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One Hell of a Pickle

Would it be so bad if I wanted you 
If I told you I lied
The whole time I called you sis
If I told you I ached
When I set you up with others? 
Would it destroy our ties? 
Or would it bind us tighter?

Would it be so hurtful 
If I escaped the friendzone
If I got bored
Of being the innocuous brother 
If I wanted our hugs to last longer
If I wanted that peck a little lower
If I wanted you, plain and simple?

Would it be in vain
If I dreamt of us together
Of a life we could share
When I fantasize of couplings
That involve you and I…
Would it all be lost on you,
Or would you  want that too?

Would it be as bad as they say
All my advisers so wise
And our friends so dear
Worried I might poison the pool.
Would they eventually have to choose sides
Or will they watch us flourish as one?
Would this desire burn us
Or set us afire?

Would I ever be man enough?
To say this to your face
Will you ever know how I pine away
Bloated by words I’ve swallowed.
I know where this goes
For I’m never on time 
And if tomorrow is like yesterday,
I’m sure that these words of mine-
Would be too much, too soon
Or too little too late

Ope OWOTUMI 
07/01/14

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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Personal, Poem

 

To Tragic Tales

In this maze
Everything is a messy haze
The harder I claw
The quicker the sands
The faster I run
The longer the tracks
I find sweet serenity
When I give in to fate
When I accept the sweet serenity 
Of our shared destiny
I’m doomed and surely lost-
Just for as long as you refuse to find me

In this room
There’s a million faces 
Many more eyes
Fixated on me
Hears hung on my words 
Hearts clinging to the hope I bring
Or ruing the ruin I spurn.
In this room of a million faces,
Yours alone is the one I see

In this war
All is fair
I’ve lost my soul
I’ve sold my friends
From canny to criminal
My tactics no boundaries have had
All is fair in love and war
And yet my heart tears at me.
In this war I will yet earn scars
Until you call a truce
Until you make me your knight

Finally we’re here
It’s just us two alone
The spoils of war in tow
The gains of grifting earned.
So close I could touch you
So near I can smell you
All dreams are realised in this moment.
It’s just us two alone
And today just as in the beginning-
You don’t see me

Ope OWOTUMI 
06/1/2014

Happy Birthday Mrs. Odogwu

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Of Fresh Starts

No single day has the power in itself to change your life.

Of course, the general trend in the world is to sell the belief that a day can change your life or that the turn of an age or sheer progression of time can better a person’s life. The sale of this idea- and the reciprocal purchase thereof – is hinged on many things – the commercialisation of the “good life” and the desperate desire of mankind to subscribe to a higher power and all the abilities of such power to change our lives instantly. 

What is the source of this rant? 

New year resolutions!

People have made it a big deal to wait till the first of a year to make life-changing decision. I wonder why. A new beginning is what you make of it and all the new years in the world will not change an old heart, old attitude or old aspiration. Even more so is the obvious fallacy (to my mind) associated with making positive change to one’s life on the day of perhaps the greatest debauchery and delinquency of the year. Yea, that works!

And I wonder, what is a new year? If we did not adopt the Gregorian calendar, the difference between 31st December and 1st January is just as (in)significant as the difference between The 1st and the 2nd. As such, on New Year’s, the fool wakes up foolish, the wise wakes up wise, the drunk rises inebriated and the circumspect wakes up in check – same as all the days before. For it is not the new year that changes them nor is it the old year that carts their troubles and vices away. It is their hearts that make all the difference. 

Should we then not make resolutions? 

The answer lies in every man’s bosom. But the principle is universal- if you are counting on the new year to magically or cosmically change your life, you’ll be unchanged and worse off by the 10th, latest.

The change is you. It’s me. It’s us. Not Christmas, New Year, Kwanzaa, Sallah or atheists’ retreat.

Resolutions are good- if we follow through by being resolute on whatever changes we resolve to make. Everyday could be your new year such that even when the rest of the world is cussing the year away and wishing another year in, you can walk into your room

and throw yourself a party 

A new year party

Happy new year, folks

Ope OWOTUMI 
03/01/14

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Character, Personal

 
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Rumble Of Our Lives

Thunderbolt
You’re sudden and fierce
Dangerous and feared
Your deafening bark dwarfed by your deep bite
You leave disaster in your wake
But then you’re part of what we crave-
Rain

Rain
You’re the good and the bad
Discomfort and pleasure
You’re the awaited relief
And still the rejected pleasure
Too little of you would destroy me
Too much of you and I’m blown away
But I’ll take you over and above what you end-
Harmattan

Harmattan
You’re dryness at its worst
You’re cold and unwanted
The enemy of freedom
You’re the heaviness in my chest
The clog in my breath
But when cold lonely nights are past
You’re the centre of my joy
Cos in the glare of all
And in the presence of sundry
You show me the way-
Sunshine

Sunshine
You’re my light and fire
You’re the warmth I anticipate
You’re the eliminator of secrets
You’re the centre of my vast galaxy
Strong enough to obliterate me
But kind enough to just blister
So I’m reminded of your power
In the feel of your tenderness,
My darling chameleon

