Can you remember the first time you left your country? It’s impossible for me to remember because I’ve been travelling since I was five years old, going to new countries sometimes five times a week or even more often.Continue reading →
I found a book at work (new job) and it was a book I’d heard about for years, had seen it in several stores and with several people but had never deigned to read it. During my interview, my boss handed it to one of the interns. The plan was for them to have a copy of the book to read. Seeing this piqued my interest, but I forgot about it. When I resumed work and was looking for a certain item, I found the book and I decided to read it.Continue reading →
I called my cousin this afternoon, with great joy she told me she passed JAMB along with her elder brother. When I came to Benin to write PUME, she was a newborn while her brother was a tiny toddler who rolled his tongue when he cried. I couldn’t be prouder of both of them, two smart teenagers with calm heads on their shoulders.Continue reading →
It’s hard sometimes to remember this love.
When life is hard, when nothing works and the darkness swirls around my soul threatening to shut off the light. I stumble in the grey, wishing for a miracle, hoping that you remember me.Continue reading →
Kosarachi set the tray down in precise angles, the edge of the tray was perpendicular to the breadth of the table, the two plates exactly equidistant from the outer rim of the tray. Chikezie’s heart rate sputtered as he drew closer to the table. This could only mean one thing, Kosarachi wanted something.Continue reading →
When I was a child, I loved going to the market with my mother, it wasn’t until my second year at Uniben when I went to Uselu market with Rosemary that I understood why some people hated going to the market with their mother.Continue reading →
Nearly thirty years ago, Gary Chapman wrote and published a book titled “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. The book has since become a bestseller (has been on NYT list non-stop for over a decade) and has become a cornerstone in Christian marriage counselling.Continue reading →
October is rolling over while November’s eager to replace it. I hope it’s better than October was, it had better be much better. It would be nice if November came with plenty blessings and rewards for the efforts of months gone by, wouldn’t it? Can I hear an Amen in the house?Continue reading →
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.Continue reading →
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.