Friday, 27 July 2007

Words you can only hear from a Naija person

My personal favourites are - 3, 23 and 87 . What are yours?

1. Insult upon injury
2. Nonsense and Ingredients
3. If I sound u ehh, I will soon slap you
4. How Far? 5. Can I see your particulars?
6. Anything for me sir?
7. Are you mad?
8. Half-caste
9. Next tomorrow
10. Make I come block you dia
11. Lai, Lai
12. See me see trouble oh
13. Shift/Dress small, make I sit
14. abeg vamus / abeg commot
15. nonsense say wetin happen
16. Abomination
17. Over my dead body
18. God forbid bad thing
19. I need to retouch my (h)air
20. Any word with 'bloody' e.g. bloody fool, bloody liar, bloody idiot
21. Na wa oooo
22. Tell me something
23. Why do you want to know my name?
24. Abeg joo
25. Can u imagine.....
26. wonders shall never cease
27. Tofiakwa (and some people feeling janded will say TUFI!!!!)
28. Chei, Kai
29. Oya me we dey go
30. Hold on lemme branch somewhere

51. Did they sack you?

52. I trekked all the way here
53. Where is the toilet, I want to piss
54. I want to drink cold mineral
55. Which one now?
56. Can u imagine, he was trying to toast me
57. Jacker
58. Your head is not correct
59. Have you seen that film before?
60. Just imagine!
61. My school fees money
62. No wahala!
63. Revise back small
64. Oya, shake body
65. Shine your eye
66. Carry go
67. Don't try me o
68. Enough effizzy
69. Nna, You chop?
70. Ashewo bastard!
71. What happen?
72. We must wash am!
73. Eeyin, but why? (meaning ore/aboki/friend-- why now?)
75. No be soooo!
76. I will see you today, athink?
77. Cold iced water!
78. Abeg commot 4 hia
79. We will hook up next week
80. That chick is BUNZ!!!!!!!
81. BEANZ!!!!!!!!!!!
82. Na Yam?
83. Shakara
84. Na so we see am o!
85. How we go do am now?
86. Like say....
87. You can't do more than a dead rat...
88. Na you sabi
89. cold dey catch me
90. I no send
91. Shey you grab
92. Ma guy, leave am
93. You dey jones
94. You go roast
95. Na for your head
96. we go jam
97. I go burst ur head
98. Bros how far
99. How e dey do u
100. No be Goooood?

Saturday, 21 July 2007

On being vulnerable (...or simply put - Pieces of Me)

I will present you parts of myself slowly.
If you are patient and tender, I will open drawers that mostly stay closed, and bring out places and people and things, sounds and smells, love and frustrations, hopes and sadness.
Bits and pieces of life that have been grabbed off in chunks and found lying in my hands they have eaten their way into my heart altogether, you or I will never see them.
-They are me-
If you regard them lightly, deny that they are important, or worse judge them. I will quietly slowly begin to wrap them up in small pieces of velvet, like worn silver and gold jewelry, tuck them away in a small wooden chest of drawers and close them away.

By Jim Messina
This is so beautiful, and exactly where i have gotten to on this journey towards my true, authentic self. It's about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, taking the risk to be real and true to yourself. Knowing that, in the process, you may get hurt, rejected, disapproved of etc, etc; but nevertheless taking this risk, fully persuaded that more often than not, the fear, doubt and hesitancy you may feel will be worth it in the end because you finally connect with the world and people around you.

Over the years, i became desensitised to a lot of my emotions to the extent that they became inconsequential as a result of my failure to acknowledge them. Being the thinking, questioning, introspective person that i am, i was able to trace the origin of this back to my early years in primary school in Nigeria. I was shipped off to boarding school, where i was subsequently bullied. I won't go into the details right now, but i basically stood out as an easy target, being the girl who spoke with a british accent, and who had ideas of what and how things should be and wasn't afraid to voice them.

And so the bullying began, and subconsciously, i learnt that the best way to deal with it was to withdraw into myself, betray no emotions and just focus on surviving. Period.

Withdrawing into myself became the norm as i grew up and i got better and better at disguising my true feelings. I presented this, 'together' front to the world, but inside i was in agony because i knew i wasn't being real. I mean, if you haven't been there, you have no idea how draining and energy sapping it is to maintain a front that isn't real.

I'm a naturally caring, nurturing person so i've never found it difficult to relate to people, but i began to find that i had a lot of acquaintances, but very few people i could call true friends. My relationships lacked the depth that i longed for and it soon became clear that it was due to my need to appear in control and never be vulnerable, thereby protecting myself from hurt. Self-preservation is a very strong instinct, however, the basic human need to feel rapport, validation and connectedness with others is very strong also. So it became a tug of war between these two urges.

It's been hard. It continues to be hard, that is why i'm glad that the writer of the piece above was able to put my feelings into words better than i ever could have. I'm learning to love myself daily. And with that, i'm learning to reveal myself to others, knowing that even if they reject me, it doesn't affect the way i feel about myself. Because i love ME.

