In opening, kindly allow me sound Nigerian.
Like play like play, 2016 don finish!
My 2016 below (remember, this piece will be disjointed) played out like a movie, a twisted but interesting one.
Even as I write this, I can remember vividly, what I wore to church on New Year’s eve of 2015. Heck, I still remember what almost everyone wore, heck heck, I still remember going to anchor an event that had no, I repeat, NO attendees that night. I still remember gazing at the organiser in reverent awe at his stupidity when he said, if I did not perform I would not be paid and I was like “to whom shall I perform? The elements?”
I remember thinking I was gonna die in those few hours while I was prepping to make people laugh. I still remember telling myself that I would, die that is. And that is no joke. Crazy innit?
I entered 2016 with a flourish.
Finally, the long awaited job that I had sought for 7 years came, and what’s more? I am doing something I was born for, creative writing. Permit me to quickly insert here that my boss must have God Himself as her family member. She is a woman who has aged gracefully and is gracious too.
See, I write books for her, minus quite a number of other things. Once, while we were on a break from our numerous brainstorming sessions, I had an idea for an audiobook after she had voice recorded something for me to transcribe. I loved what I heard. I thought of two other people who had told me that they dream about voice acting and so I quickly penned down their names; Vanessa and Fred, and called them immediately. They loved the idea and were interested in being part of it. I told my boss about it when we resumed. She loved it too and encouraged me to live my dream, and even agreed to be a character if need be. On one condition, I should sha give her some of my time to also help her birth hers.
I must confess, she is one of the best things that happened to me in 2016.
Well, work is tedious, not hard, tedious. And in the line of duty, I have been tested to my limit.
I was able to write something in the region of ten books, I mean novels, in half a year, minus compendiums of thoughts and poems, and also create PowerPoint slides for presentations at seminars, meetings, etc.
Impressive, right? I thought so too.
Two computers crashed since I started work, one irreparably. I’ve lost my body of work three times because of this, one of them when I was ten books gone. I say three because the third time I had no computers and so I used a phone, my phone, until the real owner of the phone snatched it right out of my hands while I was working in a cab. Someone may ask “why didn’t you run after the thief?” You’ll soon know why.
Did I mention that this year I have been involved in more road accidents than I have ever been in all my life? The first happened on my way back from Asaba in March, and up till now, I still don’t understand how no one in the bus received a single scratch. I was bathed in shards of glass, mind you. Except for rivulets of blood on my skin, there was nothing else. I got back to work and told my boss about it. A week later she bought me yards of cloth to celebrate my safety. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.
Fast forward to August and two crashed computers later, I had another accident. This time, my foot stopped a car from hitting a motorised rickshaw, ‘keke’ as we know it here in Nigeria. Now, let me take this time to say to anyone reading this who has had a fracture or has been involved in an accident with injuries to show for it, you are heroes. If you haven’t had any of these, you will never understand.
My foot was so contorted at first; it almost looked like a boomerang when I pulled my shoe off. Long story short, I had no fractures, but my foot bones were shifted out of place. For some strange reason which I’ll share, they’ve gone back to place of their own accord. I simply said “Jesus no, no fractures, I’ve had quite a sh*@ty life so far, I cannot deal with this right now.” Yes, I cussed while at it. I was in pain yo! And He is sweet and merciful. Sadly though, I’m starting all over again. And my boss, her patience baffles me.
It was while I still had a bandage on my foot that my phone was stolen one rainy night and all I could do was watch the thief race into the bushes. I hobbled after him, mad as can be, pain shooting up my right foot, the thought that the phone was barely three weeks mine all ran through my mind. It was crazy.
I succumbed to depression this year with no one but God to lean on.
And no, I did not see my ‘Orente’ this year, so don’t greet her for me yet.
Now to the sweet news.
I tend to choose passion over safety, and that trend continued this year as I added sound design and engineering and radio production to my repertoire of can-do things, yes sir.
Due to past experiences, I had intended to turn down a pro-bono job for a prominent man of the cloth here in Abuja. It was a for a series. They needed scriptwriters. I asked if there was money involved then I saw pro-bono written boldly. Honestly,I wanted to form not knowing what it meant, pay me or free me. But thankfully, a certain Seun Lottu, my friend and brother prevailed on me and I offered my services.
Well, on the team of scriptwriters were two names I have mentioned earlier; Vanessa and Fred.
They also acted… Whoa!!!
I went from being scriptwriter to assisstant director. The director took interest in me and now I have a mentor in the field of sound design and engineering. He’s been connecting me to certain jobs and as I write this, another alert entered. And yes, guess what else he has taught me… how to create audiobooks. This was me saying I won’t do nahtin pro-bono. Someone say God is not involved in my matter and see what I will do to you. Audiobook should be out 2018, woshawt for eet.
And then there was Just Hangin’
What started as a passing comment while my friend and I were lamenting the quality of music last year, gave birth to a monthly poetry, spoken word, jazz and soul music event I host. Through it, I have been able to hone my anchoring skills while granting artistes a platform to express themselves.
Talking about anchoring events, it has been a good year…
There was food expo
There was kick for hope
There was fashion for charity
There were weddings
I’ve lost count.
This was the year I started to really explore and I love what I see about me
Come to think of it, there are so many things I can’t remember, but I know that I have grown, why? I no longer fidget and fret like I used to, worry like I used to, be afraid like I used to. I have only One to thank…
ALL CORRECT SIR!!! YOU HAVE DONE WELL.
Did I mention that I have not seen my Orente? Don’t bother greeting her for me.