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

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League of Extra-Ordinary First-time Mothers.

Everything about birthing is nothing short of a miracle.

Be it Nannygoat or bitch.

But the birth of a human baby, the bringing of another life, knowing that earth is a miserable space and resolving to protect your child with your every breath from the misery therein.. I haven’t quite found the words to capture it.

I would shout out to all the mothers of stillborns, because even though I haven’t been in the same space as a birth, I have had to hold a mothers hand through a stillbirth experience, & there is hardly another agony that comes close. Those mothers deserve a dedicated post. This one is not about them.

This one is about Agbonma, Agatha and Donnie. Real life superheroes whose names I have changed to protect their privacy 😊. I have known these people (well, 2 out of 3) for most of my life. They all attained superhero status when they became mothers.

2 out of 3 had premature babies. At the time when it is said to be risky to birth a child before term.

I was mostly in touch with 2 out of 3 of them for most of their pregnancy. I knew it was tough, they had their big challenges and challenges with the experience, but they never let on.

Not in their voice. Not in their reactions.

They were not deluded in the least. They were instead gassed up by the incredible juice of faith.

3 out of 3 of these women, went at least 4 days after birth without their babies. Because their babies needed more than their colostrum at that point to live. They had waited 9 long months (let’s approximate, shall we?) to meet with their charming offspring, instead they had to learn new terms for their already populated vocabulary.

NICU. SCBU. Tubes and oxygen and more tubes because as much as you think they need to be cuddled, they need to survive the next minute more.

The boys are all bubbly and well, to the glory of our great God. The mothers recount their ordeals with pride and you cannot miss the gratitude in their voices. It’s underlying like a rug laid from corner to corner. I love to hear them share the testimonies, adds a skip to my step, reaffirms my belief that we are not alone.

Everyone (exaggerated but..) anticipates the joy that is motherhood/childbirth, but no one ever prepares you for the event that things may not go according to plan. Nothing breaks you into your reality.

I have seen strength, I have seen faith, but none comes close to these extra-ordinary women , first time mothers who literally carry the world on their shoulders. They do it with the smile and strength that puzzles me.

Cheers to the brilliant league of extra-ordinary first time mothers!!!🍻🍻🍻

The Orthodox girl musing.

The Orthodox girl musing.

I grew up an Anglican girl.

Singing hymns and the eucharist, Te deum’s and Benediction. This represented a worship service to me. I love the sobriety and piety of it all.

Let me rephrase that first line, I grew up an Anglican girl in a small conservative town. The only variations in my services were the language in which the service was held.

The same things people dont love about my denomination is the absolute reason I stay.

But then, Religion is not my favourite topic of discussion, so I won’t talk about it. I’m just going to ask what I came to ask…

There is a new trend where the teenagers, youth and young adult have their own church separate from the rest of the “adult”. These sections are funkier, for lack of a better adjective (considering how funky the church already is, which road are we going again, abeg), and tailored to suit the young people’s style of worship.

Here in lies my inquisition;

1. Where did young people assemble and thus decide that this is their preferred style of worship?

2. Why are we tailoring services to suit our fancy? Is this one too also about us?

3. Time passes and you are not a youth/young adult/teenager any more, you have to transcend to that “adult” church that wasn’t good enough for you before, is it going to be good enough for you now? Or are we just going to carry on with labels that don’t mean anything?

OK.

I don’t want to be that cat that curiousity you-know-what.

I’m deeply..deeply comforted that the power of prayer is not in the one who prays, but in the one who is prayed to (Max Lucado-paraphrased)

Peace & Bubble wrap

Jem.

This is the difference.

Franklyne’s call.

That was the beginning of this trip. Something in his tone had me tense, I imagined what it was as he got off the phone. I didn’t wonder for long because he called back, completely broken, and it broke me. I confirmed you were gone and I couldn’t find my voice.

Maybe I should send Uncle Okezie a thank you card, because he presented a splendid memory, which I am going to remember you by.

I talk about you and struggle whether to use past tense or present tense. I know I should use past tense, but I am not willing.

Grandfather left a couple of months before you. I knew there was something wrong with the way that left me feeling. Somewhat distant and in denial. I wondered what could be missing. The pain? The PAIN?

This is the difference.

Day 2 of n….where n is indefinite.

I don’t know when I will get tired of counting. Maybe today,Maybe a year today. I remember when the Champions of #BBOG were going about their cause, and counted as far as 500 days. I wondered if they would tire, when they would tire. The people who started the counting cause, and fell by the wayside; it don’t necessarily mean that they had tired to lend voice..

I may not count what day it is without you on earth, but it is certainly not any easier.

I bid you Adieu my brother and friend, this vacuum is yours to fill, the memories together will do it.

Ohakwe Stephen Akwiwu lives forever.

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.

Conversations avec le pere.

“Daddy, I’ll be moving by next weekend for school”

“Ah! So you mean this Medicine dream is really kaput? Did you ever apply to those schools I brought you their brochures?”

This is normal path of career conversations with Daddy. My Padre has no intentions of letting things go. He is definitely the type to go for the opportunity to whisper “I told you so” with a coy smirk. I have dreaded it so much that it has turned to become such a delight. Like a game of ‘let’s see if you’ve still got it, if you are right and actually know me’.

Fortunately, he also realises that not all battles are for winning…but it won’t stop him from trying.

“I hear Nda Walter passed”

“Yes..yes. The children..oh! not that there’s ever a thing as a good burial, but his children did well with his funeral. It was befitting”

This was my attempt to salvage our conversation from going south towards awkward. Nda Walter was a very safe topic. He was a much older friend of my father’s, and we hung around his family a lot when we were younger, and we were very fond of him.

“That’s great. How is Nda Gold? I hope she is holding up alright? I haven’t seen them in ages”

“You haven’t? Then perhaps you should go and see them now that you are here.”

Classic Daddy move. Of course we both know that’s not happening, but it will be replayed that “I had wanted to come visit, but couldn’t because I was home for a very short time”.

Daddy was pleased to see me. He didn’t say so, typical Nigerian father, but it was in the way he fussed about what I would have for breakfast (Mom was out of town) and how nothing else mattered (not even that we were already VERY late to church) except our current conversation.

This time too he listened, he usually did most of the talking while I listened, but not that day.

I’ll probably always be a Daddy’s girl, and that’s a good thing because for most of my life, I have considered my father blameless. I recently found out how wrong I was, but not a single thing has changed between our relationship. Or maybe it has, but it’s not all bad. Instead, it’s made me more accepting of other people’s flaws (because Daddy was a pretty high standard).

Parents are pretty important to me right now, because I realise they need me more than I need them, and I want for them to know that I have got them. Especially as I am reminded by the losses around me.

May God keep them for us.

x

Daddy’s girl.

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.