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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Gift Of A Name




There was a certain woman who so wanted a child. When the child finally came, she named him, ‘Eureka!’, complete with the exclamation mark.
Alright, I made that up in the shower this morning while thinking of Archimedes principle, but like me, many of us have names with profound stories behind them. An incident that happened at your birth, a point to be proved, or your taking after a deceased person in looks, could get you saddled with a thing as permanent as a name. Here’s the tale behind mine.

My mother came from a household of many female children and naturally, she didn’t want a replica of that situation when starting her own home. The first tot came to her and it was female. Well, she was not perturbed since it is general belief where I grew up that when a girl-child comes first, it spelt good fortune for the family.
Two and half years later, on a Thursday night in April, the throes of labor overtook her and I slinked out. She said I came with no hassles as the first. Just qui-et-ly. And behold, another girl. She needed a name deep enough to console her. And voila! That is how my name came about.

‘Ucheoma’ is an igbo name that means, ‘Good thoughts’. I can almost read her mind as she lay on that hospital bed, exhausted: Though this is not what I wanted, though I desired a male child, Providence still bears good thoughts towards to me. 
What a consolation, mother! So here I am, bearing my mother’s hopeful proclamation decades after. Anyway, her faith did prevail. The next was male.

Some ‘I-wanted-a-boy-but-I-got-a-girl’ kind of names are not as prophetic and fraught with hope as mine, though. I have a friend whose name is Obumneke. The name is a question: ‘Am I the creator?’; a question asked in defiance by a mother to her angry husband after he stormed out of the hospital room on discovering that this was another female child, the fourth in succession. My friend introduces herself with a different name now.

Rewind to twentieth century. Some Igbo names were highly outrageous. Example: my grandmother’s-Nwangaji, meaning, The child of spoon. Sounds like an Indian name. Tales I gathered have it that her birth brought the usage of spoons to her family. What a fortune that was to the peasants! Some of her peers in the village have funnier names like Nwakaigwe, meaning, A child is superior to a bicycle. Perhaps a neighbor or a co-wife was bent on oppressing the mother with her new bicycle, ringing the bells time and again to the pregnant mother’s envy. When the baby comes, the mother wants to meet the challenge. What better way is there to confront the oppressor than with a befitting name? So Nwakaigwe, neighbor! You have an elegant but cold bicycle but look here, I have a child! A child to coo; a child to suckle on me . A child to take care of me in my old age, child who will buy me even this very bicycle you trouble my sleep with! A child, what can be compared to that?

But with all said, I believe that in all the gifts I have received from my mother, my name comes first on the list. It is deep and thoughtful and it serves as a consolation to me whenever I desperately want a thing but it eludes me.

When I am asked what my name means, to make it quick and easy for the quester, I say, Good thinking, good product, (thanks to Toyota). And I don’t get it when some folks ask me, don’t you have an English name. What? My name is sufficient for me!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We Know Who We Are


                                            

They steal our spoil
And loot our heritage
                        But we won’t let them
Blight our dreams

They renege their oaths
Compromise their promises
                        But we won’t let them
                        Make us gullible again

They beat us down
Feet on us to pulverize us
                        But we won’t let them
                        Crush us our convictions

They corner us
Offering us bribe to keep sealed lips
                        But why would we sell our birthright
                        For morsels of pottage?

They feed us with left overs
Clothe us with hand me downs
                        But we know who we are
Beneath the ragged apparels

Would You Be There?


                                                          
When before my face the sun sets
When the clouds become dark
And no stars adorn the skies

When the avalanche of accolades
Become dust-eroded
When wolves in sheep clothing tear off veneer covering

Oh I would
That love came with it
A life time warranty
A cross-my-heart assurance

Let the hands that hold me tonight never die
Let me sleep with closed eyes
Knowing
That the breath I feel down my neck
Would be there tomorrow

Why I Go With Pot-bellied Men


                                 
Because
Chinenye would write Jamb
And Papa is bedridden
And Ifenyinwa would soon
Be kicked out of the University

Because Mama sent me a letter
“My good child
The blood tonic capsules-
They have finished

Put some
In the Ekenedirichukwu luxurious bus
They have built a new park
Beside the market square


Don't forget to put something
In a brown envelop
We know you don't have a job yet
But just do something
Anything...."

 





Monday, May 20, 2013

LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING ANNOUCEMENTS


Sister Rose has given birth to a bouncing baby girl and Sister Favor has given birth to a bouncing baby boy. Why did you clap louder when I said bouncing baby boy? See, brethren let me tell you this, Child is Child and it is from the Most High God whether baby boy or baby girl. So I don’t like it when I say baby girl and you just clap, but when I say baby boy you furnish your clapping with whoops and hallelujahs. When I say boy or girl, clap with the same enthusiasm. Let’s not be like the people of this world. So I said that to draw your attention. I can no more ignore such attitudes. We are not of the world.