George Benson, Whitney Houston, and whoever else has covered the song got it right when they sang

'Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all'.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

McDreamy v McSteamy

I'm loving the new series of Gray's Anatomy on Living TV at the moment. I'm loving the male eye candy even more.

Lost star in new ad

Josh Holloway aka Sawyer from Lost in the new Davidoff Cool water ad. Phwoarrr!!!

read more | digg story

Thursday, 12 July 2007

My Quest for a Life (Part 2)

So, i went to my first gig with the meet up group on Tuesday. It turned out that there were 3 other acts before the group we thought we were coming to see actually came on, so we didn't have a choice but to sit through everything.

The first was a 'sister' from the States and she did a song accapella. It was quite good actually, especially as she didn't need a mic cos the acoustics in the venue were awesome. Did i mention the venue, by the way? Well, it's this chapel in the middle of Soho, really small and intimate and they have music gigs every Tuesday evening as a way of raising money to keep the place open. The place is very old and has a very gothic feel which was all the more enhanced by the several candles dotted around which provided the only lighting for the evening. Very spooky, but cool at the same time.

So anyway, there i was with this group of total strangers and the only black face in our group (although i've already come to terms with this particular reality and my reaction to it through my job).

So, the second act comes on and they're basically 3 guys with guitars and 1 drummer. The only polite way i can describe their music is - gentle. As in send-you-to-sleep gentle. One of my new found 'mates' - an Irish chap, commented that their stuff reminds him of 1960s Pink Floyd. One of the others laughs saying 'yes, as opposed to 1970s Pink Floyd because the two are quite different'. More laughter all round. Me, i smile and nod my head vigorously, trying to look as if i knew the heck what they were on about. Or rather, trying not to look completely clueless and ignorant. But in my defence, i have heard of Pink Floyd, i'm just not familiar with their music, ok.

These guys are not so bad actually, but they do go on...and on.........and on. They do at least 5-6 songs, all equally dreary... i mean, soothing. By the time they annouce the title of their final song i and another girl in the group are giggling rather noisily and passing comments. Not very supportive, i know, i know.

Ok, so the 3 act comes on. Four guys again - 1 guitar player/lead singer, 1 drummer, 1 ukelele (yep!) player and we had a good debate as to the nature of the final guys instrument. I can only describe it as something resembling a child's toy xylophone. So, the come on, clearly pi...., i mean drunk. The singing is atrocious. Believe me, atrocious, but the lyrics are funny. Something along the lines of 'I had a conversation with my mother one day and she told me i drank too much, now all i want to is have another ...WHISKEY! (sorry, you really had to be there).

Finally, a ripple of excitement is felt as the main attraction prepare to come on. And the do not disappoint. Definitely worth the wait. They're a jazz band and exceptionally good. I wonder what it is about creative guys, but i found myself gazing at the double bass player in fascination as he skillfully strummed the strings and caressed the shiny polished wood surface of his instrument (that's not meant to sound suggestive at all, honestly!), thinking 'hmm, i wouldn't mind a piece of that'! Then i remember they're all aged between 20 and 22 and i decide to respect my old age and appreciate their talent only.

All in all, it was a lovely night. Mixed bag, but the goal is to cram as many experiences into my existence as i can, as opposed to vegging out at home on my sofa watching tv and comfort eating.

I think i'll try salsa dancing next................

No More 'Smalling Up' of Me

No more meekly saying yes
when my heart is screaming no
No more taming of my feelings
so my power won't show
No more hiding my exuberance
from disapproving eyes
No more watering down myself
so my spirit won't rise

No more 'smalling up' of me
pretending I'm not here
No more running from the music
and the spotlight's glare
No more living in this prison
barricaded by my fears
No more turning and retreating
in the face of new frontiers.

Even as I am speaking
I am taking shape and form
harnessing my powers
like a gathering storm
There's no obstacle so bold
as to dare stand in my way
I am taking back my life
and I am doing it today.

By Jean Wilson

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Lauryn Hill at the Hammersmith Apollo

What a load of shizzle!!!

I managed to get tickets to the Lauryn Hill concert at the Hammersmith Apollo on July 8th about 2-3 months ago. I was understandably very excited about this, as she has always been one of my all time best female vocalists mainly for her originality and sheer undeniable talent. I even turned down the opportunity to get reasonably priced tickets for the Concert for Diana the preceding weekend, figuring that seeing L-boogie would make up for that. BTW, P Diddy rocked the house that day (i saw it on tv). I dont even like the guy, but he really did bring down the house. He was awesome!

Anyway, i began to count down the days to the concert with great anticipation. The only other 'major'concert i've been too was the Anita Baker concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005. I mean she was fabulous!!!!! Words fail me. She delivered and some more....

Finally sha, the day arrived and i made my way down to Hammersmith to hook up with my tripping buddy. The excitement in the air was palpable. The crowd consisted mainly of die hard fans excited at the prospect of seeing their 'idol' who had been on hiatus indefinitely and on the brink of releasing a new album any time soon (or so we've been hearing for the past 2 years or so).

