Sunday, December 25, 2011
First thing I’m going to do after getting rid of you guys is I’m going to pounce on a soundly sleeping Frieda. I love it when she wakes up startled – she likes sleeping on her tummy, hehehe- looks around confused, gives the lamest attempt at protesting – she’s the worst actress ever – settles in with a small smile and starts purring like a lazy cat as I start to intensify my administrations. Fly hands fly! Don’t worry folks, she did the same to me last night - I was asleep too! Fly hands fly!
After the expenditure I shall take a thirty minute nap, wake up, take a shower and begin to plot whose houses I’m going to raid. I will of course be putting the homes with the best of cooks at the top of my priority list. Only homes full of love and warmth but with not so adept culinary skills will top the former, however I will do my best to enjoin the latter to join forces with the former to make for a laudable success. And just so I don’t appear inconsiderate, I shall be armed with a bottle of wine for each household; a pretence of a fair exchange to mask the stealth predator that I am. I shall of course endeavour not to drive as i plan on being properly inebriated in the course of the night – safely ensconced among friends of course. Fly hands fl... oh heck!
Whoooo! That was fantastic! Sorry guys, couldn’t wait. Off now for my thirty minute slumber. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a great year everyone!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Faith plays my character’s other love interest in the movie being shot at the moment. She’s one of the most effervescent ladies I have met who affects one almost instantly with her bubbly nature upon meeting her. I mean how many Nigerian women travel widely around the world for reasons other than shopping or hustling – and by hustling I mean honest, legal enterprise which,contrary to negative opinion, is what most of our wonderful ladies do? Faith travels widely on excursions, professional gigs and even skiing trips. Talk about breaking the norm. she had the gumption to stand up to her parents and do what she always wanted to do – music of the rock genre, and is actually very good at it. Like a smart Naija babe too, she made sure she bagged a good university degree, started a business that currently runs itself before gallivanting the length and breadth of the globe in pursuit of her dream. Youth reading this, please take note and be smarter than me. I’m meeting up with her later this week over coffee and that I am looking forward to.
Christmas is almost upon us and from the way things are, it looks like I’ll be spending my Christmas here in the US. I can’t seem to get a flight to Lagos earlier than the 28th so I’m looking to make the rest of my stay here in the States as eventful as possible. Fortunately, I tracked down two friends I haven’t heard from in a while; one’s in New York and the other’s in Dallas. I’m opting for the one in Dallas because my cousin lives there as well and it’s the warmer of the two. Even if I do go there, I wonder what the difference will be apart from the routine stuffing of one’s belly with food and drink; the very reason I want to run away from this place where I am. One of the greatest crimes one can commit, as I learnt from Thanksgiving, is to refuse people’s generous offer of food, especially as it is often a gesture of love in our African culture. Perhaps if we lived in the Roman times when there were vomiting troughs for the relief of overstuffed bellies so their owners could return to their gluttony, it would be a different matter, but my ever slowing metabolism dictates the pace these days.
As I sit here in this gray winter in Minnesota I keep asking myself what one does for amusement in this weather that does not involve drinking, eating, clubbing or the cinema? Ice fishing? Hunting? I can’t even shoot a catapult let alone a - Wait a minute! That’s it! I can go learn how to shoot at a shooting range! And then next time I come, I can take up hunting! Thanks guys, I got it; I got my mojo back! Now I can go to bed. No, I’ll do that after watching two more episodes of Family Guy and Robot Chicken. Have a great week everyone!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I am an avid driving enthusiast. I love to drive in all environs and strive to do so in whatever country I visit, just so I can get a feel of the pulse of its natives. The added challenge of driving on the left hand side of the road, which is the case when I travel to countries like the UK, is one, or mad cities like Paris where cars are used to nudge other cars – with their occupants still inside them- out of the way so they can fit better into parking spaces , or the mad mad Lagos traffic where the proclivity to having an accident is almost entirely dependent upon whether one has a loud functioning car horn or not. Like I said before, Minnesota traffic is boring. One never exceeds the set speed limits on its roads without the risk of getting speed tickets from bored policemen under pressure from overstaffed stations to rake in as much revenue as possible to be able to keep their jobs. Roads are wide and the traffic is sparse. Rush hour in Minnesota means driving ten miles (sixteen kilometres) in twenty minute; in Lagos, rush hour means driving sixteen kilometers in three hours. And traffic jam? Well, let me put it this way. On my way home one day, I hit a traffic jam not two kilometres from my home. Since I was already near, I relaxed, unperturbed, and waited. Three hours and two hundred metres later and almost tearing my hair out in frustration, I pulled over to the side and went into a peppersoup joint. Two odekus (big stout) and two bowls of goat meat peppersoup later, I got into my car and got back in line three cars behind the car that was right behind me when I pulled over at the joint TWO hours earlier. Enough said.
You can then understand my low opinion of the Minnesotan rush hour which Benitez, our operational manager who takes us about to places we need to go, continuously complains about; that is until a few weeks ago when the snow finally fell for the first time. It fell on a Saturday, as had been precisely predicted by the weather forecasters five days earlier and as always, the soft look of the brilliant white sheet over everything thrilled everyone in the room; everyone but the battle hardened drivers in the group who knew what the fluffy innocent sheets portended. We drove out unto the crunchy ice of the just fallen snow on the quiet side streets jabbering animatedly. There were four of us in the car and the plan was to drop the other two passengers off before me because I lived the furthest away. We turned the corner into the main road listening to a tale of some vitriolic prima donna who loved to give waiters a hard time when suddenly we noticed the two cars in front of us were struggling to stop. We followed suit and to our horror, well my horror actually, realized we were on a smooth sheet of ice and car wasn’t going to stop. I watched mesmerized as our vehicles slewed all over the place and ours finally came under control when our quick thinking Benitez turned the wheel towards the pavement (sidewalk) brushing the tyres against the kerb, giving us much needed traction and bringing us to a complete stop. My participation in that conversation ended there. My next and continuous focus of interest was the traffic around me, half expecting to be rammed into from behind by some heavy truck or being T-boned by some out-of-control vehicle that couldn’t stop at the lights. In the course of our two and a half hour journey we observed no less than six serious accidents on the road – it was later to climb to a record four hundred and eighty by the next day). Amidst all this, cars kept whizzing past us like it was summer. I will not lie to you, I was scared **itless.
As I make up my mind to venture going out there on my own, I do with nervousness and a certain thrill of adventure. If others can do it, well so can i. I will not go out there armed with foolishness though; I have asked for tips on how to drive on black ice and how best to control my vehicle when the inevitable occurs. Finally I don’t bloody care what anybody thinks; I am going to drive like a ninety year old grandpa out there. Pray for me somebody and see you hopefully next week. Have a great week everybody!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Okay, enough philosophizing about my secure future, now to the scarier present or should I say immediate past. I just finished my morning jog with not a little relief. I have also learnt to always check the weather conditions before venturing out of the comfort of your home.
I had routinely donned my light track suit bottoms and a slightly heavier sweat shirt with my head warmer tucked in my pocket and run out of the building for my early morning jog only to be run back in by the icy wind that lashed into my face and body through my sparse clothing. I wisely went into my room and put on a much heavier fleece jacket, put on my head warmer and went out again. I had two miles to cover and intended to make short work of them with the aid of the music I was listening to on my phone. I cruised comfortably for about a mile, the wind buffeting my unguarded face with a million icicles when I became aware of a numbness in my legs. Alarmed, I realized I had made another error; I had neglected to protect the lower half of my body by wearing summer track suit bottoms in the hope that the frequent pumping of my legs would generate enough heat to insulate them against the cold which in this case wasn’t seeming to happen. With an even colder dread spreading across my heart, I realized I had I had not protected the lower half of my body, where my crown jewels and best friend junior were housed! Quickly I grabbed at them, fearing the worst – I was not wearing even boxer shorts – and was relieved to find they were still intact, even though they were not quite the size I was used to. The sac in which my future generations were housed had shrunk to the size and hardness of a walnut while junior… Well let’s just say he would not have complimented my masculinity were I to be strip searched in front of prospective female officers. I was suddenly taken back to the days when I was eight, standing at the toilet bowl, struggling to get the pee out from my morning wooded peepee – there was little difference.
