#WAD2018

I grew up in a house that was a curious architectural piece.

It was modelled like a boat and round in shape.

It was the first home I knew and the only home I had for most of my life.

The eccentricity of the style made me very proud of my father’s tastes.

The verandah at the left.

The boat pockets around the house.

The see-through glass windows.

The flower gardens in front.

The driveway such that you can drive around the house.

The see-through fences, such that you can stalk a neighbour without moving a bone.

In 2007, when my father decided he wanted to remodel the house, I was sceptical because I thought the house was about to lose it’s eccentricity.

Thankfully I was wrong.

My father’s tastes were still intact and architects are still brilliant individuals. I got sturdy pillars, storey buildings, and a compound you couldn’t drive around after they were done.

Home it was still.

In uni, I spent a lot of my 1st year hanging out in Archi. studio in school. Mostly cause my cousin was one of them, their studio was sane (always had stools I could sit on) and the people were so cool we had fast become friends (Hi Eddie!)

I loved hanging out there and enjoyed it because I admired what they did.

I have a queer disability, I can’t use a ruler (I said it was queer, remember?) I have never ruled a straight line in my life, and I have friends who teased me that a freehand line I drew was straighter than one I employed a ruler.

This “disability” meant that technical drawing and other related ones requisite for a career in the field was moot.

So I lived vicariously through them.

Today is World Architecture Day.

I have been fortunate to be around people who revere architecture. My coins will soon join finish and I can afford to go to renowned architectural locations; a European tour should fix that. I once read a piece by Jumoke Adenowo, whom I started to respect because I learned she was first an architect then a pastor, where she said she chose that career path because it was important to build in consideration of our weather conditions- more Windows, less wood, roofs with gutters and beauty in execution.

I see houses who defy a lot of what that article said, and how uncomfortable they seemed. I could never live in them I said.

Special shout out to all the beloved Architects I know: Uncles Amaugo & Ephraim, The G!,Eddie, Chiago + Chiwi,Abii, Eric..

Shout out to the beautiful people of Nigerian Institute of Architects, Abuja chapter.

They are hosting a Barbecue at 5pm today (see flier) (if you read this post after today, my sincere apologies)..

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Starstruck: Tom Cruise

You know, when one of your favourite faculty suggests a movie, you have to find it and you have to see it.

My relationship with Tom Cruise associated movies was mostly pop culture inspired. Until “Vanilla Sky” happened, and I have been looking for who will give me back the time I spent watching it and hoping for It’s redemption (in their defence, it was the era of doing movies with your significant other, & he needed to mark attendance with Penelope Cruz).

Then I found out how untall he actually is. I rolled on the floor laughing. My senses can be unkind sometimes.

But redemption comes in the morning.

Last year, after our first exam as a class, to unwind we turned our classroom to a mini theatre and we projected “American made”. There were lots of lessons to be learned there. I really loved it. Seeing Tom again made me realise I had missed watching him ( I had skipped all the MI installations of the years past).

Now, to the movie that tossed the salad.

The Firm.

*soft sigh. I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying themes of the movie.

There was brilliance.

There was providence.

Friendship, forgiveness and faith.

And a strong ache for vengeance.

This is not a movie review so I don’t want to get carried away giving away all the fine details, but I remember thinking as I watched through scenes reasons why Tom Cruise was the best guy for the Mission: Impossible franchise.

When it was time to run, I was like “yea…for real my guy can run“. When it was time to squeeze or climb into odd spaces, I was like “my guy small before na why e go size am

In all, he has had a very interesting acting career, and that ability to fit into roles (save for Vanilla Sky..rme) is the reason why Tom has remained relevant all these years.

It’s not a bad thing at all that he has good looks too, and is a squinty when he smiles.

We 🖤 you Tom.

StarStruck: Hugh Jackman

StarStruck is a series I thought about writing when I found myself thinking of all the celebrity influences that I have in my life, and how they may never know because the groupie in me is dead (read as never existed). I mean, I love Darey and Naeto C, but I remember bumping into them at different occasions and acting so cool like I no even see them. Maybe another time and place. Maybe.

So I thought if I am going to bump into them and act like they regular, I might as well write about how unregular I think they are!

Hugh Jackman is fortunately the first one to make my list because I haven’t stopped listening and singing the songs from The Greatest Showman in my head!!

I am not the least surprised to find out that Hugh’s middle name is MICHAEL! (Surely I am not the only one who thinks that there is something about that name?)

