That’s The Way, I Like It…

I probably have a thousand favourite songs and one of them is the No 1 hit by KC & The Sunshine Band – That’s The Way I Like It. I am extremely partial to songs made in the 1970s – funk, rock and disco – the unholy trinity that gets me into nirvana. I like 70’s pop and soul too but I think those genres really got great in the 1980s and of course Jazz is timeless, no era can lay claim.

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The Brighter Life.

Two things triggered this post, someone’s tweet about celebrating her boyfriend’s 33rd birthday and Ifediora’s Facebook post about beer.

 

As a child, I absolutely loved the adverts on TV and radio. I preferred adverts to TV shows, often being annoyed that boring TV shows were interrupting my adverts. Perhaps I was more drawn to the songs, I’ve always been more interested in music than anything else.

 

Thursdays was my favourite day of the week because Lever Brothers’s 8pm slot had my favourite adverts, from Treetop to Breeze soap to Walls Ice Cream (I can still sing the complete song and I can probably write a one-thousand-word post on my memories of that brand of ice cream) and of course, planta margarine with the family descending the stairs and how it made want to be grown up for some reason.

 

I remember Checkmate as being this incredibly annoying show which interrupted my adverts on Thursdays. The only thing I remember about the show was Uncle Norbert Young played a professor in it and there was a young lady called Tamuno who was blackmailing him or something. Funny, I don’t even remember RMD from the show, just the professor and Tamuno and the Fuji family.

 

But Beer adverts had my entire heart, from Gulder’s Ultimate advert with the Rolls Royce as the ultimate car, Everest and diamond as the ultimate in their category and gulder the ultimate beer to Guinness power adverts, I loved them all. My favourite one however, was Star’s Share the Brighter Life advert.

 

It couldn’t have been more perfect if I had directed it myself, the bright lights and happy people who were clinking glass as white bubbles floated on the gold liquid which called my name. I wanted to be grown up so bad, to be an adult who would go to parties and share the brighter life while drinking that beautiful liquid.

 

I am still puzzled by my reaction to the partying in that advert because I have never liked parties. When I look at the pictures from my first birthday, I always chuckle at the varied expressions of discomfort on my face. The older me recognizes all of them, I wanted to be away from the noise and the pesky children.

 

Uncle Nnamdi was concurrently the best uncle in the world and the coolest person ever, you could tell him anything – literally anything at all, and he would take it seriously and you could have an actual conversation about it. He didn’t snitch or preach, he would listen and give advice that made more sense than anything we’d ever heard before.

 

One day when I was seven, Uncle Nnamdi was around that evening and we were all watching TV. After singing along to the star advert on TV, I went to meet him where he was perched on the sofa with one leg folded under him as was his usual custom.

 

He rubbed my head – another usual custom of his, as I sat next to him while the questions burning my mind were speeding up my throat. He was the only person I could have this conversation with without getting a shouting or lectures or reminders about my being a child. I was seven years old at the time and inside my head I was a grown woman.

 

I really hated being a child but my true hatred was reserved for the occasions when someone said, “Scosco/Adaku/Nnedi you’re just a child and you can’t do this or you can’t understand that because you’re a child”. Uncle Nnamdi never did that, he would explain anything I wanted to know with a fascinating story. He and his immediate elder sister – my mother, could make up stories instantly about any topic and for many years, I thought those stories were gospel.

 

I asked him how adults could bear to drink beer even though it was very bitter, I was asking because I wanted to start drinking Star lager but the bitter taste was a deterrent. I didn’t even know that I couldn’t even afford beer as I had no money. My grandmother (who lived nearby) sold drinks and at the time I didn’t know I needed money to get drinks, because if I wanted anything I would ask my grandmother and get it.

 

Was it still bitter in their mouths when they drank it? When would it stop being bitter for me? I asked. He told me my taste buds were not mature enough to taste the sweetness of beer, when I was grown up I would like it. On my thirty-third birthday, my taste buds would suddenly acquire the ability to enjoy the taste of beer. This was why there was a beer named “33” export lager beer because 33 was the age for starting beer.

 

“So it would disappear like magic?” I asked, for I wanted to be a glamourous magician when I grew up.

“Exactly Computer, just like magic.” He replied and rubbed my head again.

 

And so, I relaxed about the beer matter because I now understood beer was a thing to wait to grow up for. When I finally turned 33, I would drink beer and enjoy parties and share the brighter life without getting a headache about the noise people made in parties.

 

I have been excited about turning 33 since then, it is the only birthday which truly excites me. 18 was only noteworthy because I could get to vote and drive, neither of which I did at 18 anyway, but 33 was the real deal for me, the one which meant I was finally grown up.