Ope OWOTUMI
19/02/13

Happy Birthday, Ibrahim Ndanusa!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Of Friends And Substance

Within the past three months, I’ve met all sorts of people- some amazing, some intellectual and some plain crass. It’s been a healthy experience for me as I’ve been able to boost my tolerance levels for a lot of things- good and bad. I’m also more knowledgeable- thanks to this new crop of people

I met a young man from Akwa Ibom December last year and added him on BBM a short while after. In the time he’s been on my Contact List, he’s sent me at least, 30 Broadcast messages- and I’ve never complained once. They are witty, poignant, philosophical and original. Yesterday, he told me “life is deep, death is deeper”

It’s been impressed on me to share this man’s thoughts so when he showed me a work he wrote way back in 2011, I immediately offered to publish it to which he graciously acceded.

So here goes:

LIFE IS A SPEECH

This year has been full of sadness in many corners. Personally, I’ve never lost so many close ones in a single year like this year of 2011, its not even close to the finish line of the 31st day of December, and we’re already feeling over fed with negatives of departs.
The situation gets even scarier when we face the realism of living, understanding that life when lived greatly or poorly reaches in certainty, a chiefly arrived single penalty of death. So when we face up looking and searching within us, the perfect ideals that make up life, we atimes get entangled in religion and traditions. But I know, its never basic what ideals may mean to us, ideals are relative as it must be such which holds firm adequate sanity. My ideals hang unto my virtues, so I guide my virtues as I roll deeply into realities of life.

Along the line I am disturbed again, because I see virtuous and righteous minds leaving their flesh and eternally holding unto their souls. Then I re- apprehend, perfection may give us the inner satisfaction but God’s will switches the effects of life and death.
Many questions would arise each day we breathe, spiritual and physical theories defining why poverty ruins more than half the world. Same way, we couldn’t chose whether or not to grace this sick planet, same reasons we can’t comprehend the missing equilibriums within us.

In my opinion, the number of horses a horse racer has makes no meaning but the number of wins he collects defines his mastery. Many of us think a long life on earth is the actual victory, very few know that the victory is in the weight of living we have attained. This shifts my position into the conditioning of relativity, the actual reasons we are judges of nothing except the strides moved by tides of our prints upon our destinies. Hereafter is nothing we know about. So the speed at which we propel life should be simple, strong and beautiful like a flower whose hope is a touch of right sunlights, ours should be same if we see the sun atall, because many would say its heaven, the day they see the sun and some will say its hell.

I would never forget Amy Winehouse’s quote and she would never show fear, she said “I’m of the school of thought where, if you can’t sort something out for yourself, no one can help you. Rehab is great for some people but not others, if I die tomorrow, I will be a happy girl”. My beautiful friend Pearly, in her last internet update said quoting the bible ‘it is finished’.

I know with certainty that life is a speech and we are its power, but I cannot predict this life, but if I could, I would jump at it… But I think, it would become a bore, I know I feel this because I am only human, loving the adventure that spills upon my path. So is every human I assume shamefully.
So everyday I live, I do not hesitate to add my talent to its happiness and worries, for pleasant causes of satisfaction and with this I know not the mind of God but I pray His mercies should never leave me.

To the friends and family we’ve lost so far, may they rest, knowing the real life is what they’ve begun. Amen.

©Unwana Umana’s essays.2011

Republished
21/02/13

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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There Is A Season

“To every thing there is a season… A time to be born, and a time to die;…”- Eccl 3:1,2

To start with, I’m not a fan of Nollywood. I don’t know a lot about it as I didn’t grow up watching TV or a lot of movies. Now that I can watch Nigerian movies, I still don’t watch them. Off the top of my head, I can spew out reasons why I dislike them- bad acting, very flawed grammar, terrible scripts, borrowed (nay, stolen) stories, lame titles, multiplication of parts, sick continuity, shoddy editing etcetera. There’s also the VERY imaginative and sublimely original name of the industry- Nollywood

So happenings in the sphere of Nigerian entertainment pass me by and fail to shake me. When Goldie passed, I got a broadcast message (beat that) saying she had died. I wondered what made it so different from any other death or even the unfortunate incident involving Oscar Pistorius some hours earlier (I didn’t get a BC about THAT). Then I began to see update and tweets and statuses about Goldie and I had to ask myself- was she really this loved, or is this just another case of all the prodigal children coming around to throw the burial of the century for the mother they despised in life? I guess it was a mixture of both

In Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood, the story is told of a man whose job was to wash the clothes of his white boss’ wife for which his wife would always give him grief and belittle him. Then the oyinbo boss leaves the country with his wife and life becomes harder for their employees in Nigeria. At that point, it dawns on the washman’s wife that “washerman na honest WORK”

I think I’m at this phase personally. When Justus Esiri was alive, I made fun of him like no tomorrow. I called him all sorts of names. I thought he was classless- he could act in any role. In my opinion, he had done too much and paid his dues too well to cap-in-hand, accept just any role from just any script-wielder. But now that he’s gone, I realise he was actually one of the golden generation- people who helped shape Nigerian entertainment. Try telling our movie history without mentioning Justus, I dare ya. Try telling the story of how we got here in Nollywood while excluding Sam Loco, Pete Edochie, Enebeli, Olu Jacobs and Justus Esiri. I’ll wait!

