Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mind over Matter

A good week of the mid month to everyone. I don’t know what to say except that I had a very good day today. It’s hard to pinpoint what is actually making me grin from ear to ear so I’ll just keep rambling on and on and hopefully the coin will drop into the slot somewhere along the line. I spent the weekend at my friend JB’s and we did a lot of catching up as we always do after a considerable time apart; he lives in the Lekki part of Lagos and I on the mainland and all who know Lagos know that these two locations are traffic miles apart! Anyway one of the things I went to do on the island was to give a television interview on what my life is like as an actor. One of the questions Simi, my interviewer, asked me was what my most embarrassing moment was. My mind went down memory lane and a smile lit on my face. I don’t know why it wasn’t that hard for me to recount given my, I think, shy nature but I thought I’d perhaps share it with you.

I’d gone to live with my maternal uncle in Oturkpo, Benue state for a year with a view to study hard for my JAMB university entrance exams. My JAMB result of the previous year while enough to get me into the university of my choice, had not met with the very high grades required by the department I applied for so I had to sit for it a second time. My uncle was the vice principal of a teacher training college in the town and this provided me with the perfect environment for study even though, to my chagrin, it was to be under his stern supervision. Alas, what goes around does come around. My father, of blessed memory, had bought him up as a child and tutored him through school in the old fashioned ways of the missionaries – the cane. Truly, the adage that goes, if the alligator will eat its own eggs, what won’t it do with the hide of a frog, rings so true. I, as well as my siblings, received second hand the taste of my father’s strict upbringing when his arm was beginning to tire. My uncles, maternal and paternal, received it first hand. My dad, not fondly called ‘Teacher Egbui’, then a standard (primary) school teacher, was famed and feared as the teacher whose arm never came down. He could go through the entire school in the village with the cane and not tire – my uncles had the misfortune of living with him. But that is a story for another day. Suffice it to say that my dear uncle was determined that I made the high grades required for the university of my choice. I stray again… Sometimes I fear for my children, and my grandchildren when I grow old; I’ll probably kill them with stories! Sorry, my most embarrassing moment.

It was about noon. I had just finished studying for the morning and was getting ready to go to the market to buy ingredients for lunch – yes I was also the cook of the house. I came out to the backyard with just my towel tied round my waist and a pail in my left hand to fetch water from the tank at the back of the house. The tank was a five hundred litre tank. The kind that have no taps but can only be accessed by removing the top lid and bending over the edge to scoop the water within with the bucket. On this particular day the tank was only a quarter full and so I had to stand on a stool to bend over and scoop the desired amount of water needed for my bath. As I did so, the towel loosened from my waist and fell to the ground. My uncle’s quarters, a large four bedroom bungalow stood in the middle of a row of six houses that formed the senior staff quarters with no fences demarcating them. Each building had a two bedroom servant quarters annexed to it. Some ladies about my age, to whom my uncle had leased the servant quarters, four in number, one of whom I fancied, were plaiting each other’s hair and sharing gossip on their veranda. I could feel the warm sun on my naked behind and the sudden hush behind me. I straightened up and looked at the ground behind me. Sure enough there was my towel lying on the hard ground far below and beyond my reach with the chickens pecking for food around it. Barely breathing I dared to cast a glance at the girls to find all four of them staring back at me as if to see what my next move would be. I calmly turned round, bent over, scooped my water, came down the stool, set the pail on the ground, picked my towel, tied it round my waist, looked them in the eye – at which they averted their gaze – picked the bucket and went into the house! The next week one of the girls, not the one I liked, came over to ask if I could go over some old examination question papers with her. Mind over matter!

I learnt, still am, that no situation is irredeemable no matter how hopeless. Here’s where I welcome all kinds of experiences even if it’s under the aegis of anonymity. Heck, I’ve shown you mine so you show me yours. :) Have a great week everyone and may every cloud carry a bold silver ling with it.

17 comments:

  1. How old were u when this happened? i can imagine though,atleast, u were in secondary school.
    You need to have seen me laughing while reading ur post, i almost developed headache.
    It was a nice story anyway, very nice and funny too!!!!!!!
    Esther Ujebe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting and very funny too!
    U should have seen me laughing.
    Ujebe Esther.

    ReplyDelete
  3. lolololol that was hilarious i wish i was part of the girls lolol

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG! That must have been really embarrassing. Sorry about that. It's quite funny though!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Couldn't help but laugh..... Lots of mental strength too to not panic and rush to cover up! First time here.. Clicked through from Mola's blog!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey there K,I'm from Benue State hope you liked it?anyways,your story was hilarious,lmfbo but I have a great deal of respect for you for the way you handled the situation.I would have jumped into th tank and never come out:-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. haaaaaaaa, God, just imagining how u managed to work out of the scene. nice one though

    ReplyDelete
  8. hahaha! how embarassing...but I like the way u handled it...quite mature...LOL...