Anyways, the queues begin to move, and we finally make it into the venue and find our seat up in the Circle. By now, its about 7:30 pm. The supporting act fails to materialise and after about half an hour of dead silence apart from the buzz of the crowd, a DJ appears on stage and begins to spin some 'toons'. Ok, so by 8:30pm (the show was scheduled to begin at 8pm) i begin to get a bit peeved. I recall that the last time she was scheduled to play in London, she failed to come out of her dressing room, or something like that and the crowd had to be sent home. Anyway, i choose to keep the faith and pop out into the foyer to purchase some over-priced snacks. Me and tripping buddy begin to munch disgruntledly as we wait, daring each other to boo loudly when Ms Hill finally deigns to step out.

Ok, 9pm, and i am royally cheesed off by now, as are several others around us. A further 20 mins later, the band spills out onto stage. I've never seen such a large band before. Very easily 15-strong. I mean, even Anita (a far bigger star in my opinion) had about 5 musicians). Anyhoo, Ms thing finally makes an appearance, looking like a wannabe Macy Gray circa 1999. You know, big messy afro, baggy clothes etc.
The show kicks off with a rendition of a Bob Marley song ( not being a BM fan, i cannot recall which). The music is extremely loud. As in, ear piercingly loud and we are seated no where near a loud speaker. The background vocalists sound shrill and off key and they drown Ms Hill out completely to the extent that you cannot make head or tail of what she is singing. After about 5 mins or so of torture, the song ends and Ms Hill annouces to the crowd (no apology for her lateness, mind you) that this tour is a rehabilitation for her, whatever that means.

She now launches into several weird numbers that i can only describe as a weird pastiche of reggae cum afro beat cum God knows what else. Completely unrecognisable lyrics. She finally brings it home to some of her tracks off of the Miseducation album. These are however near unrecognisable too as she mangles the melody line beyond recognition, virtually shouting the lyrics out in a weird and raspy voice. At this stage everyone is just watching in horror, too stunned to even applaud at the end of each song. Did i also mention that she has been prancing around the stage like a headless chicken on LSD all the while.

She finally calms down enough to ask us 'how y'all doing?' At this stage people begin to boo. The sadist in me finds this very funny and i begin to giggle. Tripping buddy joins in the booing. Ms Hill finally sees sense and very shrewdly launches into a renditon of ohh la la la, which gets the fickle crowd going. This is followed by Ready or Not. She finally winds down enough to give us a rendition of The First Time Ever i Saw Your Face, and we manage to get a glimpse of the old Lauryn magic, albeit sounding a bit raspy in places.

Unfortunately, the speed/LSD kicks in again. Hey, maybe thats what she was doing back stage during the weird less than 5 minute intermission that she and the band took. Who knows. Anyway, everything else is a blur. Several people walk out in disgust. We foolishly hang on, hoping things will improve. Not soon enough, the show comes to and end with a rendition of That Thing, which is passably good. Prior to that, i think she also did Lose Yourself one of her new tracks which was so-so.

Final verdict - A waste of my Sunday evening. Thank God, i took the following day off from work. If you are a fan of Lauryn Hill and expect her new stuff to pick up from where 'Miseducation' left off, or to even feature any of the sparks of genius from her 'MTV unplugged' album, then, i tell you mate, you're in for a big shock. She has branched out big time into God knows what. I sure don't. Will she lose her old fan base? Without a doubt. Will she find a new fan base? I really wouldn't hold my breath, to be honest. Who knows, only time will tell.

Friday, 6 July 2007

My quest for a life

I am new to all this blogging malarkey (obviously, this being my first post). Being the girly girl that i am at heart, although i would never admit this to a soul usually. I'm more of a strong, independent, no frills type of person on the outside. Anyway, being the girly girl that i am, i spent ages messing around with the colour scheme for my blog just to make sure it looked perfectly spot on. I think it will do for now.

Back to my original point. I consider myself to be a doer rather than a talker, therefore, i've become thoroughly tired of sitting around with my Nigerian friends and moaning about how there's nothing to do in London apart from clubbing (not even an option if your belief system does not exactly gel with putting on the barest minimum of clothes and gyrating away to extremely loud music in a smoke filled room till the early hours), the movies and hanging out in each others houses and moaning some more! I've decided to take matters into my own hands and find me a hobby in this town if its the last thing i do.

Naturally, i began my quest based on things that interest me. Number one being my love of books and so i joined a reading group, book club, book group, call it whatever you want but you know what i mean - a group (usually predominantly women, because we do like to talk) getting together on a monthly basis to discuss their impressions of and opinions on a predetermined book. It was good fun, i must admit. I met some really cool people (no nigerians, suprise, surprise) and we bonded over our love of good books. Unfortunately, the group died a death after about 5 months because the level of commitment could have been quite better.

After some more head scratching, i stumbled across and joined one of the music based meet up groups. I will be going out to an event next tuesday with about 15 others. Can't wait, will keep you posted............