out bursts. Does this then make them out of place. No!
To have a relationship with anyone or anything there has to be a growing level of communication and connection. And hey! words must not be screamed to heard or understood. And you must not also bottle u your feelings for too long. It's terrible. You cause more harm to yourself than and to relationship by doing this.
It's a relationship. It's a life. You need to communicate. You need to understand and be understood so as to communicate. I know I'm no Helen Keller. But I have learned one or two things about this. When our relationships throws us 'surprise parties'; 'warm coffee' or  'cold spaghetti' we should endeavour more often than not to respond and not to react.  Responding is more lucid and calculated than reacting than reactions which are more impulsive  and reflex.
'Look, I can't deal with now. ' should do the trick: buy you some time and save your relationship from verbal outburst and abuses.  
And besides when you must have those spirited conversations you can be both polite to each other, indirectly setting ground rules on how to handle the ups and downs. Know your limit as regards the words and issues you can pull out of your artillery. Respect is never out of place in anger. And maturity should guide you through this.
When I think of spirited or intense dialogues/conversations I think of the several sermons and parables of Jesus. I consider how he broke very complex ideas such as the foolishness and faith in being in love into the parable of the lost coin and the lost sheep. There are so many other words and means he could have used  but he chose to be calm, simple and mature in his story telling.
I also consider Omotola's character in Last Flight to Abuja. Her conversation with Ali Nuhu on discovering that he was cheating would have been more dramatic. Though we could still feel the tension, her character set a new standard in Nollywood for us: the intensity of the moment is a call for your calmness and maturity. Though I love you so much I don't have to be crazy as well. Also in her Amnesty video, her composure was wonderful and mature. You will most likely be heard and listened to better if you keep your cool and ensure that your pitch never hits the roof.
I agree that some people are incorrigible and  too spirited to be mature. In this case I advice you listen till they are out of breath and oxygen. Then you calmly dominate. *wink*
There will always be a need to make a point and to be heard. But if you must communicate or connect with someone, please do it right. Do not be a man/ladyzilla. Have a spirited conversation and handle the intense moments maturely. You are amazing Yes. And that relationship is a blessing. True. You are being watched. And above all, you have to protect your relationship and your mind even in moments like this.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Passionate Pursuit

When a man decides that he wants to be happy, he sets out against all odds to tickle himself. He pursues a degree; buys a new device- perhaps a car; gets into a relationship-or even gets married. Some times he may go the distance to engage in lethal alternatives such as drugs or even suicide. In very funny ways, he is headed in the happy direction- He is trying to be happy for peace sake!

Then again, the bulk of us never truly contend what exactly happiness would translate to at any given point in time. Would it mean more, less, absence or acquisition? Would is simply mean head out and do something or stay still and watch? Does it mean the same thing today as it did yesterday and would it mean the same thing tomorrow?

As confused as I am about this emotion that flames from my blood, I have resolved that there is no such thing as happy since there is not one objective and all encompassing word to define it. Similarly, there is no such thing as unhappy because the root word simply is baseless.

Under the sun, I have truly pursued the desires of my heart with speed, lust and vigor and truly found that everything is but the chasing of the wind. I can recall the emptiness I felt immediately I finished my degree exams. It was as though, I had done nothing. It suddenly felt like the past five years never happened.

Then again, I have learnt the blessing of this.

My happiness is not in my achieving but in my deliberate act of pursuing. It is in the anxiety that fills my heart; the sweat that lines my brow; the earth that bears my feet and the desire that is yet unsatisfied. It is in my working that my mind is most alive, enthralled and enraptured. It is in my dreaming and persevering that my being finds it true purpose and living.

Achievements are an end as empty as the interiors of a trophy with no actual purpose or place. The real happiness is the feeling that you can do this much and much more.

