WOW! Reflecting on all that 2016 came with, makes me grateful.
The New Year started out very promising. There were no resolutions but plans, goals, milestones and targets.
January was beautifully busy as expected, I had started out on implementing my plans and then February came with a head injury in tow.
It happened during a dance performance at the British council on a Monday evening, my team mate landed on my head while rounding off his flip on a badly lit stage. After the performance, I was rushed to the hospital with everyone around me scolding me about the fact that I kept dancing, even though blood was dripping down my neck.
Trust Nigerian doctors and nurses with their nonchalant attitude of ‘we’ve seen worse things’. I had my head stitched without a scan, even though I asked for one. I started having constant headaches, dizzy spells and my assimilation became very slow. I changed hospitals (thanks to Yene Keap) and proper measures were taken to identify what the problem was. I was then, referred to an Indian hospital for a CT SCAN and CONTRAST.
It turned out that I had fluid in my brain!!! I couldn’t freak out, I just wanted the pain to stop. I was placed on completely different medication that helped and was told to stay off all activities, both physical and mental.
I was bummed but Yene was amazing. She was with me the whole time, making sure that I was attended to and even helped out with some bills. Hmmmn, it’s funny how this awesome soul has featured in different aspects of my life this year. May God always be available when you need Him,Yene. Amen.
Also in February, I met Zoza Icha again after a long time at one of Dike Chukwumerije’s rehearsals where I was preparing for Night of Spoken Words 6 (NSW6) as a dance performer and actress (yes! I love dance, I love poetry, I love art, lights, camera, and action!). She was so happy to see me. She told me how I had been on her mind to cast for a major role in a PSA that was being planned by BBC Media Action. She said to me “I know you can pull it off but I’d need you to show my colleagues that you can. Audition is next week Monday, see you at the office”.
After my early morning dance sessions at The Krump Dance Studios, where I work, I rushed off to BBC office for the audition.
I was really excited as I stepped into the audition room. There were four judges including the ‘professional’ Zoza not Zoza, my friend. My optimism and excitement caused me to exude so much confidence and a smile that lit up the entire room. Funny thing is, I didn’t even know anything about the role before hand or that it would require me to smile a lot. I was asked several questions and given 2 scenarios to play.
Four days later, I got a call saying that I got the role and stating the terms of my contract, and rehearsal dates and times. Glory to God, all things did work together for my good.
The head injury happened the night before the shoot. I got to the location late with my freshly stitched head, thanks to my supportive sister, Damilola Olukitibi and my boss, Jemima Angulu who took good care and paid so much attention to ensuring that I did everything needed for me to get back up on my feet (though my boss didn’t know I was at a location the morning after, she wouldn’t have let me go). I really wanted to be a part of the PSA and I just couldn’t imagine being left out or being replaced .
The makeup artiste did an awesome job hiding my plastered head, the crew did an awesome job ensuring that I wasn’t stressed or overwhelmed, I did an awesome job keeping my smile on my face and God did an awesome job sparing my life.
Imagine how excited I was when everyone who watched it on TV kept calling to say “Well done dear, that was beautiful”. Truly, there is some beauty in pain.
Eventually, it was exam time. Sadly, I had yet another dilemma to deal with. I had been running two different degrees in two different institutions and this time, the exams coincided.
I was advised to defer all but I just couldn’t do it . These were my finals and I was not ready to set my academic goals back by a whole year. I couldn’t bear to think of it. It just wasn’t an option.So, I started my preparations for exams. CHOI! Na so so headache, serious pain and extremely slow assimilation o. I would read a paragraph over and over and over again before I understood it. E no funny, at all. I just kept telling myself “O girl, na you send yourself o! So just face am”.
I ended up having an attack during one of the papers; I started feeling dizzy, the pain in my head had me screaming and I couldn’t breathe. I was moved quickly out of the hall, water was poured on me and anyone who had what could be used as a fan, used it. I didn’t recover until after the exam. O boy! I made sure I wrote o.
Na so I do, finish my final year exams and I can proudly say I am graduate of the University of Abuja, with my project in view.
It took 4 months of no activities to recover fully and return to work. I had lost so much time to an injury but hey, I lived to tell the tale and for that I am grateful.
It was also quite a busy year at work too, there was the CREATIVE SERIES – an artistic compilation of themed dance events spread across the year 2016 by The Krump Dance Studios. It included, the Choreographer’s Ball , where I assisted Adebayo Adeniyi, a choreographer. I enjoyed every minute of preparing for that. We came in third place. Then there was ‘Love & Jazz’ in February,in which I played major dance roles, ‘For The Love of Hip Hop’ in March (where I had just one performance) and Omo Naija in May, which I missed (#sad face)
With August came, ”Expressions The Soul’ . I loved this so much and I’m yet to get over it. We had weeks of intensive training and rehearsals with the choreographers. It was an amazing welcome back to work for me. The depths I reached to become everything I was on that stage, dwells within me till date. It was breath taking. I had the opportunity of being in every scene, performing pieces by myself, Jemima Angulu and Qudus Onikeku.
Different events got me more alert spiritually and I am thankful to people I can vouch for as friends. I made, found, understood and lost friends, this year but then, such is life.
A magnificent thank you to my momma (Mrs Oluwatoyin Olukitibi), my dad (Mr Kayode Olukitibi), my sister (Oluwadamilola Olukitibi), my twin brother (Olaoluwa Olukitibi), Hannah Amos, Femi Oloruntoba, Mercy Godwin, Yene Keap, Marho, Ekene Nwankpo, Cheso, Stephanie Enebeli, Jemima Angulu, Tabitha Anthony, Usman Suleiman, Funminiyi Adeleye, Aniekeme Johnson, Dike Chukwumerije, Gina Castel, and others to mention a few, in whom I found friendship, at one point or the other this year. They gave ears to my thoughts, worries, plans, fears, showed me love, assured me by showing that they’dalways be there, they gave me their time and created unforgettable moments with me, sometimes, they were my helpers, advisors, critics, shoulders to cry on and have shown support every time, one way or the other. Most of all, they are those God has really used for me this year. I am also grateful to those who are in touch every time they see an opportunity where I can feature. Thank you.
*wipes tears*. Lol! I can be such a softie, sometimes .
It’s the last bit of the year and I’m all buckled up and still catching up with initial plans and goals.
I’m presently working on #mymodelface series, my initiative for me, my modelling career, the makeup artists, and photographers I’m working with.
Discovering myself every day in 2016 has been an amazing experience and each time my birthday (31st of Dec) draws near, I’m reminded of how blessed and favored I am, with the understanding that I am everything I am because GOD willed it.
I also learnt again that anyone, irrespective of status can be used for one’s elevation. So, treat everyone right and be the best version of yourself always.
2016 has taught me to be grateful and put God over all. The woman I am is stronger, brave, wise, wealthy, understanding, and God is for me. I am Oluwabukunmi Olukitibi.
I AM HAPPY and look forward to an adventurous and awesome 2017 filled with lots of love by God’s grace.