20/20

This morning I was talking to a certain male friend about pictures and good looks and he said something that shocked me. He said he wasn’t handsome, he was barely averagely good-looking. I was beyond shocked, my mouth hung open and I couldn’t even think. This guy is one of the “handsomest” guys in Nigeria, and he thinks he’s a little better than ugly. The same guy who won the most handsome guy in his department on the regular when he was in the university and has a retinue of adoring fans till this day.

As I ended the call I was flummoxed at my friend’s cluelessness. I’d be uncomfortable being his girlfriend, yes its as bad as that! because I’d always have people wonder how I managed to snag “such a fine guy”.

I still had him on my mind when I went to the living room to eat my breakfast and my matriculation picture caught my eye. I was a teenager at the time but I thought I looked thirty-five (no jokes) and was as fat as a hippo. Standing in front of that picture this morning I wondered what kind of idiocy could have inspired such a thought. The girl in the picture looked very young and she wasn’t even fat. In hindsight I could see things the way they really were but back then? No! Right now I’m glad I had no conception of just how beautiful I was, my conceit would have hit meteoric levels. People would have had to fill forms to talk to me *I kid*. The whole thing leaves me wondering, how come we rarely see the awesome and wonderful things about ourselves? When others try to tell us we only wave them aside and claim they are flattering or even mocking us.

I remember all the beautiful dresses I refused to buy because I felt I was too fat for them or that my shoulder stretch marks made them impractical, despite my friend’s insistence that they’d fit perfectly.  How many opportunities have we missed because we decided we weren’t smart enough or rich enough or influential enough etc? And when we look back in five, ten years we discover we were just right for those things. Hero always says “the things we’ll regret the most at the end are not the things we did but the things we didn’t do”. I’m no motivational speaker and this is not an inspirational blog so I won’t sermonize, I’d just say this. You’re far more awesomely amazing than you think you are at the moment, don’t let nobody tell you different.

I was watching a YouTube clip of Majek Fashek’s appearance on David letterman’s show in the early 1990s. He performed my favourite Majek song “So long”, I’m not going to gush about the song… this is not a favorite song post. I wish someone had showed him an image of how he’d look like in less than twenty years, maybe that’d have made him get his act together. I watched a recent interview where he claimed “forces from home” were behind his sorry state, I felt so sad for him because he was obviously in the highest plain of delusion. Hopefully he’s the only person living there.

When I was a child (like three or four years old) I loved listening to him, I thought he knew me and had sang a song about my parents. Remember his song that had the lines
Mama Tete oyoyo
Papa Tete oyoyo
I thought he was singing for my parents, you see Adaeze is a tough name for kids to pronounce. Ask any child below three to pronounce the name and you’ll hear things like Adede, Atietie, dede or tete. I thought he couldn’t pronounce the name just like many of my friends. Anyway I always had a soft spot for him and I really hope he gets better or at least stops deteriorating. I just watched a video of one of his performances this year and the tears are still stinging my eyes. His voice is still on point though.
I pray we never waste the most important thing God gave us on this earth in the quest for the inconsequential, wasting our lives makes mockery of God. So weigh yourself and your life on a scale and see if you’re using your full potential.

Gizdodo according to Dooney

I love flitting from one food blog to another, from baking blogs to Nigerian food blogs. Along the way I’ve discovered a number of fantastic blogs along the way. However my runaway favourite is dooney’s kitchen, she makes cooking so simple and so much fun.

I decided to try one of her dishes, the popular gizdodo, I decided to try it with prawns first for the following reasons. One, I’m not very adaptable when it comes to new food. Two, I love prawns and would enjoy them under any circumstances. Three, I had prawns at home already. My friend Patrick bought them for me from shoprite Ikeja and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to make Chinese fried rice or prawn in dragon sauce which are my go-to prawn dishes.

The prawn-dodo was absolutely delicious, even my mom liked it and she’s even more unadaptable to new food than her only daughter. With that I had the boldness to make gizdodo.

My cousin was coming to Lagos on Friday and I decided to make gizdodo for her. On my way back from the bank and the market where I went to get ingredients, I was nearly robbed at gun point. This happened between 3pm and 3:30 pm, yes in broad daylight, in Aguda- Surulere. I’ll post the story here soon, as soon as I stop having “daymares” about it.I got home and started cooking, I’m really glad I had a culinary project. It helped me get over the initial trauma of having a gun pointed at me.

The recipe is available here, I’m not putting up the recipe here. I’m only going to share a few pictures from my kitchen.

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It was delicious but the prawn-dodo was better received by mummy and me. My dad and my cousin thought it was nice. I can positively call it a hit, abi beeko?

On Saturday all the females in the house trooped to Balogun market to buy things for my cousin and we were throughly drenched by ferocious rain that day.