As we seek eagerly to tickle ourselves in today's world. Let us recall that nothing is as boring and stale as satisfaction. So do bask and relish the moments of excitement, process, training and motion. And do not just pursue love or happiness to get it, have an enthralling and passionate pursuit.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Virginty of the African Vintage

As a writer my place is simply at the spot of mental stimulation. I can't operate effectively without it. Music, painting, letters, movies, conversations, testimonies, failure, victories....many things stimulate me. However, I still respect the place of my undying love for the African movie industry in their role as one of my greatest inspirations. I grew up in Nigeria falling in love over and over again with how films such as Evil Passion and Rattle Snake instructed me on what the society is and could be. And movies such as Taboo, True Confession and Violated opened up my heart to the possibility of loving right and loving true here on earth. Some times I would find myself asking, 'What would RMD do?'

My love for Nollywood and their production greatly influenced my orientation on my role in my society as brother, son, teacher, lover, scholar, activist, writer and thinker. There is only so much that is possible. Nollywood spurred me ever so intensely with the likes of Ann Njemanze; Hilda Dokubo; Syndey Dialla; Ndidi Obi; Ngozi Ezeonu....I still have the VCR tapes in my living room.

However, soon the market was flooded with so many titles and so many themes that were not at all mentally stimulating. I found myself watching so much costume, screen play and money wasted on silly cliché stories that were neither well defined or articulated. The themes of university romance and cultism were issues that were truly over flogged- alongside a string of others.

I abandoned the movies as they no longer soothed me and sought another heart throb in places that
didn't offer much.

However, only a few years ago I began to notice a new generation of Nollywood movies. They were mostly Nollywood and Hollywood collaborations, but they told African stories in the beautiful scenes and forms which people of all generations and  races could identify with. The class and likes of movies like Ije, Doctor Bello, Tango With Me, Mirror Boy, Sitanda ....the list in endless.

I have fallen in love with Nollywood afresh!

I have in this light been equally stimulated in my writing, leading and living as an African in my society. This is the role of information and media: To spread the best orientation to the people, telling their stories in terms of how they are, should and should not be.

There is nothing that can replace the role of Nollywood in our society. I still do respect Nollywood vintage movies which seemingly are too old to remain on the shelves; those ones with great sound tracks and timeless acting like Ijele and Igodo. I wish the next generation would truly see Africa's journey through her movies from a time of slavery to the time of great liberation and revolution. I wish they would see the various beautiful themes that Africa had and the values
pure as they were. The virginity of the African Vintage. The purity of our soul and our writing, acting and living, immortalizing the wisdom that was misunderstood and the journey that we are still on today.

Truly there are still other themes that make up Africa besides the fight against human trafficking,  poverty and the abuse of the girl child. There is the future which we can instruct through our movies.

For instance I would appreciate a movie that intellectually appraises politics as it should be in Africa. Or a film that indiscriminately handles the themes of homosexuality, human rights and spirituality in Africa. I would love greater and more realistic African stories to be told in preservation of a place such as this and a time such as now.

I also do urge the actors and actresses of Nollywood  to lead good and exemplary lives as they are role models to me and other
upcoming Nigerians.

A world without Nollywood is a world without Africa.

 I do believe in all of you who put in your best to make Nollywood outstanding. You are all doing an amazing work. I still pray for you and I trust that the King of Excellence inspires you afresh everyday.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