Everything is much calmer now. All my bits are intact and in working order, I’m sure, but I have learnt the most important lesson of the day; to always check the weather and dress appropriately before venturing from home. To everyone else, have a great Thanksgiving, To Frieda, happy birthday darling! Your birthday present’s still intact with just a little warming up to thaw out the last of the deeply embedded frostbite! Mwah!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Good week everybody! Yes I’m okay and yes , I am still in the good ole US of A. I’m back to Minnesota. Ha ha ha! I’ve been stalling for time regarding what to write. This is actually exactly two hours since I wrote the second sentence of this post. I was contemplating whether to write about my trip, alongside some friends, to a strip club last week. Yep, the girls were lovely and yes, I did get a lap dance but that is a story for another day. I know my beloved brother Obasi and my darling sis-in-law Nkiru will probably read this and roll their eyes at this black sheep of the family – and I really am! I have done things that the rest of my family would keel over if they heard but an iota of what I’ve done - but hey, I am what I am.;I love adventure. Best part of it was that Frieda was right there beside me watching my leering grin as I ogled the bare necessities of the chocolate siren writhing all over me smelling so nice even though she wore little or no perfume… but, that’s a story for another day. Come to think of it, she has never really told me what she thought of my being entertained by such vivacious ladies apart from the curious amused wonder I caught in her eyes when I momentarily flashed a glance in her direction just in case a missile came hurtling my way from that angle. I feel I may have clinched a deal for a boys’ night out, but I fear it may just be wishful thinking yet.
The Damage premiere tour is finally over here in the US and it’s been such a relief that it has gone very well. It has been a nerve wracking three weeks for me especially since it has been one of the few projects I have truly believed in. I want to thank everyone for their support during this tour, especially Nkem, of course, Nollywoodreinvented, CHI_SOM and every one of my readers. You have been fantastic all you! Now I’m embarking on another one here which I am having to write and act in as well. It is about another social issue; dealing with betrayal and HIV. That is the most I will talk about the project for now until I see it talking shape in the direction I want it to go – make I no go fall my hand. What I will talk about is my newfound freedom; the freedom to jog where I please!
I now have the luxury to jog where I please; nice pavements on which I can jog without being knocked down by veering danfos (commercial mini buses) and snarling okadas (commercial motorcycles). I don’t get stopped by passersby who demand to know why I am being so mean to ‘Angela’. Can’t I just go and die somewhere in peace? Or why I have to act the role of a debauched reverend father and besmirch the image of the Catholic Church, do I want to go to hell? Or well meaning citizens who, never mind that that I’m jogging to burn fat, ask me to kindly tell them what happened in the sequel of a movie of mine they’d just watched. Here I jogged with free abandon, almost too free. Yesterday I happened to discover a jogging trail not too far from my hotel and enthusiastically went down to try it out. It is already deep autumn here, you in America prefer to call it fall, but the bite of winter is already setting in as is clearly evident in the trees already being stripped of their leaves giving the area a very somber look. I had not gone far down the slope I was jogging before I realized I was well alone on a lonely trail with desolate woods and brackish marshy ponds on either side of me. Images of the Crime & Investigation television network I love watching in Nigeria came flooding back to me. Glancing wildly around me, I half expected a hooded figure streaking out of the woods at me armed with a hatchet or a hammer, or a kindly middle aged man asking if I could assist him with his broken leg, and a kindly prick in the back of my neck, or some nutter taking a pot shot at me from the sanctity of the woods. Prejudiced or not, I quickly unlocked my usually secure phone, ready to dial 911 the second I noticed any funny movement around me and dashed furiously through the grove until I saw with much relief some buildings two minutes later. Suffice it to say I did not go back that way.
Well that is my tale for this week. Fill you up with more later. Have a great week ahead mes amis!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I did not come without a plan though. You see, tasty as American foods are, they come with a hefty price attached. Not the price tag, if it were I’d be much relieved; it is the cloying stodgy weight it piles on that is the terror of many, even highly strung children. My plan was to jog every morning for at least four miles and finish it with a punishing regime of a hundred sit ups. To my pleasure, the next morning, even as the first rays of the morning peeped through the curtains, a quick succession of knocks rapped at the door jarring the last vestiges of my dream away. I stumbled to the door to open up to a diminutive Tonto staring up at me in her jogging suit. In a panic I asked her if she’d already gone jogging but she said no, to my relief, she just came to know if I would like to go jogging with her. Thus began my partnership which soon swelled with the inclusion of Moses and three days later, after torrents of excuses of not having appropriate sporting clothing and not having the time to go to the stores to buy some, Uche. There is an adage to encourage people who lag behind in different endeavours; the one who walks will finally get to the same destination as the one who runs. I saw the literal meaning of the proverb when Uche came huffing and puffing up the hill thirty minutes after we’d reached our agreed end point, the first and only day she joined us. Her ready excuse, three minutes after she caught her breath, was that according to her fitness instructor, heavy hipped women were not supposed to run. A likely tale.
What I have revealed here is true. If Uche likes, she can come and refute it in her typically boisterous manner. I will also admit that this is my way of getting back at her for broadcasting to even deaf buildings what a terrible dancer I am. Could anything be more preposterous?!! The painful thing is that people have actually begun to believe it. Well, the buck stops right here! I have taken the pains to show a smidgen of my dancing prowess by adding an excerpt from a video chronicling our Damage movie premiere tour of the United States. This one was recorded at the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota. Please feel free to give me your unbiased feedback and put my ‘haters’ to shame!
Have a great weekend everyone!
(To view the video, visit my facebook fanpage - http://www.facebook.com/kaluikeagwufanpage)
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I hate packing! I never know what to pack for. I get stumped even when I’m packing for just a few days. How many undershirts and boxer shorts to throw in, T- shirts, polo shirts, shirts, whether to pack a jacket or not! Now most of you will be wondering what my problem is over such simple tasks and such obvious items to pack. The thing is I’m a typically jeans, T-shirt and sneakers kind of person, and my predominant theme when choosing clothing is comfort and freedom. I like to know I can sit anywhere I like, get my bottom dirty, stand up, brush most of the dirt off my arse and still have swag. Trouble is, when I like a particular item of clothing, I worry it to its grave, a trait that earned me the nickname The Sower among my room mates back in university.
I had just bought a pair of checkered sneakers that my size 12/13 feet felt very snug in, a rarity for me in those days, and I wore them almost every day. The tramping back and forth from lectures in the hot sun and my sweaty feet combined to form a resultant ripe odour from my sturdy companion. Tired and spent for the day, I’d hang my faithfuls at the window of the room and go looking for something to eat. Trouble was, the afternoon breeze would waft the wonderful aroma emanating from my shoes into the room and out the other window but not before making the occupants of the room well aware of its presence – and there were numerous wafts on a typical afternoon! I never heard the end of it. My wonderful roommates complained to no end about my prurient sneakers, asking me to take them outside, which I refused to do for fear of having them stolen by the ubiquitous marauders in that hungry hostel. We were a very jovial bunch, I couldn’t ask for better friends, and we periodically took turns at teasing one another. On one occasion, when it was my turn to be flayed, my beloved checkered sneakers became the butt of their jokes. One of the miscreants, a particularly funny guy, Chike, remarked that my sneakers were so fertile that any corn kernel that was sown in them would germinate overnight. The name, The Sower, stuck.