‘Peculiar Women’, you are the group in the house this week. Last week you were the group in the house but you did such shoddy job I have to call you back this week. You women did not do anything at all, at all. You were supposed to clean the premises: pull out the weeds growing through the pavement cracks, arrange the seats and wipe dust off them on Saturday morning in preparation for today’s service. But you didn’t… you didn’t!  Where is your leader? Sister Veronica, you have to assemble your team again and get them to do their work. This is the Lord’s house; we must treat it as such. You cannot treat it anyhow, anyhow….

The ushers brought it to my notice that some of you give them a hard time at their work, that some of you are in the habit of making trouble with them. They ask you to sit here and you refuse. That’s not Christ-like. When you come here, swallow your pride, all of it, and allow yourselves to be properly guided. We know most of you here are well-to-do and the others are still coming up the social radar, but when we gather here, we all become members of the body of Christ. You learn to play second fiddle. God is no respecter of persons. You must conduct yourselves properly; this is the house of God.

Brother Tobechi and Sister Edith would be getting married on the 17th of this month… put your hands together for them. Wow! I am so excited!  Oh Boy! Where is Bro Tobechi…? Alright, and Sister Edith….Oh lovely. Can the two of you step forward please so that everyone would have a better look and stop craning their necks …? Good. Brother Tobe is a very dedicated member and has been with us for the past five years. You all know him. He has served the Lord in the music department, playing the drums and the piano. I call him, My Son of Consolation. In all the drummers that I have had these years, he has stirred my heart most because of his commitment. Yes, you are free to clap. I remember the first day he came here and immediately he joined the music department and has been there all these years. Sister Edith, you are in safe hands. My son, Tobe, is a humble man and would surely take care of you. Haha, she’s shy. Alright go back to your seats. Clap for them as they do that.
I wish many of you young men will imitate Tobe and stop this your gallivanting. Stop parading these sisters for years and yet you will not marry them after you have blocked the road for possible suitors. Every Sunday, I see you guys, you think I don’t see you, well you got it wrong.  Four, five years and you people are still gallivanting and fraternizing, no, it is not funny, don’t laugh. You don’t know you are causing the devil to tempt you with these prolonged engagements, giving him a foothold in your life. If you are not ready, leave the woman alone. Don’t tell me, Pastor, I want to taste and see.… And those of you praying for life partners do not sweat it. In due time, the Lord will surprise you (!). I said the Lord will surprise you (!).

Next week Friday is our ministry’s all night meeting, from 9.00pm till the crack of dawn. Endeavor to attend. Now many of you dread these all night meetings. That is not good. With these happenings around us, there are some nights we need to forgo sleep and make intercessions.  Look at this brother… Brother please stand up. Can you see him? Good. Look at his broad chest, an obvious testimony that he spends amble time at the gymnasium. Judging from his looks, you have to be extra careful not to get into a fistfight with him lest he topples you and makes mincemeat of you. Sit down brother. Thanks. That is how your inner man will be when you pray often. All these small, small devils would not be harassing you anyhow, anyhow- in your academics, your career, your relationships etc, etc. So make out time to attend this upcoming all night meeting. It will surely help you.

Erm, (what was this I wanted to talk about again?). Yes! Next week is JAMB.  Listen up you youngsters. Sit down and read. Leave all these ‘pinging’ and 2go‘ing’. You will end up distracting yourselves. And those of you planning to register at miracle centers, woe betide you! You will so fail! Go and mark my words. What is wrong with children of nowadays that they cannot sit and learn, eh? If you have already registered at a miracle center, better go and take back your money because you will have such a miraculous failure at your miracle center. Ok, keep laughing; you’d say I told you.

Alright, before we close today’s service, is there anyone here, and today is your first time of worshiping with us? Is there anyone, I want to welcome you specially. Wow!  You are all welcome. Give them a round of applause. You are welcome brother, you are welcome sister, and God bless you. Ushers give them that form to fill. Choir, sing for them…. That song was done specially for you. We have lots of goodies for you; don’t be in a hurry to leave. You are only a first timer once. We all came just like you. Ushers lead them out and help them with their forms. Keep clapping for them.
Now can the rest of the congregation arise, let’s close this service. What an awesome time in God’s presence. Tell someone beside you, ‘your week is gonna be great.’ Tell the next person…. At this moment I will call on my beautiful wife to lead us in the closing prayers. Honey step forward…. 
Let’s share the ‘Grace’….
Cheer up brethren… (The Word works).
(image:KBC congregation on 15Apr 2013;
www.conradmbewe.com)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black Soap Dish

At
The windowsill
Sits the black soap dish
That bears
The burlap sponge
That
Sudsy each pot and pan
But
Never gets cleaned itself

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tonight

Tonight,
The sky is a blue velvet blanket
Strewn with stars
As sequins.