...Call it Hustling

The Hustler

Plato once said that at the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. And as such everything is wonderful to the one who has been so enchanted or inspired to come and stay alive. The world of African authors is one that admits the little and the large. And in Africa’s writing, only the best of the best can stand the storms and desire amongst other things to be heard, read and listened to. In the course of my work in Africa as a service unit leader on my campus fellowship and a blogger, only a few African youth authors have captured my focus like Akwa-Ibom state’s David Isaiah.
After his debut performance as Adam in the Fall of Man on the Carol Evening at Madonna University a few years ago, this native of Nsit-Ibom  has been one to watch. I am not shocked he came up with this cut-throat, mind-blowing, super refreshing book, The Hustler. When I discovered he was working on such a wonderful manuscript, I was more than convinced that this is indeed one of African’s finest who is on his way to becoming Africa’s own 21st Century Robert Kiyosaki.
The book, The Hustler, was published and launched a few months back. And I had the rare privilege of sharing a few thoughts with him:
What is David’s story and where is he coming from?
I was born and brought up in Uyo. I am the last in the family of five:I have a brother and three sisters. I did my primary and secondary education here in Akwa Ibom, and my university in Anambra.
Tell us more about your educational background?
I have a degree in Accounting from Madonna University, Okija. I had my junior secondary education at the prestigious Etinan Institute, Etinan, and then moved to Comprehensive Secondary School, |Edeobom 1 to complete my Senior Secondary- not forgetting Mfonabasi Nursery And Primary School where I learnt my ABCs.
When did you start writing?
Writing for me started when I finished my secondary school as I waited for university admission. I got so bored and I decided to put pen to paper. However, back then it was merely for the fun of it.
At what point did you decide to delve into the genre of self-improvement books?
I never planned to be an author or write a book that had anything to do with self-improvement. The book, The Hustler, came grew from an article I wrote for my school magazine about success. After writing the article I realised that the resources I gathered to write the article would waste if I didn’t do anything else with it. It also struck me that if at all I knew a lot about how to start and run a business successfully when I was a little younger I would have been a multi-millionaire by now. Judging from that, I didn’t want other young people to be in the dark. These thoughts, and a few others, pushed me into birthing my first book from a mere article.
What and when was your defining moment- that one moment when you had to tell yourself the hard truth in order to proceed?
That defining moment would be when I celebrated my 24th birthday early this year. I just realised that I was no longer a kid, and that if I fail to lay the right foundation at this point, I’ll never make it in life. In that moment I hard to tell myself the truth, ‘Boy, you need to sit up and hustle hard.’
When did you decide it was time to author The Hustler and what inspired it?
What really inspired me to keep writing was my own struggle to be financially independent as an undergraduate. I got my hands into a couple of business ventures and this afforded me first-hand experience on running a business successfully. I also wanted to share these experiences with youths so they can learn too.
What is the gist of The Hustler?
A HUSTLER is somebody that has decided to make a difference, to chart his own cause or run a business. They call it ENTREPRENUERSHIP but I call it HUSTLING. Some people do say that luck is involved in success but I think that’s a lie. The profile of any successful person involves three things which I have explained deeply in the book, they are; Hard work, Perseverance and Self-discipline. If you work hard, persevere and have self-discipline, there is no stopping you from being successful. So ‘The Hustler’ is a book that will guide you to making this a reality.
Of what relevance is it to the everyday Nigerian?
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the rate of unemployment in Nigeria went up to its all-time height of 23.90% in 2011. And the large number of individuals that made up this chunk figure was the youths. In other words, there are so many young Nigerians out there without jobs and probably with certificates. The book provides you with a step by step guide on how to start and run your own business without waiting for the white collar job. Its relevance can’t really be overemphasized.
Where can we find your book?
As for now it is sold mainly in bookshops in Uyo. I am also making arrangements to get it on online stores for easy access.
Do we expect another book soon?
Expect another book but not soon.
What else takes David’s time asides writing?
My baby company- it takes all of my time.
Who are your mentors and role models?
My elder brother Pastor Ety Isaiah is more than a mentor to me. I am so proud to have him as a brother. My role model is Steve Harris, a man with a vision and a great speaker.
Who do you read and what are you reading now?
I read a lot of Donald Trump but I am not reading any book currently.
What are you listening to?
Ro James – Coke EP
What is the next big thing for you?
Making my company a brand to reckon with in Nigeria and internationally.
What is advice do you have for the youths?
Be yourself because you’re God’s original product. Don’t try to be someone else.

Auntim Jane...She always begins with ‘hmmm, look at you.’

You take. You take. You take from yourself till there is nothing left to listen to when you retire to your bed at night. You give yourself t...