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    Pre-market selfie

I’ve been having issues with my phone and tablet this month and I had to do data backup and retrieval a number of times. During one of the sessions I came across a picture I’d forgotten about, an awesome picture taken at a book reading in Surulere. A picture of me and one of my heroes *this is where Hero does the eye rolling thing*. None other than Okechukwu Ofili of http://www.ofilispeaks.com

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See how we complement each other 😉

I haven’t followed up on my favourite songs series, hopefully I’ll post something by tomorrow. In other news, I got invited by a blogger to contribute to a series she’d be running on her blog. I’m really excited about it, not because I think it’s a validation of my writing. I still have a long way to go on the writing thing but because it’s an opportunity for me work with a specified topic and with a deadline. I’m a free spirit when it comes to writing and would usually wait for inspiration to hit. I’m hoping this will help me adapt to a more disciplined schedule. Wish me luck, mi amigos.

Gratitude Challenge

So I was nominated for this challenge by my virtual brother and treasured friend John D Beloved of duru’s blog. The rules of the challenge are name three things you’re grateful for and nominate three other people (bloggers) for the challenge. It’s pretty simple innit? Well here are my answers.

The first thing I’m grateful for is the trinity, yes o! God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit. They’ve had my back from before I came into this world, even with my many sins and fuck-ups (pardon my Portuguese) God’s love for me has been unwavering. Through the many storms I’ve been through in this my short life, I always felt my heavenly father’s presence presence even though I felt he was too far away. How can I forget Jesus’s sacrifice for me on the cross, me Adaeze most miserable of sinners? For what na? And of course my beloved holy spirit, my paddy for jungle, friend, lover, comforter, adviser, gbogbo wan. I’m super grateful I’m a Christian and God’s favourite child.

I’m definitely grateful for my family, the excellent support system God blessed me with. Parents who are our friends, want only the best for us and would walk through hot coals for us. Who tell the scariest and wildest stories to prove their point. My dad who’s almost as wise as Solomon, who’d wrap us in cotton wool if we’d let him. A mother who gives our dreams wings, yet keeps us grounded. Her love for God and her family I struggle to imitate, if I had to describe her with one word, that word would be love. Obinna my brother, friend, listener to my rants and my bank when I’m broke. Ikenna my baby, confidante and football enthusiast. I have no sister but I’ve never felt deprived or anything cos of the wonderful boys who share the same last name (for now? Will I keep my surname after marriage? Adaeze Ezenwa has a beautiful ring don’t you think?),quirks, love for Coca Cola and blood group.

I’m grateful for friendships, my friends past and present. My physical and  virtual friends who have enriched my life in so many ways. For my many relatives, uncles, aunties, cousins even to the fifth degree(yes I have fifth cousins who I’m close to), who make me grateful for the African concept of family.

Now to my nominees, I nominate Oris of http://www.thepingofpong.wordpress.com, Olugbenga of http://www.gmwrites.wordpress.com and Obinna Ezenwa of the empty blog http://igweeobyno.blogspot.com. You have a week to accept this challenge, it’s not like there’s any water involved sef.

Copyright
© Adaeze Chinanuekpere Ezenwa, 2013-2014.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and
written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly
prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear
credit is given to Adaeze Chinanuekpere Ezenwa with appropriate and
specific direction to the original content.

A sonnet for Hero

Sometimes the best things come when one’s focus is on other things
It’s right in front of you, you’re just not attuned to what buzzing in your face
You’ve consigned yourself to plodding along, on your weary way to Sokoto,
Wouldn’t occur to you to check your shokoto, would it?
Then the fog lifts, you find the answers you’ve sought.
For questions you didn’t even know you had.
A smile, an outstretched hand and twinkling eyes tilt your world
A listening ear and a caring heart splatter the sterile walls of your life with bursts of colour
And you’re awash with wonder, for your blessings overwhelm you
You want to dance in the moonlight, shout from the rooftops
You’re giddy like alcohol is pumped by your heart, you smile like you’re Mansa Musa
You’re glad you had this gift even if it’s for only an hour, it’s an hour glistening with magic
One person has changed everything and you’ll never forget where you were
And I hope you can finally see the joy you’ve brought my way, and the reasons I love you.

Happy birthday Hero, I know you’ll get a barrage of wishes and prayers, so I’ll just say you’re going to achieve things even you can’t conceptualize.
You are loved, cherished and adored by many, you’re wealthy in the things that count, never forget that my friend, never forget

Copyright
© Adaeze Chinanuekpere Ezenwa, 2013-2014.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and
written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly
prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear
credit is given to Adaeze Chinanuekpere Ezenwa with appropriate and
specific direction to the original content.