Where was I? Don’t mind me. I’m just trying to delay the inevitable; I have just today to pack for a whole month in the US. I’m supposed to be a celebrity and so I’m not allowed to ‘dull’ myself. I alone have to pick out my outfits for the numerous appearances I’ll have to make across at least eight sates, and no Frieda’s not here to help me out. Let me see, two shirts for each day so people shorter than me – most are, especially the ladies – don’t faint from the ripe pong from my sweaty armpits when I throw my arms round their shoulders. Groan! What happened to the good old days when I’d just throw a rucksack over my shoulder and saunter through customs in a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of sandals?
All this jabbering is getting me nowhere. That chaotic pile is going nowhere. The bloody lot are just sitting there staring at me stonily and relishing my anxiety that’s growing by the minute. Like they say, there’s no time like the present so abeg make una no vex, I have packing to do. Have a safe, sorry, have a great week everyone, and wish me a safe trip! A bientot!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I remember treating this very poem in my first year in university, although at the time we were too petrified of our lecturer, then Dr Inyama, and his promise that only half of us would make it through his course. Our fear of him seemed very well founded on account of his stern and austere demeanour. In fact throughout my four year course in the English Literature department, no one ever saw Dr Inyama break into a smile for even a moment. Ah, I err; I did see him sharing laughter over beer at the senior staff club with his colleagues. Oddly enough, he did seem quite at home with this phenomenon, mirth. Interestingly though, our wariness of Inyama began to thaw by the end of his second lecture on satire in poetry and short stories. The man’s wit and humour was as keen as a red hot blade. He introduced me to my favourite poet of all time, Alexander Pope, the writer of “The Rape of the Lock” – but that is a story for another day. “To His Coy Mistress” was treated on the first day of our lecture with him and my fear of his course at the time blinded me to its beauty. A young friend of mine was to reintroduce the poem to me only a few weeks ago, over a decade after my initial introduction to the poem.
I was flirting amiably with a younger colleague, an actress, about twenty one years of age, on a movie set some weeks ago. She was very pretty and well endowed in the right places, and I did not hesitate to tell her so. She smiled back at me coquettishly and with an impish smile on her face told me she was a good girl and would never have any dealings with men. I liked her, mostly because she was quite intelligent and accurately interpreted my flirtatious advances as being just that, which gave us free hand to pit our wits against one another to see who would win in the end – Frieda look at both my clean palms in the air o, nothing happened! We fenced and parried one another’s thrusts until Nikky, at length, told me that if I must possess her, I would have to court her the way Andrew Marvell courted his coy mistress. The name suddenly rang a bell in my head and I asked her about it. She told me the poem was her favourite and recommended that I go and read it up. Immediately we were done for the day I went back home and searched for it on Google and was amply rewarded – I had found another of my mentors. I settled down to a good read.
The poem is basically about a virgin maiden fending off the amorous advances of an older man. She insists on keeping a vow of chastity and the preservation of her virginity. The man replies with the most gentle and piercing wit, peeling away the young lady’s reserve and defences with the skill and ease with which Hector peeled off Achilles beloved friend Patrocles’ stout armour in Homer’s poem The Iliad, until the latter stood before him, naked and ashamed. He answers her with the lightest sarcasm, telling her that if both of them were granted time, he would begin wooing her ten years before Noah’s flood began, then he would dedicate a hundred years towards wooing and admiring each breast on her chest (chei! See rhyme!) before applying another two hundred years to the rest of her body save for one problem – time would not wait for them. So, in order to forestall Death’s handmaidens – the veritable worms – from deflowering her in the grave where there would be no romance, where all her rosy beauty would succumb to the dust, they would best make use of the youthful fire still coursing through their veins entwine themselves in one fiery ball and tear through the impeding iron gates of chastity!
Isn’t that just heavenly? If there was any such thing as reincarnation, I probably am Mr Marvell come again but, since I don’t believe in it, I’ll be content with the knowledge that many more of my kind roamed the earth centuries before my father carried my mother across the threshold and successfully baked the bun – me. I enjoin you my dear folks to read the poem and let me know what you think. Have the greatest weekend everyone, and my love for you has not diminished even after such a long spell in the wilderness but, that is a story for another day. A tout a l’heure!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
On touching down in Port Harcourt, we were driven straight to the Wazobia FM radio station to talk live about the Meet and Greet expedition. Here’s the interesting twist. Wazobia’s language is usually spoken in Pidgin English instead of normal English. This meant that we had to show our Pidgin speaking skills on air. As we settled down on our stools in the studio I began to notice worried yet amused looks on some of the people’s faces and they were all directed at me. I asked if anything was the matter and of course the ever boisterous Uche (yes JOMBO), spokesperson for even those who did not invite her to speak for them and Defender of the universe jumped up with that loud voice of hers. “They are worried because you, like your dancing, cannot speak Pidgin to save your life”. Chei chei chei! It was as if an ant had stung my ear! Eh! Me! Kalu the son of Egbui Ikeagwu, not speak Pidgin. Uche Jombo even had the temerity to ask me to try and keep up with her! Ten minutes later, that same Uche began floundering all over the place like a fish that has lost all its fins. Even the DJ had to remind her three times to stick to Pidgin when she kept running off her trolley. When it got to my turn to speak, hmm! Believe now! I went into it with the dexterity of a Waffi guy! If I was a girl I would fallen for me there and then! I was so good with my flow and nuances that I could from the corner of my eye spy Bola Aduwo nodding her head enthusiastically at me. In fact I had to scale back a little so as not to detract from the reason we were there; speaking out against domestic violence, a result of the humility in me I suppose.
After stamping my authority in the place and leaving with a noticeably humbled Uche, we all headed for the hotel where we had just about 10 minutes to freshen up before going to the Meet and Greet event at Icinemas. I was to sell popcorn to the paying customers and Uche was to sell tickets to them. We had bickered about that at the radio studios – she wanted to use her clout to snatch my task from me by announcing to a live audience that she was going to sell popcorn before I corrected her on the same air. It was a very hot affair, dipping my trowel in the hot popcorn and shovelling tens of bags full with the hot fluffy kernels while taking care not to burn my hand on the overhead mini halogen bulb at the top of the case. But it was all worth it because the fans were a delight; very friendly and politely asked if they could take photographs with us. By the time we finished, Uche, as rambunctious as ever bustled over to my cubicle to brag about how much money she had made from sales – never mind that her tickets sold for N2000 apiece while my popcorn was a humble N500. Then again, that’s short people for you – always have to have the last word. Let’s see how you’ll beat me in this one. Nonsense! I still love you sis.
We sat down together to watch the movie Damage and were pleasantly surprised by a rousing applause from the audience when it ended. It felt good to be part of a team that worked so hard to achieve something. We did the normal red carpet photographs and took off to the Wine bar – a nightclub to party. I did not fail to deliver. In fact I grooved so well even Uche had to take back her vile earlier words the server. It was a very good weekend indeed. The only drawback was that I didn’t get to eat my favourite Port Harcourt roadside dish, roasted ripe plantain and hot pepper palm oil stew with smoked fish. Darn it, my mouth’s watering already! This weekend we go to my home state Abia to check it out. Will keep you updated with the goings on this weekend. I’m trying to think of what delicacies to look out for: Egusi cakes, ugba and okporoko etc. Please let me know if I’m missing anything out. Have a great week everyone!
