Yesterday I watched Oris officially become one of Chimamanda’s boys, after participating in the writing workshop organised by Farafina trust and sponsored by Nigerian breweries. The presentation of certificates took place yesterday and I decided to go and watch Oris blush for thirty seconds on stage.
Oris has been my friend since 2007, I’d known him long before then, he was a few years my senior in the university. I’d seen him around the faculty and he’d been on the editorial board of the faculty’s magazine. The funny thing was that anytime I saw him it always seemed like he had a retinue of fans and for some reason I disliked him.
Imagine my surprise when I went to return a textbook I’d borrowed from a senior colleague and I found Oris in his room, my friend wasn’t around and asked me to wait at home with his roommate. Turned out the “rockstar” pharmacy student was the roommate, as I waited I was attracted to the stacks of books in the room. I took one and went straight to the last chapter, I normally start reading any book like that, makes me know if the book is worth the effort. Oris did not bother hiding his disdain (he’ll always speak his mind) and we started discussing the merits and demerits of instant gratification and time literally flew. I found myself enjoying his company and could begin to understand why he had so many fans.
This is not an Oris tribute post, trust me if I had to write one it would have to be serialized. Where would I start from? His brilliance? His generosity? His wit? His forthrightness? Oris is probably the best read nigerian ever and no I’m not talking you uniben pharmacy students and graduates who read without ceasing to get your Pharm D. There’s no English writer of literary fiction Oris hasn’t read, I’m not even exaggerating. Back then in school he’d rather starve to buy a book and all the people who sold literary fiction in Benin-City considered Oris a friend. He also obtained two degrees in pharmacy at the same time, he’s a genius. If I’m not doing a tribute then why am I writing this flowery prose? My friend needs to start writing “the great nigerian novel” that will set the world on fire and I want to remind him the reasons why he should. Oris writes music and film reviews currently and has been featured in many publications around the world but that’s just “underutilization” of his immense talent. I’m sure his legion of fans of which I’m merely the publicity secretary can attest to that.
Back to the literary evening, the event began at 6:20pm instead of the advertised 5:00pm with a spoken word performance by Efe accompanied by a dance troupe. I loved the polka like music they danced to, I guess there’s a part of my soul that’s Russian. There are parts of my soul that are Italian (maybe it’s because their men are all the tastes of delicious), and the drama part of my soul is latino- straight out of a telenovela (T, you can’t comment on this). The MD of Nigerian Breweries gave a speech and the MC- Olisa Adibua called up Chimamanda Adichie to give her speech. That woman is fine! Her pictures don’t do her justice and I’m not even a big fan. During the cocktails, while she was discussing with Oris, I was struck by how young she looked. She can very comfortably slice twelve years off her age and no one would suspect anything.
Most of the OAPs in Nigeria should be lined up and shot! Why? They have no excuse for the nonsense garbled accents they feed nigerians with, and that’s why I stopped listening to the radio since 2000AD. Chimamanda gave her speech in a nigerian accent that was sexy, wise and erudite, and this woman left Nigeria when she was nineteen. She talked about the workshop and the validation it gives writers which is exactly what they need. I was so touched by her speech, maybe I’ll apply for the workshop next year- pipe dream. Immediately after the speech was the presentation of certificates
the picture was taken by a beautiful lady I met in the hall.
Oris is way more handsome than this, unfortunately the lights and the “optical illusion” of a receding hairline conspired to create this less gorgeous image of Ris, the babes who have fawned over and bedded my friend are a testament to his looks and charisma (at this point Oris takes out a contract on my life). After the presentation I stayed a while, enjoyed poetry performances by Bassey and a ten year old boy Chukwuemeka Obi-Obasi whose spirited performance impressed us all.
Soon after his performance I left the hall. You see I live with my parents who are ultra protective and being out late always makes them worried. I must have left like midway through the ceremony but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Was affected by the lights too, not looking my stunning self 😉
I left the event at the same time as Eugene of indegeneous.wordpress.com, check out his blog, he’s a fantastic guy (note to H, fantastic not nice :-p).
I’ll be making some changes to my blog in the near future, don’t even know what the changes will be but I bet it will be fun for me and of course for you my dear reader.
PS Oris blogs at http://www.thepingofpong.wordpress.com
PPS this post was written under the influence of soft rock, in honour of Oris who’s a soft rock afficionado.