And now that three of those five names are no longer with us, I’m filled with dread. First, I fear that with them died a part of our movie culture that we may never be able to recreate. Which of the fresh Vickers, Elliots or Dumelos can pull off Sam Loco’s persistently drunk, kegite look and witty response? Which one of them can make the cut when a conspiratorial, bullish chief needs to be portrayed as Enebeli did back in the day? Which of them can be a Village Headmaster when it’s more appealing to be that big boy in a Range Sport chasing little, impressionable girls?? I fear that some roles are forever gone

Two, in other climes, celebrities live longer. That is if they don’t die of an overdose or some other silly addiction in their primes. They have access to the best healthcare and care givers. In their old age, they live as dignified retirees. In other climes. I then wonder, what it is that robs us of our legends this side of the Greenwich? Is it that our actors and actresses are too poorly paid to afford the good life in old age? Is the demon of life expectancy not escapable? Whatever the case, though, there’s never a good age to die

It is my prayer that his family receives grace to bear the loss. We thank Justus Esiri for his contributions to our world as we know it. And even if all other reasons fail, we thank him for giving us the versatile Dr. Sid

Ope OWOTUMI
20/02/13

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Fall Of The Empire

A great man once said “if you want to hide anything from a black person, put it in a book”. A disregarding statement that sadly seems to be the case if the development of Africa as a continent (and Nigeria in particular) is to be put in retrospect and in comparison with its fellow counterparts around the world.

This constant regression in development however can be attributed to several reasons ranging from corruption, poor infrastructural development, lack of basic amenities, increasing levels of unemployment among other issues confronting an already beleaguered government. But more wearisome is the progressive decline in intellectual development among its young populace, one which accounts for close to 43% of the total population according to the population reference bureau and whom are suppose to be the future leaders of the country as popularly acclaimed.

Reasons however for this steady decline are not far fetched; a poor educational structure and a seemingly lack of intent on the part of the government to improve on it could be immediately pointed out as reasons for the decline by many; but oblivious to many and quite important is the large drift in interest of the youths away from studying, with a more seeming preference for the social life, one which can be said to have been encouraged by the global emergence of various social media (facebook, twitter, blackberry messenger [BBM] etc). Little wonder there’s a large drift in interest. Albeit, this disturbing decline cannot utterly be attributed to the global emergence of the various social media; as this has also ironically been proven to actually improve communication skills and by extension, intellect, if used properly. Hence, further asserting the claim that less personal effort is being directed towards studying by the youth of this generation.

Back in the day, Nigeria boasted of an array of young vibrant youths whose intellectual contributions to the development of the world in all facets, be it science or art were celebrated and recognised with the likes of Prof. Wole Soyinka and Philip Emeagwali topping the list, little but no wonder their remarkable achievements in their field of expertise. Certainly however, gone are those glorious days- or so it seems. Days when we had an ample crop of indigenous writers (the likes of Chinua Achebe, J.P. Clark, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka etc) whose books broadened our knowledge and occupied our bookshelves for years. Indeed, gone are those days!

With a deep breathe of sadness my heart aches for my generation whom in sharp contrast from the previous generation now only get recognition and win awards for their musical pre-eminence which consists largely of lewd insinuations and foul lyrics. This leaves more to be desired.
Although, not many would accept this; as many would argue and lay claim to the global trend of events around the world being the major cause for this steady decline and not “the less personal effort” as being highlighted, of which nigeria is no exception. Though partly true, I beg to disagree because if an evaluation is done on the scale of intellectual development in Nigeria in comparison to other countries like Ghana, Britain, America or even India (whom can also be said to be in tune with this latest global trends), Nigeria would definitely fall behind

Let’s take particular example from India- a third world country with similar diverse ethnic and socio cultural heritage and also whose educational structure and system cannot be said to be utterly above ours, not to mention its population; Yet, a Nigerian student cannot be said to be at par with an Indian counterpart. The reasons for this are not also far fetched; unlike the nigerian student, an average indian student is more self reliant for academic excellence and doesn’t wait on the said educational structure to achieve success. In fact, a recent research revealed that India has got more smarter students than the population of America! Surprising but true and obviously, the statistics are population inclined of which India has got approximately four times the american population. On the other hand, China has got a larger population than India but less smarter people, hence, further emphasising the fact that the personal effort of the Indians have made them a smarter nation irrespective of its population than America- who on the other hand boast of a more enviable educational structure and system.

The same can be achieved here in Nigeria if our youths begin to put more effort in their intellectual skills rather than social skills. With the world developing at lightening speed and with technological improvements and breakthroughs emerging every year, it becomes paramount that more personal effort is directed towards intellectual development. Thus, the sooner we realise this down here in Nigeria the better; else we find ourselves marooned further into the said darkness of Africa.

#WakeUpCall

Ibrahim Ndanusa
16/02/13

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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