Friday, August 12, 2011
The three days leading up to the date of the event were very physically depressing for me; I almost threw up in the bathroom an hour before I picked up my car keys. I usually hate watching myself in movies I’ve done because I keep seeing mistakes I make, and things I could have done better. It’s sometimes so bad I hide behind my couch to watch; it’s like watching a horror movie, the difference being that I must have company to be able to watch the latter. You can imagine how it felt having to watch myself alongside hundreds of fellow professionals, prodders, directors, investors and most nail biting of all, critics. Couple that with the fact that I was playing the role of an angry, violent wife beater who shouts himself hoarse for the most part of the movie, which, God forbid, might end up not being so convincing, and you have the perfect bowl of bowel pureed nerves.
The red carpet part went without a hitch although I did leave it with an aching jaw from yapping incessantly to legions of journalists and flashing bulbs, repeating myself over and over again while trying to look like I was uttering the heartfelt words for the first time. The last journalist to interview me took the largest slice of the cake. He looked in every possible direction there was but mine as he interviewed me as I talked; it didn’t last long and it was the last. I left there and headed for the cinema, was ushered to my seat and I sat. Not long after, the movie began.
It didn’t take long for me to realise why oyibo , sorry, our counterparts across the pond are always so skinny; I was humongous! I thought I was looking at a funny mirror! Every step I took was like King Kong was entering the building. I desperately prayed for some vestige of acting prowess to at least cover up the offensive smell I was looking at. All through the movie I kept ticking off the boxes in my head with my invisible pen, my buzzing ears not even registering the audience’s reaction, with my sweaty finger poised over the stopwatch of my watch. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it would be. In fact the audience loved it. If you know how unforgiving a Nigerian audience is, you’ll appreciate the sense of relief I felt every fifteen minutes – yes, I had divided the movie into sections of fifteen minutes to measure the overall ratio of the parts that were bad versus the good – yes, in that order. I even noticed some quips and quirks I unconsciously chipped in here and there of which I was pleased and took notes of. It ended well.
What’s that saying again? Nothing ventured, nothing vanquished? I’m not sure if I got it right but that night was a definite victory for me. I learnt to believe in myself more, to trust my instincts more and the value of working with a visionary producer and director. Three cheers to you Uche Jombo and Moses Iwang( Sneeze)! Great job on the movie Damage! Have a great weekend guys and please please please do go watch the movie Damage. It’s showing in cinemas nationwide at the moment. Ciao!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
It was a lovely Saturday afternoon and I had hitherto decided to spend the whole day lounging in my home. I had my books that I hadn't read and some delicious movies that I had saved to watch alone.; I like to rewind a lot so I can 'chew the cud' on special moments. Yes, I am not everyone's favourite movie partner. In preparation of building my cosy cocoon around me, I had bought my beloved cod fish which I was going to season with garlic, grill and devour with sauteed fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu). I'd cleaned out the fish, seasoned it and went to turn the grill on only to realize I'd run out of gas! Not to be deterred I unhooked the gas cylinder from the the cooker and drove off to the gas man's shop to fill her up. I filled my canister up and it occurred to me to indulge my sweet tooth as well. I drove to a nearby store to buy some fruit juice and my favourite potato crisps, sour cream and onion. I parked my car on the bustling road right behind another parked car and went into the store to grab my goods. I had just taken my purchase to the cashier's to pay for them when a woman rushed into the shop asking for the owners of the cars parked outside. Thinking an accident had just occurred we, the owner of the other car and I, both rushed outside to find out what was going on. To my utter dismay I saw the dreaded LASTMA tow truck already reversing into the back of Betty, its towing appendage already extended! 'Paragraph!'
I quickly ran up to the LASTMA official in charge and tried to explain to him that I had no prior knowledge that the road I was parked on was a no parking zone. He patiently listened to my entreaties, nodded understandingly while Betty was being hoisted up in the air and told me I could come and explain the situation at the office they were taking my car to. Meanwhile the other man smartly jumped into his car and zoomed off to safety. In a matter of seconds I saw my impassive Betty being carted away unceremoniously. I was nonplussed. I was at a loss of what to do. My pleasant evening was going up in smoke in the back of my car. I was still standing there looking dazed when one of the onlookers ran up to me and urged me not to let them take my car to their station otherwise not only would I have to pay a hefty fine – an equivalence of about $400 – but it would take about a week for me to get her back. I did not need to be told twice. I quickly hailed one of the okadas (commercial motorcycle) passing by and ordered him to give chase after the retreating miscreants. We soon caught up with their truck and I tried to hail them to stop so we could talk. The chief officer refused to stop and encouraged me to meet them at their station. All sense of propriety and decorum had by now left me. From where I was seated on the bike I held on to the door of the towing truck and refused to let go not caring who saw or recognized me in such an undignified position. We must have looked quite a spectacle weaving all over the road or my persistence must have paid off because the truck was soon forced to stop. They opened the door for me to get in. 'Paragraph!'
I dispatched the okada with a quick hundred naira note and clambered into the truck’s cab with the officer. I told them I had never broken a traffic law and I had merely gone to buy baby food at the shop with no knowledge that the spot I parked on was a no parking zone owing to the non existence of any warning sign to that effect. The officer turned to me and sympathetically told me that the meter had already begun running; they would have to give an account of the vehicle they had towed at the office.'Paragraph!'
The long and short of the story is that I parted with four thousand naira (about $27) before Betty’s dignity was restored to her and we were left to go on our merry way. I went back to the same store – I parked properly of course – and bought exactly the same crisps and drink I have gone to buy before. Surprisingly the store keeper refused to take my money and let me have them for free. Well that’s it folks, my misadventure on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Till next time then, do have a great week everyone!
Friday, July 15, 2011
The other aspect of pain is one from which people derive a lot of mirth and pleasure. Heck, some even make a very lucrative career out of it – comedy. Has anyone noticed that nothing is ever funny without the basic foundation of pain, suffering and loss. For a joke to be funny there must be one, two or all these three of the named ingredients. Take for example this joke. Two merchants who were also friends were walking home after a successful day’s business. They decided to make their journey even briefer by taking a shortcut down a narrow alleyway. As they walked down the alley, they noticed a gang of hoodlums emerging from the shadowy walls of the alley and advancing towards them. It dawned on them that the inevitable was about to happen to them. Without missing a step, one of the merchants reached into his bag, took out a smaller bag that contained all his takings for the day, turned to his friend and said, “Tony, here’s the five thousand dollars I owe you.” See what I mean? People getting mugged and one trying to be smarter than his pants is found to be funny. Why? Is it the punch line? Or is it that the recounting of the painful experience of the teller evokes memories of a similar painful experience from their audience to generate an abundance of mirth?
I remember recounting an experience I had MANY MANY years ago in a company gents room to my friends in the UK. I had gone to the rest room for some much needed relief which soon turned out to be a rather noisy affair. I had only been there a few moments before I heard others come into the lavatory. Alas the sluice gates had already been opened and there was to be no holding back; the noisy torrent had to run its course. There was a respectful, almost embarrassing silence afterwards for just about two seconds before I heard taps open and then the splash of washing hands with seeming deliberation. I did not move – the other occupants of the room seemed curious to know the perpetrator of the leaden bombs and the staccato gunfire – it was not going to be me. All through the repeated washing of hands, the metallic roar of the blow drier and the clanging of the hand towel machine, I remained cemented to my throne, long since done, and resolute. Only when after an extended silence, a quick flush and an even quicker exit to dissociate myself from the offending toilet booth did I, after washing my hands, make a dash for my office and avoided detection. My friends literally rolled on the floor with laughter. To them, my story was funny but not as funny as the fact that it gave voice to the hidden embarrassments they felt under the same situations I experienced but could not talk about. My pain, their mirth.