    ReplyDelete
  9. good start to my day!
    am smiling and happy to be alive!!!
    keep the thought juices flowing!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Laughing(: sorry oh! any other person would have rushed to pick the towel and skipped taking his/her bath for the next one week. but u braved it and dared them! u are still my hero on this one 'K'. but then, that was also pwety naughty of u, to bare ur butt to those 'innocent' gals. baaaaaaaaaaad boy!

    Ok, this is just one of my embarrassing moments…

    i got this caller early this year. wont tell me who gave him my number. He insisted on meeting me. Agreed to meet him a couple of days later. it turned out to be a very embarrassing meeting. Dint know who was most embarrassed - him for showing it or me for not showing it when all I wanted to do was dig a tunnel to another planet.

    I got home and faced the jury (my sisters). “so?” they asked. I put both palms under my chin, placed a smile on my face hoping to hide my embarrassment and said “am older than him”

    They attacked at once “so bloody what?” “Age is nothing but numbers!” “Maturity is the key word” “maybe your destiny is with someone younger” You are looking for excuses jare” “how many years are we talking about here that you are already brushing him off?
    I looked at them with a smile that stopped on my lips and quietly replied “6yrs older.” they were silent for half a second and busted into laughter, some of them hooting while others threw yabs at me obviously enjoying the situation. And needless to say they made me recount everything that happened. I’ve got this close knitted family, so they proceeded to inform the rest of the clan on phone…

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aside from being my favourite naija actor, i have to say you're top on my bloggers list. I'm very impatient with blogs generally so if u don't give all the gist in the first 3 lines, i just go onto something else, BUT with yours i've read every post, every line, not skipping anything. You write BEAUTIFULLY!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Totally hilarious, bravo at how you handled yourself, jo! The ting don happen already, wetin you fo do? LOL. I will share my own little ditty with you as well...I was strutting my stuff across this rather busy intersection in New York wearing this pants that were a tad long for me (I have this illusion that I am 6ft:)) when I step on the it and fell flat on my face in front of the cars that were stopped at a red light. I was so embarassed as I picked myself up from the ground but then I thought what the heck, and took a bow and kept on strutting on my 3 1/2 inch heels. I got some honks and applauses...heck, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em I say LOL.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. lol, good one Ebbe, and Kalu, I'm a regular reader now. Envy those chicks!!!

    Here goes mine... at work, I had just got very cute braids done. Cost me some fortune but hey, it's all about beauty, right? So I walk into the office, check the firesheet, strut my stuff to my desk and we are talking open plan seating, about 180 or so on my floor. I'm in Scotland and here, you have to keep explaining over and over what on earth became of your hair over a weekend. Anyway, back to my horrid experience... I'm still strutting away thinking, you go girl! But no... oh no!! for some reason, some guy following me taps my shoulder and goes hiya pal, you ok? I'm like yeah, couldn't be better, Why? I ask, at this point looking back only to catch his very bewildered look. He's holding two of my braids... the silly things that hang on to a strand or two worth of hair at back. A small crowd is beginning to assemble inquisitively wanting me to explain why my hair is falling off in bits.
    Of course they had all overheard me ranting about it all being'my hair'.

    ... I kept the braids a whole two months!

    ReplyDelete
  14. formerly stealth readerJuly 14, 2009 at 8:18 PM

    lol stories to share uhmm ...............dis is gonna be tough, u see everywhere i go embarrassment makes it a point to find me! there r alot of stories n they r so long.
    am just gonna tell dis one even though u might say i probably brought it upon myself n i wasnt as embarrassed as i thot i wud be....i hope d story still counts lol.
    well it was a dark evening was in d hostel n i was meant to see a friend off, when i decided its evening, there was no light n boys probably wont be in d hostel, it wud be such a waste to go to d wardrobe to pull out clothes to put on. so out i walked on d road wit my friend who i must add warned me to put some clothes on but thinking i was joking and didnt intend to walk far agreed to walk out d door with me , i was enjoying d fresh air lol when i noticed 2 figures approaching before i realized one was a boy, twas tu late for him (lol) his eyes widened like saucers cos i cud tell he cud make out d outline of my underwear which incidentally was black now i wonder why i didnt blend in with d darkness.......anyways seeing d look of shock on his face i somehow got dis boldness n i looked at him questioningly as if he was d crazy half undressed one and we passed each other, i was so amused by the shock, lol luk of unbelief on his face dat i didnt even glance at his female companion we just kept walking i and my friend no snickering we walked passing the other two without saying a word lol it was epic. it was a gud day and a strangely liberating experience for me as i am a shy person(i did feel a wee bit embarrassed but not as much as my mind wud have wanted me to feel lol)am glad my mum hates computers cos she wudnt approve lol, of course there r mo embarrassing stories some of which i vow to take to d grave n some of which i wish my family wud have selective amnesia over if it would only save me from their incessant teasing lol