Hugh successfully transited from being my favourite action hero to being my favourite musical star. I am so happy that such a versatile talent graced the screen in my lifetime. I remember going berserk every time Wolverine made the slightest appearance on screen. I am such a fan. Of his nonconforming ways and how he still remained everyones favourite. I know Wolverine is a character that was scripted, and may not be a true representation of how Hugh is, but I also believe that if a man can pull off an act that efficiently, there is a part of it that comes innately.

Wolverine
Wifebeaters were made for Wolverine and Wolverine for wifebeaters…

I was very sad to learn about his recurring carcinoma’s and haemorrhage and how they were getting in the way of his work. It is linked to why the Wolverine character had to be killed in Logan (plus Baba was aging physically too). I know Les Miserables was not a bad act at all, but Hot damn!!! The greatest showman was ICING!!

Hugh Jackman IS the greatest Showman!!!!

Okay, I’m getting excited again, but reading about Hugh and all the work he put into improving his craft shows an admirable degree of dedication. An inspiration of how passions/crafts/gifts should be pursued. He plays more than one instrument, dances, sings and is your favourite action star.

Full package anyone??

Hugh Michael Jackman

I met a Pilot today.

I met a Pilot today.

She made my life look excruciatingly bland.

She told me about the lows, how she almost lost her life before she fulfilled her dreams. I did squirm at them, because they were really low, but I didn’t wish to be like her.

Then she told me about the highs.

Oh boy! They are really highs (I mean she is married to a pilot too). I still didn’t wish to be her because, you know, fear fear.

I have shared all the colourful things I’d love to do but too afraid to try. I feel like it’s reducing the pallete of this my life.

The last thing she said to me was “You need to believe that you are capable of all that and more”.

Maybe I believe it. Maybe I am.

Memories I’ll have of this place.

Its lowkey been 10 years of making this place home.

That’s a lot of time to feel a certain fondness to this place.

Not that I feel the need to put a disclaimer, but every experience described here are personal and in no way intended to influence an action/reaction.

This town gave me a lot of firsts. Best part is that it has being home to my employers and good enough to them that in the past 5 years of my employment, I was never owed or had my salary delayed.

Having Grown up in a small city, I like that in a way this place gives you a similar vibe. That same feeling that you can guess a person’s location if you know who they hang with. As a newbie getting introduced to a group of people, it’s warming to become part of something, people who will smile and greet you like y’all are childhood besties when you walk into a place.

People-watching is one of my favourite pastimes. Beer barn is where I go on Fridays I get the itch to take a roll call and cocktail binge. I don’t know if the “Jamaican” bears same name elsewhere. Else, it will be sorely missed. However, I will not miss squeezing myself to fit others because all the people decided to find themselves in one small space.

I recently discovered the yum that is in the form of the best chicken wings I have had in this place on an evening of unwinding with Chidinma at Sky bar. The DJ in that place has never disappointed me. It’s also always a sane space (the bathrooms are almost always clean!). Heart it!!

I’ll always remember the Pepperoni on Evo road (yes! I finally learned the names of streets in GRA) as that place that had this portrait of O.C Ukeje that was beautiful and made me fall in love with his looks. I remember mentioning this to him and he had no idea someone somewhere was selling his market FOC. That was also a longtime ago. I think that studio moved or rebranded.

Sundays are literally fundays. The Adanne and I wake up and share our ideals for the day. 7am service at St Jude’s, breakfast at Genesis, grab moimoi at Skippers. Head home if sleep is prime or go avisiting if socialising is. The yam porridge at Genesis was my go-to order. I tried to replicate their style at home, it didn’t impress me so I’m sticking with my traditional style and if I’m craving theirs, they’ll provide it for a small fee. Presidential’s sunday buffet was where my sister and I went to eat till near food comatose. We sampled other places that offered Sunday buffet to find alternatives but somehow they didn’t displace HP (and also there is rice at home).

I joined a Bookclub. Gatecrashed their party and fell in love with them.They are an entertaining bunch. I learn alot from their diversity. I’m going to miss the meetings…fortunately the bomb daily conversations happen on the whatsapp group.. hopefully I can wager for Christmas party to happen when I don’t have to miss it 🤗🤗.

Bole, yam and Fish seems to be our most celebrated export. Needs no explaining why. Roasted yam has always been my favourite bit of the trio (duh, can’t you tell I love yam). When the yams are old and dry and sweet and you are fortunate to find a woman who makes a bomb palm oil sauce around you, *clutches chest* that’s like the best comfort.