I will in a few days’ time give you an example of some pain I experienced and what it cost me, for your mirth. In the meantime I would like some of your thoughts on why people’s pain is a source of joy to many. Have a great week guys!
Friday, June 17, 2011
She was wearing nothing except for a white muslin loincloth and her hands over her breasts. The skimpy clothing rode above her hips but surprisingly, there were no essentials visible to the sight except for part of her pert bottom. She came in with three handmaidens, actually it was the makeup artist, Tyna and the assistant director, who flitted about her as if to protect her modesty, and the essentials from any risk of being bared. I just stood back waiting, like a king waiting for his dinner, wondering how long it would take for those fences to come crashing down. She walked very well, head held high atop a slender neck, straight shoulders and back almost immobile while her long duiker legs floated before her with the practised step of the runway model that she was, oblivious to all around her. She came up and stood beside me, and there we stood, two gladiators in an arena.
She smelled nice, and shy. I know it’s weird but uncertainty does have a smell, not at all unpleasant, especially when it is unencumbered by alienating agents like perfumes, deodorants and soap. It can only be detected up close but becomes more palpable when two people have just disrobed before one another for the first time, each one unsure of how the other views them stripped of all armour. This earthy aroma, devoid of any pretence, and aided by body heat, radiates to fill up the personal space around both parties, leaving the skin contracted by goose pimples from the sudden loss of heat. it seldom is the same afterwards. I put my hand on the small of her back, a gesture to reassure her that I wasn’t an ogre. Tyna gave a thumbs up sign that all was set for work and we began the shoot. That was when the nightmare began.
I had carried milady before, playfully, when we were clothed, just to test her weight, and she was a breeze, weighing just over 50kg – I could handle that. This time, however, when the director gave the signal, and I swept her up in my arms with a flourish, her palms still pasted over her glands, and I, standing proudly with my weightless cargo waiting to be blinded by a sudden flurry of flashes, stared bemused as the assistant ran up to us, my arms beginning to strain. She took her time in arranging my colleague’s arms, making sure her breasts were covered and then told me I was lifting her too high, I should lower my arms a little. I did, and that when the strain really began. A few snapshots went off before the director, Tyna, lowered her camera and told me my face was too relaxed, I should strain it a little more. Wasn’t that the whole point of it, to be the strong soldier carrying a damsel in distress effortlessly? “Nope,” they said, “we want you looking strained, and we want it to show on your face.” Another round began, each time the sadists came at us, primping us this way and that until even my lady shed all attempts at decorum and left it to the hardworking loincloth to hold the rest of the fort. The worst was yet to come.
After a period of about thirty minutes, which felt like ten times that, my arms, especially the right, were aching and had begun to quiver from exhaustion when they suddenly gave way and milady stumbled onto the floor. Instinctively I reached out to her, both to steady her and to cover her modesty – there were two other men in the room – when everyone began laughing. Wondering what they were laughing at, I looked down and saw that her hands had ‘made’ it to her breasts right underneath mine! I was horrified at the implication. Quickly I protested my innocence; I was merely trying to protect her, but from the ‘knowing’ looks and smiles of my tormentors, men and women alike, I was fighting a losing battle. The guys’ smiles said, “we’re not judging you man, we understand perfectly”; the women’s, including mine truly, as she looked up at me, smiling in resigned amusement “men will always be men, no matter the shroud”.
Here ends my lofty tale. We had another session after that where she was completely nude and we were both doused in so much powder; I was shirtless and hid behind her and so didn’t even have to suck my tummy in! What I did come away with were very aching arms and a very sore elbow from propping myself up on it and trying to look like I was in love. Suffice it to say that I told Tyna that from the experience, I had perished any thought of pursuing a modelling career. There you have it folks, laugh all you want, I am not perturbed; I have exorcised my demons as far as I’m concerned. Have a great weekend everyone! Thank you for helping me complete this second part of my post! XOXO
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The photographer, Tyna, showed me some photos of celebrities and models in various poses; some shirtless, others in more daring revelations. I told her point blank she could perish any thought of me going shirtless to pose for anything until I get my six pack back, or anything coming close to it. It is now I’ve begun to really empathise with our women who have just given birth and the battle fought to regain, or hang unto, ones youth. Long and short of it is I said no. We perused some concepts and settled on some fairly safe concepts where I wouldn’t be terribly compromised. In one of them, I would be the strong silent type rescuing a near nude damsel in distress from some horrible calamity. I would carry her in my arms while she, near fainting, would still have the presence of mind to clasp her naked breasts with her hands – which I looked forward to with some fever. We fixed the date for our shoot.
The day came and I showed up at the studio quite early as I wanted to be done and leave before the rush hour evening traffic began. I was introduced to the model I would be working very closely with. I can’t remember her name because it was a very unusual but lovely name. She was quite pretty, not strikingly so but the kind that grows on one and never lets go once the claws are latched on. She was dark complexioned and lithe in stature, and had full lips that I could tell were quite soft to the kiss – yes, I do look out for things like that. Anyway, we got talking, ostensibly to get to know one another better to work up good chemistry for the impending shoot. We flirted with each other quite a bit, which is where the fun lies; to dangle carrots before one another with sultry hints of what could be but walking away without eating the fruit. It’s like having really good foreplay and walking away before having the sex that will condemn one to getting annoying phone calls in the middle of the night for want of attention or silly questions regarding what I’m thinking of or if I’m thinking of her. I can hardly get my arms around Frieda’s wahala (and I have very long arms) let alone ten other babes’. I needn’t have worried because she was a professional; I could tell it was just work for her and nothing else, which suited me very well.
We went to do our make up where I, to my annoyance, and at Nkem’s insistence, had to shave my ‘unibrow’ as she calls it – the continuous growth of hair between the eyebrows. That, as far as I’m concerned is how I was made and I don’t see how I have to pander to those pansy perfect ‘pretty boy’ looks just because it’s perceived as ‘clean’ and what female fans want to see! I even had mascara applied to my lashes, to the extent that they were clumped together in twos and threes! You know those lashes they show in magazines where two or three lashes join to form sharp points at the end? That’s how mine ended up. The makeup artist swore blind that they would not be seen by the camera and their sole function was to give me an intense look. Don’t laugh I beg of you lot; I write this with a lot of bravery and consternation which means that my readiness to open my vulnerable sides to you in future will depend on the outcome of this post. Readers beware! Anyway, simmering down and moving right on, I finished mine quickly and went into the studio to take some solo shot as my colleague was still doing her make up – she was to spend a further hour and a half finishing hers before coming to join me.
The rest of what I went through, are they not written in the post to come in just a few days from this one? Is not this post restrained by space to compel me to halt this one right now and am I not emboldened to wish that everybody has a great week ahead? They are, it is, I am!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Good week everyone! One of the channels I love to watch the most on our local cable network is the Crime channel. The material there is so fascinating; the different motives people have for killing their loved ones, colleagues, strangers, range from lust for money to mercy killing and fits of rage or jealousy. Of particular relevance to this post is a documentary I watched about the British great train robbery which took place in the sixties. I’m not quite sure of how much was stolen by the robbers but I think it was in the region of three million pounds sterling. What I did find out in the course of the documentary was that after the robbers shared their loot equally, each one ended up with the sum of approximately two hundred and fifty thousand pounds each; an equivalence of three million pounds of this day’s currency. This means that the value of the pound sterling is approximately twelve times what it is today. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this but please just bear with me for just a moment. My father bought a house in Liverpool in the sixties for about fifteen hundred pounds. Today houses in that borough go for prices that range from a hundred thousand to a hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. So, for the sake of greed, even though the house is his no more, I would say that the value of the pound as regards the real estate market has to date increased a hundred fold. My extensive research has shown that the origin of the topical idiom lies somewhere in the sixteenth century.