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ok, lemme first say my bro (who's an avid blogger and fan of yours too)just introduced me to your blog yesterday. What does that make me? Old school innit?
    Anyways methinks my own experiences takes the cake on all y'all.
    Ok, it was after a date with this guy i fancied who liked me right back and we were back at his place doing a movie and talking and generally continuing with the after-date sturvs sha (you know how it is). when he told this really funny joke and i burst out laughing, now if it was only the snort that emitted from someone i still believe wasn't me i coulda lived it down but no, i had to go and fart tooo....needless to say i had to form laughter for the next few minutes to cover up my mortification.
    Now doesn't it seem like you had a walk in the park compared?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know this is about a year belated. You guys should not hate the dork in me. I only just sort of started busying myself with this blog thing. Was busy trying to carve a niche for myself on earth. Yea, to make my parents proud. I'm not much of a blabber so, I'd just head for the point.

    Yea, my most o-let-a-volcano-erupt-right-under-me-and-turn-me-to-precious-stone-moment... It happened 7 years ago (way back in secondary school)...i feel sooo old now. Anyway, there was this guy - *rolling my eyes now* - who I had a thingy for. I wish I could mention his name but I can't(you guys all know his dad and they bear exact names. I'll call him O.P).
    Here goes,i was in SS2 and he in SS3. We were the untouchables. School was doing some renovations and so, students had to move to completed side of the school. I and a friend decided to take a stroll to the out-of-bounds site being renovated and lo was O.P and his friend also strolling in that direction. we tailed them to a classroom. They knew we were there so(my girlfriend and me) we coyishly went to next classroom, sat on the desk and talked about what we'd do if they come over. Game plan was to act as if we act like we talked to boys like them all the time.
    When O.P came over, he shook my friend's hand first and introduced himself. Meanwhile, my heart was thumping (I was a seriously shy kid). When he came over to my desk and went, '' hi, I'm O.P and you are?'' (with his hand extended). What I planned to do initially was form, then take the handshake. But, 5 seconds turned into 10 seconds and maybe even 2minutes with me just moping. I can remember my friend calling my name over and over again but I seemed to be in a trance.
    O.P stood in front of me for eternity (i think) while I sat with my mouth open and staring till he left. Twas immediately after I snapped back from my trance. My friend almost killed me for that.
    Up till date, I don't know what happened to me plus, my path and O.P's have never crossed. Hope he forgets.
    There!!! I hope no one here knows me.
    Wise Sage and Ebbe, Your story trumps sha.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know this is about a year belated. You guys should not hate the dork in me. I only just sort of started busying myself with this blog thing. Was busy trying to carve a niche for myself on earth. Yea, to make my parents proud. I'm not much of a blabber so, I'd just head for the point.

    Yea, my most o-let-a-volcano-erupt-right-under-me-and-turn-me-to-precious-stone-moment... It happened 7 years ago (way back in secondary school)...i feel sooo old now. Anyway, there was this guy - *rolling my eyes now* - who I had a thingy for. I wish I could mention his name but I can't(you guys all know his dad and they bear exact names. I'll call him O.P).
    Here goes,i was in SS2 and he in SS3. We were the untouchables. School was doing some renovations and so, students had to move to completed side of the school. I and a friend decided to take a stroll to the out-of-bounds site being renovated and lo was O.P and his friend also strolling in that direction. we tailed them to a classroom. They knew we were there so(my girlfriend and me) we coyishly went to next classroom, sat on the desk and talked about what we'd do if they come over. Game plan was to act as if we act like we talked to boys like them all the time.
    When O.P came over, he shook my friend's hand first and introduced himself. Meanwhile, my heart was thumping (I was a seriously shy kid). When he came over to my desk and went, '' hi, I'm O.P and you are?'' (with his hand extended). What I planned to do initially was form, then take the handshake. But, 5 seconds turned into 10 seconds and maybe even 2minutes with me just moping. I can remember my friend calling my name over and over again but I seemed to be in a trance.
    O.P stood in front of me for eternity (i think) while I sat with my mouth open and staring till he left. Twas immediately after I snapped back from my trance. My friend almost killed me for that.
    Up till date, I don't know what happened to me plus, my path and O.P's have never crossed. Hope he forgets.
    There!!! I hope no one here knows me.
    Wise Sage and Ebbe, Your story trumps sha.

    ReplyDelete