God is a great designer;
Such wonderful sense of decorum.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chronicles Of A kept Woman III

We met that same evening, in the quiet corner of a dimly lit but expensive bar and without love or hate, he laid down the terms and conditions before me. We could have been signing a government contract the way we carried on. In summary I shall be his but he was not to be mine. I said yes. I shrugged and nodded and said yes. I could do it. He drank his ale mixed with mineral water, a drink I have become a pro in fixing. 

I remember those first days and my eagerness to please; folding and refolding his clothes, shining his shoes till he begged me to stop, fussing over the hairs on my legs. I was thinking, this is how to bind a man to you,with subservient and childlike devotion. But try as you may, what’s not yours isn’t. It was wise to guess there were a string of others like me whom he retired when they tired him,for he was a man whose resources were capable of such claims.  I’d reckon me a fool to think otherwise, to think that somehow I was the only one. Even in the privacy of the little house he got me, his phone calls indicated he had vast interests and this singular action doused my faith whenever it reared its hopeful head. It sadly assured me of my replace-ability in his life, the fickleness of our agreement, how time bound the whole thing was. 

But I wanted to hold sway of his mind, to get under his skin, to own him, to have him all to myself. I’d close my eyes and will him, Now he shall be mine, Now I own him, but how terribly I failed. I learnt my lessons. You can will anything to you: a new car, a new house, new wardrobe, a promotion, but you can never will a soul into loving you, save you are a sorcerer.The harmonies of love and friendship cannot be compelled. No one coerces a heart to beat. No one pleads the sun into shining. It just…shines.

Out of anger, I’d bridge the pact; I’d be cross and rude; I’d make trouble, be inquisitive. He’d leave for weeks or even months, and I would begin pining for him, my intestines stretching in hunger. This new lifestyle replaced every desire I once had for hard work. I’d dial his number, cutting the call halfway and in no time he’d be at my doorsteps, fuming. 
Such routines.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Walking Away



The fires of my love are spent
And I have blown the ashes away.

Tonight, 
I wean me from your unyielding bosom.

For the huge worth I adored you
Couldn’t you have loved back?
Was it so hard to love back?
A little, just a little
Even if it were
The tip of a pinkie’s worth?



A Sabbatical from Love



The elasticity of this plastic smile
Has drawn near its breaking point
These routines make my heart
Bleed for boredom
So tonight
I take a leave from us

I could return
I might
If my heart should ever recall
How to beat to the rhythm of your name

Drag files of my memories
To the recycle bin of your heart
Then maybe, if it suits you
Put up ads for vacancy

But I would only return
(Though I doubt)
When my smiles reach my eyes, my soul
When my moans, no longer are rehearsed
I might return
Only when my mind’s been freed
From the names it whispered in its dreams
Till I do not need repeat to a new lover
Tired lines I fed the old ones

So tonight
I un-hang my love from this swinging pendulum
Let it be freed from this vacillation
This… dilly-dallying
No, it’s not you; it is I
You deserve more
You deserve more than this oscillatory emotions





Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lovestruck


            

You are the warmth of my blood
The palpitations of my heart
The tiny cells conversing under my arm

It is your name on my lips
That makes every other word sound phoney
It is you I think of
When I paint my nails
When the last bobby pin
Is tucked in my hair



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chronicles Of A Kept Woman (II)


Who can lick a bone cleaner than a dog? A charged man.  
Who can turn you over like a piece of clothe that is wrung before it hangs in the sun to dry? A heated man.
I am my lover’s but my lover isn’t mine. He comes to me in the dead of the night. I know it is he when I hear the bunch of keys rattling, turning in the hole. I could be fast asleep and the only evidence of his visit would be my laps caked in the morning and all the while I’d think I dreamed the thing. Some nights I am involved and our smell would go up like incense, filling the room. Some nights, he could be sweet and say, I am tired, just lie beside me till I fall asleep, and I would speak softly to him, my voice hypnotizing him to sleep. Each weekend, he writes a check; he’d be bent over the side table, sitting on the bed, scratching away with his pen meticulously, handing it down to me with much ceremony. He is a liberal man, but his heart is not in his giving.
Is there some love between us?  This confounds me. But you can’t be with a person these years and doubt that there are some glimmer of love. Ours is more of the kind found between a stray pup and the rescuer who found him in a slimy gutter and loved him to bull dog stature. The servility such a love inspires.
I met him three years ago at the computer center where I worked, where I made thousands of photocopies for the clerks at the local government headquarters. I was beautiful but so ungainly. For a woman, beauty is an asset, sometimes a guaranteed advantage. But to be beautiful and broke is not a virtue at all. Neither is it a virtue to be beautiful, broke and unsatisfied with the little you had. Those days I stood so long and worked so hard for hours that my bum developed dimples and the ugly sound of the photocopying machine sapped my energy.
He had come in with starched and crisp clothing, clean and well shaven, looking bored beyond measure. My head reeled from the scent of his expensive cologne. He wanted his work down as fast as possible, and there I was running around, so bent to please. When his work was done, he left without his change and without his complimentary card.