This is where arithmetic and interest come in. Since a penny is a hundredth of a pound, it is safe to say that a penny in the sixties would be worth a pound sterling in Liverpool and twelve pence in the general areas of England. Shoot me if you want to but I will say my piece ‘cause this is my spot. If then, in the past fifty years, the value of the penny has increased by between 1200% and approximately 10000%,by how much value has the penny increased in the past five hundred years, given the idiom’s inception in the sixteenth century? It is at this point that my mathematical prowess begins to falter so I’ll hazard a rough estimate and add two zeroes to come up with a value ranging between a hundred and twenty pence and a thousand pence. In other words, the value of the basest human thought ranges between one pound twenty pence and ten pounds sterling in today's currency! Quite elementary my dear Watson!
In conclusion, I hereby call for an advocacy for the amendment to the idiom “a penny for your thoughts” to “to what currency value are you amenable to exchanging your thoughts”. This, I feel, will sustain this venerable idiom for millennia to come, on account of its ability to seamlessly pass through currency borders, and its ability to blend with whatever inflation rates that may exist in our increasingly global world. Just a thought, and I’m giving it away for free! Have a great weekend everyone!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
For some months before the dream, I had been contemplating my life in general; whether I wanted to live a ‘boring’ structured and orderly long life, or whether I wanted to live a fast, free, dangerous adrenaline fuelled life and die young at say, thirty five. The latter seemed a lot more attractive because the thought of growing old and decrepit after years of toiling didn’t seem the most attractive way to take a bow off the stage. All I’d have to do was live life on the edge, and crash and die romantically like James Dean did on the fast lane. That fateful night I spoke of, I slept and had the first of many unusual dreams.
I’m not sure what it was I was doing in my dream but knowing what I usually like to do in my dreams, I was probably playing some romantic hero, trying to save some damsel in distress, maybe to make up for what I don’t usually do in real life. What I do remember, however, is that I was suddenly caught up in a whoosh and I found myself hovering somewhere in space with an endless star studded velvety blanket all around me. I wasn’t however really interested in the stupefying splendour all around me as I was instinctively aware of another presence about me. It didn’t inspire me with fear; it was a presence I recognised instantly and it also seemed to cocoon me from the extreme sphere of nothingness, cold and weightlessness that surrounded me. I somehow felt as safe as a baby in his mother’s womb and yet it felt like I was waiting for something to happen. It did, in a voice.
It wasn’t a deep rumble, or a harsh crack of a whip. It was gentle, like my inner thoughts that are always whispering, except that, unlike my thoughts, this one was soothing and made a lot of sense. It said, “I’ve brought you out here for a reason. Look out there in front of you. What do you see?” I looked, and a really beautiful round orb the size of a large marble, the blue glow around it shimmering bluer than all the fires the brightest sapphire could ever muster. “That’s the earth.” I ventured. “Good. Now look all around you and tell me what you see?” I looked around me. “The universe?” “You are correct. It said. “Now look further, look to see if you can find where the universe ends.” I looked and looked but there seemed to be no end to the dark mass. “It doesn’t seem to end.” I said, waiting for what was to come next. “You are correct again. Now look at the earth again and compare its size with the size of the universe all around you.” “The earth’s size is overwhelmingly insignificant in comparison to the universe’s size”. “Gooood. You see that earth that is so small and can be squashed at any time? That is your life as it is now. The universe that never ever ends is your life that you will live when you leave the shell you are living in now.
The little earth you see in front of you is the most important gift I have given you because it is what you do on that earth that will determine the kind of life you will live in this universe that never ends. The earth is your school of study, where you will study. If you pass the examination afterwards you will go down one path, but if you fail, you will go down another. Whatever the case may be, you will never die; you are of Me, a spirit, you can never die so be very careful with the choices you make on earth. For your gift I have given you time, so you can use the period to accomplish all you need to do to invest in your future afterwards. The little suffering in that little earth is a microcosm of the eternal suffering that lies afterwards while the little pleasures in the same earth is also a microcosm of the eternal pleasures that lie beyond it. Note however that the experiences that lie in the different eternal paths are undiluted and pure; they will neither mix nor intersperse with one another. I enjoin you to use my gifts well; if you pass, you will spend the rest of your endless life in bliss but if you fail, you will spend the rest of your endless life in anguish. if you know how to pound, you’ll pound the food in the mortar. If you don’t know how to pound, you'll smash your knees with the pestle.” And then I woke up.
I don’t know what may happen tomorrow, and I do feel somewhat bashful about sharing this with everyone as I don’t like coming across as a ‘sipiri spiri’ (bible basher) person. Then again one main reason I opened up this blog was to share my thoughts and experiences to those who care to read them. Feel free to make of it what you will. Phew! Now that’s outta di way, I can go back to answering all those delicious hearfelt messages on my blackberry and fb! Oh, and someone promised me a very good dinner of semovita and stockfish and snail infested bitterleaf soup! “Be still my rumbling belly!” Have a great week everyone!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I wonder if mothers will still hold out their babies for me to kiss when my dark side starts coming to light. You may laugh it off and think I’m being trivial but I assure you I am talking about a very real factor here. Movies, I believe, and the actors, and the audience have the threads of belief and perception running through them. The difference is that while some people leave the reality of the story they’ve just watched behind on the conclusion of the movie, others refuse to let them go and sometimes lose sight of where their boundaries lie. In short, this group of people could range from attacking ‘bad guy’ actors on the street to being obsessive stalkers. Hmm, let’s see how it goes.
Sadly I couldn’t get to vote today; I overslept from yesterday’s near overnight ‘s shoot. I’m just hoping my favourite man for the guv’s job, Fashola, wins again. Thanks to him the plague called traffic in Lagos has been brought down a notch or two. Now I’m packing my stuff to go away for the rest of the week. Hopefully I’ll have something eventful to write about it when I get back. till then, do have a great week everyone!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I finally got to vote in the second segment of the voting process at about a quarter past one pm after spending just forty five minutes in the queue. I feel so chuffed (pleased with myself) being the first time I’ve ever voted in my life – don laff! The last time I tried to do so was when I was nineteen and was turned away on the basis that I looked underage (fifteen) despite my spirited protests. The fact that I didn’t have any id on me didn’t do much to help my case.
Anyway whichever way the votes swing, I will eternally be satisfied that I actually took an active role in making a statement regarding how I want my future in this country as its citizen even if it’s just in a little small way. I’m also proud of the way the elections were conducted on the grounds – free of harassment and peaceful, even heavily pregnant women were relaxed at the venue. Much kudos to the Nigerian government for a job well done – so far. Let’s wait and see. Have a great Sunday everyone!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Oh well, pray for me everybody and for those of us who live here in Nigeria, and have registered to vote, see you at the grounds tomorrow! Have a great day everyone!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Recently, in a drive to create a safer and cleaner environment in our estate, we, the inhabitants decided to put up money and erect security gates at both ends of the estate, hire night security guards to patrol the estate at night, mount street lamps and finally, clear the drain ways, otherwise known as ‘gutter’ in Naija. All projects have been completed except the last which is somewhat in progress as I write. The drain ways have been dredged and driving down my little estate, heaps of blackened earth can be observed lying along the sides of the gutters in long rows broken only by concrete slabs on which vehicles are driven by their owners into their compounds. The work had gone on for two days and they finished on Tuesday the day before yesterday. On noticing that no move was being made to cart the rubbish away, my neighbour asked some of the labourers when they were going to dispose of the mess to which they replied that they were only contracted to dredge and not dispose and walked off. Some things are simply beyond my comprehension. It is like cleaning a house of all its rubbish, pile the rubbish in a corner and watch while it is being kicked about the house to spread the filth all over again. We, my neighbours and I then paid them to clear the heap in front of our building in the hope that the adjoining houses would take our cue and do the same.
