Good week everyone. The reception of last week’s post was very refreshing in its mini controversy. The Igbo musician, Osita Osadebe’s famous song, may his soul rest in peace, Osondi Owendi (some like it, some hate it) is so apt in this case. Many thanks to my many readers: Ebbe (Aba die? Been ages!), Kemi, Formerly Stealth Reader – can’t beat that name for humour, Rosa Winkler, JustDoyin, Nollywood Forever to mention just a very few, and of course the very dear ones who choose to remain anonymous and just want to enjoy a (hopefully) good read on my blog. Muchos gracias to you all. I had one very offended reader who felt my attempt at logic in the way I would create humans to adapt to their environment with a view to caring for their young, however numerous, and our conception of beauty relating to the result, as being typically (being a man) obsessed with breasts. Like I said before, osondi owendi. Thank you all the same.
I had a revelation over the weekend, one of those small steps that take you further and further down that road towards enlightenment about who you are and what you want in life. I went to see a friend of mine I had become acquainted with not too long ago at her residence by the ocean on the island of Lagos. It was a lovely place, not the flat; which was quite sumptuous, you can get that anywhere, but the view was breathtaking. The green glassy sea with the fishermen in their canoes looking like a picture occasionally betrayed by a gentle waft of that thickly humid breeze native only to Lagos. She then told me of her love for water which had been with her since childhood thus making this newly acquired abode of hers like a dream come true and her therapeutic haven. I looked at her and saw the way her eyes lit up as she looked out the sea, drinking in the view that was all hers and turn to me for affirmation. I hesitated, looking at the sea and wondering what was missing and whether I truly and wholly shared her sentiment, fearing to hurt her feelings and yet determined to say what was on my mind when it came. Trees! There were no trees. I think that’s where I realized where my pet therapeutic love lay.
My recent working trip to Kaduna brought me close to a world that I love so much. Because the movie I was working on there was set in the seventies, I had to grow a pair of sideburns that my manager Nkem thought hideous – I’ll try and see if I can upload the pictures on this page, we had to choose locations that would depict the sane genteel urban setting of the time. A time when houses where built to specifications which followed orientations of cross ventilation and sun settings during the day – thanks Nse! (he’s my architect friend, had to call him up to coin it for me so I don’t look stupid), and compounds had trees surrounding them completely eliminating the need for air-conditioning. It breaks my heart when I see fine and sometimes unnecessarily monstrous buildings on a sizeable plot of land, only to have the rest of the available space obliterated by slabs of ugly concrete; no greenery of any kind allowed! The adage, Money miss road rings so true in these apologies for places of abode. One of the locations we sought out was a fairly large compound with a colonial style bungalow in the middle. It wasn’t very large- probably about four bedrooms big – and had a low slung roof and was wonderfully surrounded by lots and lots of mango and Dongoyaro trees which gave it such a serene atmosphere. The harshness of the sun was cut down to a minimum, the breeze rustled through the branches, lizards darted in and out of the gnarled roots that crisscrossed all over the yard and a little bird even pooped on the top of my head from high up in the branches. Beautiful! I looked out at that sea musingly and I know I had that same illuminated look in my eyes when I turned to my friend and told her that trees were my therapeutic haven.
Like I said earlier, the journey to self discovery is a never ending one even to the point of the grave. This life, I see, is full of challenges and it behoves one to strive to make his her environment as comfortable as possible for him or herself. I believe in life after death but I also believe it is possible for every one to create his or her own heaven on earth. Being rich is not a prerequisite to creating an area of comfort. Pictures, paintings of and visits to the desired haven would suffice until one gets to ones goal. Have you made out the time to find yours? Have a great week everybody