(to be continued)

Broodings Of a Poet


ON CHARACTER
I helped two school children cross a busy street one day when I was just about my business but when we were done they ran ahead, not glancing backwards, like I was some phantom. Then I moved on anyway, heading to the bank and there I met an old man having a hard time filling his slip. I helped him out but when I was done he snatched the papers from me with a grunt and moved as fast as his weak legs could carry. In a bus when I was heading home, a young man dropped his wallet fat with green notes and other important paraphernalia. I picked it up and handed it to him. But he took it without making a reply.
Midway as I approached home, I met a chorus of singers praising a gaudy project and on the vendor’s hand, unworthy men grabbing a huge chunk of attention. Little wonder the heart grows weary of good doing since evil gets so venerated and character is ignored. But amidst it all, better to be ignored for character than be praised for lack of it.

OLDSTERS
Do you see that sad old man aging alone, with no child or grandchild tending to his needs, but only flies revolving round him in an orbit, as if he were Jupiter? That’s a youngster who refused to share his life. For as he ignored others in his hay days, so shall he be ignored in his latter days. I knew such a man. He was very rough and tough. He prided himself in being low on romantic inclinations. Love was such an unworthy task in his to-do list:love for his woman, his sons or his community; and he allotted such a tiny amount of time to it.
He smoked alone, snuffed alone, drank alone and hid his money under his mattress. He wouldn’t even let the community bank keep it. When he eventually died, his sons wanted to have a quiet burial ceremony but when they lifted the beddings and saw wads of recent currency, they changed their minds and made the occasion flamboyant.
Today he shall be laid to rest and mourners would eat the food he never let his money buy him. They would buy rolls of Ankara with the same pattern, for sake of uniformity and wear what he never allowed his money buy him.
   
CHILD-REARING                                                                                          
Here is another evil I have seen under the sun. They marry and have children, not because they love children but because child rearing is a responsible thing to do. Moreover mouths would wag and in-laws would bicker if the cries of a child took too long in arriving. But then, they grow old and ill and their children send for them to come over to the city so that they can be looked after, not because they love their parents but because…it is just the responsible thing to do.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Survivor





Ashes of the charred corpses
Settle and
If you have just been singed
Go in and nurse you burns

When normalcy returns
Would she recognize
The place she had only left?
These houses
Bearing our childhood memories
Weep and crumble
Squeezed by the hands of a destroyer
These stores torched to ashes
Years and years of accomplishment
Gone out the window

My daughter’s playground is empty
Lissome Bukky staggers
Who knocked off her comely gait?
A private garden has been trashed
Not by one
They took turns.

Ear piercing guttural wails
Startles the silence
It is a heart inundated with pain
Calling to God
Wondering if he hears

Hundreds gone in unmarked tombs
A handful survive, left in a world perverse
With only stories to tell

What do I make of this blackened field?
Is the fate of the survivor
Only to tell tales?

(image source:www.nurnbergeagles.us)



They Sit Astride My People




Skewered like suya
Left to roast under the scorching sun of
Servitude,
            This people is suffering.

Sun up to sun down they toil
Premature silver strands
Adorn their crowning glory.

School bells chime
Classrooms peter out
Pupils invade the streets
Peddling sachet water.

They sit astride this people
Riding roughshod over them
My people, their beast of burden
And they show no twinge of contrition
No iota of compassion.

But how can they?
When they have been scarred to numbness
By the heat of their own turpitude
                                   



Africa, My Africa



                                                
Unto what shall I liken you?
I shall liken you unto a man
Who found treasure in his own field
But ran off
And sold his field
For a paltry sum
For want of quick gain

Endowed
With resources
Yet no refineries

Next you queue at the embassy
Seeking greener pasture
But the grass looks greener at the other side
Because you have failed to water your own lawns

Your harvest is shrimp
Because you sowed sparingly

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Love Is Not An Epiphany




                                             
Love is not an epiphany
A paroxysm I let myself loose to.
No, I do not play lackey to my emotions.
My love is a ship
And I stir its rudder.