I came back this afternoon to find the men diligently shovelling wet earth into waiting wheelbarrows. I smiled to myself, said a hearty hello to them and made to buy some biscuits in a nearby shop. One of the men hoisted one of the barrows up, his face tense as his bare shoulder and arm muscles strained with the effort. He finally got the single wheel rolling and my eyes followed him to wondering how far he would be able to push the heavy vehicle before stopping to rest. Pushing that load out of the estate was not going to be an easy feat. I didn’t have long to wait; he staggered all the way to the building next to mine, complete with its dull black wet heap in front, and dumped his load right in its mass! Una no go kill me! Nuff said. See you tomorrow. Nkem, two days to go!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The events in the past week have reminded me of a proverb my late dad told me once. I’ll write it in Igbo first. O bu mgba mgba, ka o bu okpo okpo? O bu ya ka nwanyi ji ukwu dimkpa gbaa n’ala! Don’t you just love my language? Okay, it translates thus: should I wrestle her or should I punch her? That’s how the woman hurled the great man to the ground! I can almost see the dazed expression on your faces, especially Nkem’s. I’ll explain.
A renowned wrestler in a community once had a sore disagreement in the marketplace with a woman who was so furious with him she challenged him to a fight. Incredulous, he stared at her and scornfully accepted the challenge. As she circled him in the centre of the spectators that were quickly gathering around them, he stood arrogantly declaiming his dilemma to everyone. How was he to deal with this upstart? He had broken the backs of renowned wrestlers from other villagers and here was this mere woman come to challenge him. How was he to deal with this situation? What tactic was he to use? If he boxed her, she’d probably expire from just a blow to the head! If wrestling, he could turn her into a paraplegic just by hurling her to the ground. As he stood there pondering aloud his dilemma to everyone with an ear, the woman rushed at him , grabbed him by the ankles, pulled with all her might and sent him crashing to the ground! In the Igbo culture, if during a fight one’s back is thrown to the ground, that one is vanquished regardless of how badly beaten the opponent may be. Suffice it to say the woman carried the day. A lesson in indecision.
You guys should by now know I love my culture dearly; it’s also one of the reasons I still mourn my dad’s passing till today; I missed out on a lot of things I could have learnt from him before he left – stuff I would have shoved down your throats and everyone else’s who’d give me a listening ear. Frieda calls me a dinosaur because I use proverbs that 'make' no sense whatsoever when I use them to summarise a point I’m making. You see, proverbs are the spice with which we season words. Like stew to white or even jollof rice, or gravy to mashed potatoes and steak, or afang soup to pounded yam are proverbs to speech.
All this rigmarole is just to tell you that I had so much to write about in the past weeks I couldn’t make my mind up on what to write about as it’s always rewarding to get feedback from you guys.- yes, we crave love too. O bu mgba mgba ka o bu okpo, is what has put me in trouble with Nkem for not hammering out the maiden post of my blog’s second anniversary last week. I will be decisive and choose okpo for my next post. For my punishment I’ve been compelled, against my better judgement, to put out a post everyday for the next four days. I am being pushed to the edge, of the stream, here. Let’s see who will drink that murky water! Have a great week everyone!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Gone to the fridge and there’s nothing to eat. Everything there so healthy! Wholemeal bread, olive oil margarine,skimmed milk, egusi soup without palm oil. She might as well make omelettes without the yolk! Come to tink of it, knowing my mum and her iron will, she probably would, and soon. Freida! Let me tell you this now, if you go down that road i will cheat on you! I will rent a studio flat for my friends and I where we ‘ll proceed to cook up every heartstopping delicacy known to us for every healthy cardboard or sludge you make for us. Oh, and i’m still not talking to you. I know what i’ll do, mum’s going out so i’ll have an apple and a nice hot lemon tea in her presence and when she leaves, heh heh! I’ll go out and get the fattest, greasiest, stinkiest doner kebab at my favourite shop, come back and wash down the delicious nosh with a can of coke. Hang on, my bruv just came in. Ok i’m back now after another hour of chit chat, scolding and talking about healthy eating – yes, my mum was there as well. Result? It has been genrally agreed on that i will be the one to cook this evening and the dish of the evening shall be- drumroll, couscous with chicken breast fillets and flavoured with crushed almonds and raisins.
Okay i have to rush off to the US embassy then come back and trawl through the net to garner tips so i don’t lose my crown as the grandmaster chef among my baby brothers. Will let you know how it went within the next few days as a special treat especially as i’m on a holiday. Have a great few days everybody!
PS; Tips are very welcome but please give them soon as i have only until tomorrow evening to come up with my masterpiece. Remember, the topic is, how do you cook couscous – a very delicious one. Also remember my reputation is at stake here among my family.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I have since then played the role of a home doctor by having three showers a day, yesterday with a good dose of antiseptic in my water, lubed myself liberally with antifungal and antibacterial cream and ghosted myself all over with dusting powder before turning in for the night. It has come down somewhat but it still lingers, possibly on account of the oppressive heat that has found its way into my home on account of the recent breakdown of my air conditioner. Don’t worry about me; if symptoms still persist, I will be sure to see a doctor, much as I hate to see those walls for fear of the confirmation of my worst nightmare. I now realise God never lets me get ill; I’d die many times before my death.
Right now I’m getting ready for two sets, the first on the Tinsel set, rush to the passport office to pick my new e-passport(with a very horrible picture of me) during the interlude, and then over to Uche’s Damage set to complete the red carpet scene that ended in a fiasco at the Vantage hotel, Oniru, on account of its greedy manager who demanded more money than was initially agreed upon by both parties when he saw the celebrities coming in. Now I have to pay for his obtuse business intellect and greed by going for a reshoot and possibly losing out on another job. I hope he gets what’s coming to him for trying to take the food off my table. Nonsense!
Anyhow, I’m off to another antiseptic shower before getting another antifungal/antibacterial coating and off to the harsher work climate. Until then, watch where you swim and have another great week everyone! Ouch! Scratch scratch…
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I’m still groggy from last night’s shoot which ended at 3am. It’s 10am now and I’m headed out for yet another fight scene with Uche Jombo who plays my wife in a drama that focuses on domestic violence. The difference here is that instead of the usual violence where the husband routinely uses the hapless wife as a punching bag, the diminutive wife in this case gives as much as she can take – and I have a sore jaw to show for it. Man, that lady is strong. We did this kitchen scene where Taiwo, my character, suspecting that his wife Sarah is helping feed his younger sister’s, played by Tonto Dikeh, drug habit lands a vicious back handed slap across the face knocking her to the ground. Quickly recovering, she yanks his feet off the ground and he crashes to the ground beside her with a loud thud. I literally had the wind knocked out of me and then she pounced on me and gave me a very painful bite on the stomach. Well it wasn’t that painful given that we were only acting but it was painful enough to get the expected agonised scream from me.
Only yesterday at night I had vases and wine glasses hurled at me which I to dodge just a fraction of a second before they smashed into the wall behind me. Funny thing is, the missiles were to be hurled at me, and I was to move just a little to the left so that the scared expression on my face would be registered with the glass shattering against the wall in one shot otherwise it would be wasted and we would have to do it all over again! My character was expected to, after the initial shock of his lucky escape, turn and throttle his wife in a fit of unbridled rage. When I heard rather than saw the loud boom of the vase and the resulting shards of glass strewn all over the floor, I realised it could have been my head if Uche hadn’t aimed properly enough at the wall or I hadn’t moved quickly enough. I just stood there in shock, frozen. I could feel the empty cold eyes of the cameras on me waiting for me to move but I couldn’t; I just stood there. Uche watched and waited for a reaction from me still quivering with rage and then stalked off. To my horror I suddenly realised she wore nothing on her feet as she walked across the broken glass on the floor and screamed out to her to mind the glass. She turned around, glared at me and asked how stupid I thought she was; of course she was looking where she was going and minding her step! Suffice it to say that the scene was ended with that priceless look on my face.