 

I am still looking forward to turning 33 but for a long time I had forgotten exactly why 33 was so special (and not just because Jesus finished his earthly ministry at 33).

 

You know, I’d give anything in the world to be able to share a bottle of Star or “33” with Uncle Nnamdi on the cool December 31st evening of my 33rd birthday.

 

 

Offended Not.

When I turned 15, I got a diary for a birthday present. It was a slim book with black covers and I was enthralled by it. I religiously recorded everything which happened to me in the tiny spaces between the lines. I had forgotten about the diary all this time, until I saw a post on Facebook yesterday about using a gas cooker for the first time and I remembered how my diary died.

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Mad Oh!

I made a post on Facebook asking if I could use crayfish in the pancakes I was about to make and a comment on the post reminded me of something that happened a long time ago.
 
So this thing happened almost exactly fourteen years ago (I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years sef, does this mean I’m old?). It was either late January or very early February 2006. I’m tilting towards January though because by Valentine’s Day of that year, all the proper occupants of the room had fully settled into the room.
 
It was in my first year at Uniben and I had just moved my things from my temporary accommodation in Block C of Hall One to my ‘permanent’ space in Block B. It was hard for me because we had already bonded very well in the temporary room and I was the first to leave because the owner of my bed space had come very early to claim it.
 
In the new room, the squatters were still in full control of the room but I easily bounced the one on my bed. The madam even wanted us to share the bed with me, she had such nonsense guts sha.
 
The young lady who was also temporarily on the lower bunk was in 200 level and she was a rather friendly and bubbly babe who kept promising to bring me Awake! Magazine but never did, she was a Jehovah’s Witness.
 
One evening, she came back from lectures with a black bag and she seemed very excited. She told me she was going to make pancakes that evening, she had been craving some and she was finally going to make them.
 
As she danced around the room and talked about her special pancakes, I got more and more suspicious. I have an uncle who would act as if his recipe is from heaven and his food was going to be eaten only by God.
 
“Adasco, when you eat this food you will not agree to eat anybody’s food again.” He would say as whistled and cooked his wonderful meals that turned out to be…
Please I don’t any goat to settle ndi Umunna Umunawiri.
 
Anyway, I wasn’t impressed by her and her drama because I don see am tire since I be small pikin. She brought out an onion and started chopping it and from my bed I felt real fear. Why was she cutting this onion, what did the innocent onion do to her?
 
She finished the onion and brought out ata rodo and began to chop it and I knew that there was a snake in the thatched roof. I asked her what she was going to do with the onion and pepper she had just put in a plate and she told me she was going to use them to make the pancakes.
 
If this happened in 2020 AD, I would have screamed “Mad oh!” but at the time, that perfect phrase was still blowing in the wind and waiting for Marlians to bring it to life.
 
So I sat on my bed and watched her mix her ingredients, the onion bits, pepper, crayfish, one satchet of cowbell, water and flour. She stirred the mixture and got her frying pan to start frying.
 
No eggs? I thought. Mad oh!
 
I asked her about eggs and she said she forgot. She asked me to please go and get an egg for her from the common room store and I told her I couldn’t climb down from my bed and go to the common room when she was already on the floor, (this was still at the time when saying no was so easy for me, I miss those times).
 
I didn’t go for two reasons. the first was; if she could remember to get an onion, peppers, crayfish etc for the pancakes, she could have also gotten some damn eggs as well.
The second was that I had noticed that beneath her niceness was a tendency to take advantage of people. I didn’t spend those years in boarding school for somebody to come and use my head in the university.
 
She scooped the batter into the hot oil and waited for the pancakes to form. That day she learned that eggs were an essential ingredient in the making of pancakes as what resulted in the frying pan can only be described as the abomination that causes desolation.
 
I learned an important lesson too that day though, don’t mess with the classic pancake recipe. It will not end in praise.
 
 

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Can We Catch Up?

Some days ago, a video surfaced on major news sites about a group of boys in Kaduna who were making sci-fi short films. These boys from humble backgrounds, armed with a rickety laptop and knowledge obtained from Youtube videos were able to make videos with decent effects and green screen tech. See story HERE

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Overjoyed In A Square Circle.

The title of this post is taken from the title of one of my favourite songs and the album it’s from. Stevie Wonder the aptly named Miracle, penned and sang the song in 1985 – a couple of years before I was born. I listened to the song as I typed the bulk of this post and I’m just discovering on Wikipedia that Earl Klugh strummed the guitar for this song.

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