The labours of our heroes past…

I haven’t sang the national anthem in a bit. I usually do it as a prayer on Independence day, along with the national pledge. But, last Independence day, I was overtaken by life, I am not sure I took the time to carry out this tradition. I guess I can blame this on the fact that it was a Sunday, and I was in church, and certainly, na pray for Nigeria go be the theme.

Naija

In my conversations on The Port Harcourt Bookclub Whatsapp group (Thanks Andy), personal curiousity and learnings from my “Socio-Political Environment of Business” class, I have learned so much history and stories about Nigeria that leaves me like R Kelly singing “If I could turn back the hands…”

I am not sure how all these new knowledge makes me feel about singing the national anthem. For starters, I’m the minority that really liked the original one that the oyibo people gave us. But what do I know, I am the minority after all.

Here is one thing I do know; that labours of our heroes past, I’d like to clarify on which of the heroes exactly we are talking about before asking that it never be in vain.

Nigeria, and poor Nigerians have had a roll with bad leadership. its really bleak running through the photo album of them all. There is so much pervasive selfishness and greed among the pages, you might just have a fit. An epileptic one. (Word to the wise, you are better off not looking through them) (Unless you are trying to confirm the bad track record of one of them. I promise you won’t be disappointed in that front)

Its been 18 years of Democracy. We say things are getting better, but young Nigerians (who are even old if i do say!) need coercing to go and get their PVCs and be eligible to vote in the coming elections. How they are hoping things change while acting defeated beats me.

Andy had a beautiful thread, on twitter, where I think he has found a hack out of our “situation” if we can be patient and strategic in our application. See, the institutions that exist already nurse our misfortunes in this country. Its up to us to wean it of the badness.

Now, back to that “labours of our heroes past”, who wants to be a sport and send me the list, so that my anthem singing can be more precise. I certainly would not want to include the “hero” who was overwhelmed by the Forex earnings, and publicly admitted to having “too much money, the problem is how to spend it”

By the way, Happy Democracy Day!! Our Democracy is old enough to drink beer now!

two persons holding drinking glasses filled with beer
Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com
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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

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.