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.

 

 

I’d be Dead

I had a relapse of a Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding that has plagued me for several years.

Yesterday afternoon, I was lying in bed while Obinna sat on the bed beside me and my youngest brother paced the room as we talked.

 

We were teasing Obi about becoming more handsome since he miraculously gained 1kg when Ikenna said for the first time ever, people were telling him that his brother was finer than him. Continue reading →

Get Up and Dance!

I listen to music when I write, or read or cook – especially while cooking, takes my mind off the tedium. This evening I’m reviewing a manuscript and set my playlist on random because I need the jolt of strange songs so I wouldn’t fall asleep. I rarely do that. I like to control what I listen to. Continue reading →

Not by power: Not by might.

There were several scenarios Sebastian Okonkwo had figured would play out in his life when he was forty, he expected several cars in his garage, a house in the city and a bigger, fancier one in Obizi. He had expected to have travelled to several countries and to be able to wear a suit without feeling awkward. There was a time he had been foolish and thought he would be married to a beautiful Mexican woman with her long hair brushing her buttocks when she moved, but he mentioned it to his mother once and the memory of the knock she landed on his head just before saying tufiakwa was still strong in his head, that incident knocked out the silly fantasy. Continue reading →

Ngozi…

My father has an ‘unusual’ middle name, it’s fairly common but unusual still. A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a post that referenced the name – maybe it’s Tsar’s post actually. Anyway, he made a quip about the name on the post and I threatened to report him to the bearer of the name, but something nagged at me.

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The daughter and the god.

When the child was given to you, placed in your belly by the father of gods even though you chose to thank the man with the white robes, messenger of the strangers’ god. We hoped you would remember to teach her about us. We watched you through the veil, as you pressed your fingers on beads and prayed for a godly seed. We wondered how you could not tell you were carrying a god.

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It’s Refillable

This isn’t the post I’d scheduled for today, I already have 500+ words of a post titled Anywhere which is a love letter of sorts to Passenger who is a British singer/songwriter. I started it after midnight and wrote until OmoT’s battery heroically gave out after nearly seven hours of writing without power- writing and watching YouTube videos (let me say the truth). My new laptop gives me great joy.

The YouTube videos were research for the post though. Sadly, EKEDC didn’t restore power according to their normal schedule of giving us light from a few minutes past midnight to a few minutes past 6am – you can nearly set your watch by it.

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Flower In The Rain.

There are days that stand out in my head and today, August 7th is one of them. My very precious cousin was born today, his name is Uche and we’ve been a cat and dog pair since we both began to talk. We’re age mates, born the same year but I like to pretend I’m older, it annoys him.

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