There are certainly so many things I will miss about living here, but none of it comes close to my sister. She is the best part of this place for me. She broke me into this place and I loved it from her eyes first. It doesn’t help that we did almost everything together so almost everywhere is stamped with one memory or the other. The days I succeed into getting her to karaoke, just so I can show off her voice to all those people at The Office who probably thank god I don’t sing for a living. I am going to miss her asking my opinion about this and that, “Jem, should I….Jem, what do you think about…”

It’s been an utterly pleasant experience. I have a “basketful” of new family and friends. I think the english term for what I have enjoyed can be good fortune.

But my mommy said they haven’t given me husband so I should leave them and go, so I’m going 😀

Peace & love,always always

Jem.

(Not) Bucket list 

I was thinking today about all the many things I’d love to do, but may not. Then I decided to do this could-have-been-bucketlist-but-its-not bucket list, which is really a list of all the things that would be on my list if I didn’t have certain phobias holding me back.

Skydiving/Bungee jumping

I have a pathetic fear of heights. I still catch my breath when I’m in the elevator (this may also be a combined reaction of claustrophobia and acrophobia). You won’t catch me on a pirates ship, or roller coaster of any kind. I daydream about skydiving or bungee jumping but that’s all it ever is. I’m afraid that by the time I get to the other side my heart would have stopped beating.

Zip lining

This is very much similar to my skydiving ambitions. As long as I don’t look down, this should go well, but what are the odds?

Car-racing

I come from a family of wannabe speedracers. I mean that cartoon was a general favourite for years in the house (♪hums the speed racer theme song♪). In as much as this bit of information is revealing my age bracket, I also recently took driving lessons (yes, finally!) And can now legitimately dream of that wide open space harmless car race. I’m a better passenger than a driver though, so there…another unlikely dream.

Run for office (any office)

I am as uninterested in politics as they come. I hate large crowds. I have stage frights. I don’t suck up to people. I am always intrigued by straitjacket law abiding people (notice how I avoided saying I enjoy breaking rules) but when I’m in that my small sphere of management, I make a good leader (if I do say so myself), and if I was remotely interested in politics running for an office, even if it’s just to piss off the opponent, would be a brilliant idea.

Surfing

After watching 50 first dates, my sisters and I discovered my father’s “Beach Boys” CD…and then I fell in love with the idea of surfing. Only problem with that idea is I can’t swim (I plan to learn eventually) and at the slightest wave while I’m at a beach, I’m scurrying to safety (because I can’t swim, duh!) Good thing Beach Boys only sang about surfing in the USA, as long as I remain in Naija, I’m good.

xxxx

Jem

Black Privilege

The white community a.k.a Wypipo are most often than not bashed for being beneficiaries to “white privilege”.

Especially with the likelihood of them to be absolved or get lighter judgements on the crimes they commit,  there is also the part where they are treated superior to the authorities/owners of the land where they go to serve as Expatriate. This is the stereotype that gets thrown around a lot.

It was only until an incident a couple of days back that I realised that it is not all bad. 

My people have a proverb that translates that

 “It takes a whole village to raise  a child”

I had joined it in the same bracket as their inability to mind their business, but i saw it in a different light when I heard a certain story, totally random and so deep.

A certain teenage girl had become withdrawn and uncommunicative with her parents. As a result, there was no knowing what the matter really was. Another neighbour who had no social relationships per se with the childs parents observed this change in the childs mannerisms as well, bit because there was no formal acquaintanceship, she felt it too forward to go and share her findings. 

She however noticed that everytime the child was on her way to school, a car pulled up and picked her. She didnt pay so much attention to it as she considered it “good samiritan” behaviour. However as it became too often and pick-up-site precise, she was curious as to the safety of the child.

Opportunity for her to make a difference in the life of the child presented itself when she was in the neighbourhood mart, picking random items for herself when she overheard the childs mother lamenting her daughters recent misbehaviour. The minute she heard ‘truancy’ and ‘absent in school’, she apologised and jumped into the conversation. It definitely explained the car pick-ups.

She was able to share it with the mother who confronted the child and learnt that she was being hoodwinked by  an older boy to pursue lofty dreams and aspirations. It was a lesson to the parents to pay attention to their childs interests more but it got me thinking…

Had that been a white community where everyone respects everyones space “till it spoils”, the mother would have never been approached and fed the details of her childs misdemeanour. The child may have even run from the house by this time.

But, Black people being who we are, we are unable to see something around us and keep it to ourselves. 

Sometimes this is bad, but it has most of the time brought comfort because you know no matter how off gear you tether, someone is watching your back for free.

Now thats Black Privilege.

 Peace and Love,

Jemjem.