I am still reeling from that experience at how easily things could have taken a turn for the absolute worst. This emphasizes the need for pushing for added investment in an entertainment industry that is here to stay; for things to be done properly and for risk to be properly controlled and contained by way of insurance. So far we have managed to keep our lives, limbs and property while getting what work we can get done through God, our wits and passion. Speak hands for me! :-D Have a great week everyone!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
to break them for me?!” Can you imagine that?! I know how many times my bottom was warmed or when my ears sang for marking walls with crayons and charcoal and for smashing the very wares I’m now being encouraged to smash via my offspring blowing hot and cold with the same breath!. It’s okay though; I have long since learnt that life isn’t fair.
The last came last night from my brother Obasi. After reading my previous post, School Ghost, the cheeky blighter not only had the nerve to demand a refund of his school fees that I had ‘appropriated’ during my truancy days in secondary school, but also put his comments on the same post for all to see! The very pettiness of it! If I were to begin to recount the number of times he has taken my stuff and run off to school – we were in different schools at the time – and demand payment, with interest, I’d be a much richer man today. Like the time when he took my, my… I can’t remember but you and I know, Obasi, that if you think very properly you will know that what I’m talking ab… Hey! It just occurred to me that I don’t remember any of the wrongs that were done to me by my siblings in the past! That’s means I’m a very forgiving man, and if a forgiving man, then a good man. If a good man, then a heaven bound man! Yaay! But hey, you’re still a wonderful brother and I love you. E never finish o!
A very dear happily married friend of mine, just because I told her I am the black sheep of my family proceeded to inquire after my unmarried brothers for her very chaste friend! Ah, the dividends of see finish ! The prophet is never appreciated by his loved ones; only by outsiders. But, I am a forgiving man. I will shrug it off and plod on towards my destination. I bestow the hand of benevolence on all; my dear mother who failed to recognize that in the entire six years of my stay here I have not had food poisoning, and this one little incident that I ventured to intimate her with, has brought a roomful of bricks crashing down on me, my dearly beloved brother who cannot let bygones be bygones and my darling friend who has serious issues with colour! “Nearer to Thee O Lord (are these the correct words to the hymn?), nearer to Thee!”
Okay, I’m done with my tirade. Have a great week everyone!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Mine began yesterday with me going out to pick my script up at the Tinsel office and ending up spending four hours on the road for what should have lasted thirty minutes. Valentine. I got there and kissed Blessing, the pretty receptionist happy birthday, got my scripts and ran off before my favourite ladies espied me standing dangerously close to the local tuck shop which was already bursting at the seams with the season’s goodies. Valentine. Determined to have a story to tell you my readers, I went to give myself a treat at Oh La La, a confectionery in the heart of Ikeja, to get some carrot and cheesecakes. Oooh they do make exceedingly good cakes, so much so that my greed overtook me and compelled me to add a Black Forest cake to the loot. Anyway, here’s the interesting bit. I took my shopping over to the counter to pay, and in high spirits, I wished the pretty cashier a happy Valentine’s Day. I must have said it in a low voice because she didn’t seem to hear me so wished her a happy Val’s again, my voice a teeny notch higher. She looked up, smiled sweetly at me and said “Oh thank you sir. Same to you too sir. You didn’t come with your wife sir?” I blinked, then said “Oh, I left her at home.” I promptly paid for my cakes and promptly left. Valentine. E never finish o!
I drove towards home and along the way I remembered that my generating set was a bit low on fuel, so I stopped by a petrol station to put some in the jerry can in Betty’s boot. The petrol attendant at my pump was very effusive and attended to me with gusto. He filled my can up and stowed it in the boot. I thanked him, paid him and made to get into my car when I heard him mumble something ‘to himself’. I opened my door and heard it again, this time a little louder but still incomprehensible. I had by this discerned that he was trying to pass something across to me and asked him to please repeat himself. With some disquiet and with his eyes hovering somewhere below my knees, he blurted out, “Oga (sir), I de wish you happy Falentine! Abi you no love me? Because I no get breast for my chest?” I reached into my pocket and handed him a hundred Naira note. Valentine. The rest of the evening was spent checking out a new drinking joint with my friends Femi and Cheta where we watched a football match and flirted harmlessly with an amiable barmaid. We left at about midnight, got home and I crashed on the couch.
Surprisingly, I woke up at 5am this morning before even my alarm clock did! Now I’m still nervous from the excess caffeine I’ve bolstered myself with. It’s 6pm now and I still have five more scenes before I can leave for home – late night today. It’s okay though, at least you get to know what my Valentine was like – well part of it, because I still have to convince madam that only she was on my mind throughout yesterday. I will survive. Have a great week everyone!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
What haven’t I sent? Text and BB messages, and calls which actually go through to the very annoying mechanical voice message asking me to leave yet another bloody message! How many more should I leave before it makes any effing difference? I swear, the worst place to be in anything at all is to be in the middle, not knowing where you stand. Isn’t that what got the traveller in trouble with the satyr in Aesop’s fables, blowing his freezing hands warm and his hot porridge cool with the same breath? Probably why God hinted that He’d rather we belong to the extremities of heat or cold rather than be trapped in the wilderness of the lukewarm. Two possibilities are raging in my head.
The first, she could be in trouble. Oh, that she landed safely I am in no doubt; she, to my relief sent me a text informing she’d finally landed in NY after hours and hours of delay owing to an impending blizzard. After that her tracks went cold save for the little relief provided by the comforting ringing of her mobile phone. My mind is solely, well partly on that road from the airport to her hotel and the haunting possibility that anything could happen from accidents to breakdowns and being trapped and frozen, to falling prey to those sinister predators lurking under their favourite shroud; cold and darkness. It doesn’t help that I am currently reading Paul Young’s The Shack , a book about a man coping with the murder of his six year old daughter by a serial killer.
The second is the hopeful possibility that (too angry to even call her name) is simply too irresponsible to understand the need to inform loved ones waiting with bated breath for news of her safe arrival so I can give her a treatment worse than that blizzard she’s running from! This is the same person that almost took my ear off right in the middle of the night worrying about her hotel booking and flight details only just the day before. Bloody hell! You see what I mean about being in the middle? Here I am worrying about whatever mishap may have befallen her when she could well be snoring away in her warm bed, blissfully unaware that she may have kept people in waiting in limbo. Or I could be ranting and raving about what sadistic screws I’ll be working in her soul when I find her so she understands what she’s put me through, when she could be trapped in some ditch somewhere. Middle, no absolutes, no certainties, just nowhere and yet spread thinly everywhere! Which kin’ wahala be dis eh?!
God, I pray you keep her safe so I can volunteer to be your rod of chastisement upon her sou- She just answered the phone! See? What did I tell you earlier?! She was flippin’ asleep! She answered with that throaty sexy – She had the temerity to answer me with a very groggy “Hey baby”! Can you imagine? Just come back first, and you’ll see what I’ll do to you! I’m going apply that rod of… correction to you until you beg for mercy – I hope. Nonsense! Thanks guys for lending me a listening ear jare! Let me go and put my house in order as I ponder the difference between this and dealing with a runaway thirteen year old child. Have a great week everyone! As for you, Frieda, come here, I’m not done with you yet!