My love is not euphoric
I am not slave to my whims.
Rather I’m its cox
And I stir its cause.

Love is a choice;
To stick with you
Even when the fireflies
Have died in my eyes,
To stay by you
When my eyes cease
To shine and dance with desire.

Love is immune to self
Love is wise
Like my father
Full of commonsense
Like my mother

Love is Omni-
Omni sufficient
Omni competent
Like myself.

Placards vs. Teargas


                      

                                   
Then
Placards were our only weapons
Our hearts pounded in sedition
Feet moved in aggression
Our hearts
Seething in hot anger
Anger of a failed people

But placards
Cannot vie with teargas

We
            D          I           S          P          E          R          S          E          D
                        Like frightened
                        Black birds

Placards gently descending our hands



Monday, May 6, 2013

Don't Tell Me The Moon Is Falling



                                    
Don’t tell me the moon is falling
Or that you’ve found the circle in the sky
That hides God.

I would not debate with you
Over how long Adam’s beards were
Nor on Jesus’s shoe size.
It won’t put food on my brother’s table.

Tell me where to find my
neighbour’s son
Who went to sell sachet water
But has not returned
Tell me that young man has resigned from the bomb factory
Tell me my granny’s pension
And my mother’s salary’s been paid.

Tell me you have found the cure for AIDS.

Don’t tell me the moon is falling
Or that you have discovered
With scientific exactitude
The size of the sun

Call me when you have found the clue
To the riddle of malnutrition
Tell me one word
To end the word ‘war’.

Don’t tell me with exact precision
The millions lodged in that bourgeoisie’s account
Nor bring me news that he has built another mansion on sea in Dubai
Call me when he builds a school in my hometown                               
And a library in the city.
                         
You have discovered the statistics of the dead
(That's good)
Now tell me what to do to keep the living
From toeing that  path
Tell me what would hold their breath till the next day.
                  
Don’t tell me the moon is falling
For it won’t bring food to my brother’s table.

Chronicles Of A Kept Woman


It rained last night and I knew it not.
Outside, the neighborhood kids were in their element: shrieking and running around. I looked through the window; the rain had brought the flying termites and the children were gathering them into bowls of water, swapping their ears while they were at it. They’d salt the insects soon and fry them to crisp. I stretched and rolled over; his side of the bed was creased and empty and the map of his sweat still was on the pillow. I buried my nose in it and inhaled deeply. He must have left when the rain reduced to drizzles.

I got up to ease myself. In the bathroom, the vapor from the hot water he showered with shrouded the mirror; suds that flew here and there while he sponged were blinking, melting away slowly. It is only six and this is Saturday. He left too soon.
I have grown used to the subterraneous nature of a liaison, but it’s the hurry afterwards I don’t like. It’s the agitation written on his face in bold letters; him getting quickly dressed, grabbing shirt, shoes and tie; it is the escape he makes from me, I, the one he laid beside few moments ago, like I have become a sufferer of a very communicable disease. It is the slipping away before sunrise and the neighbors awake, that is what I hate intensely. I tell him, they already know, this creeping about makes no sense. But it is a habit that comes with this. What is one to do? It reminds of the petty thievery of my childhood days, dipping hands in a large pot of soup to take meat or fish only to end up souring the whole soup.

It’s a cold morning and I have the blues; it is that sadness that pervades you in the light when you’ve made love to someone who doesn’t love you in the dark. It puts a slouch to everything you do, barricades you in a cul-de-sac of many bad memories. Such mornings, as this, you think of the person you once were if you have so changed into a stranger being. If you’ve been a bad woman, you seek the little girl in you who did it once and cried, drenching her pillow with had- I- known tears, how little of that self-righteous person you have become. Sometimes I find her in my soul, hiding beneath a closet of grown up clothes with a smug in her face. I try to reach her and ask her, Little girl, who brazened you up? But she just shrugs and walks away. Such mornings, if you’ve been lewd, you think of the many hairy hands that have crawled under you skirt. If you’ve known the ways of many men, you think of their eager fumbling and how lethargic those hands grow when they are done with you. Your first affair at fourteen and he more than twice your age, the swine, but you stop midway in your cursing when you remember you consented after the first forced attempt and you want to ask, was it no less a crime because it became consensual….


(To be continued....)

It would be my shame....



                                 

It would be my shame
And yours too

If our children
Still stormed streets
With angry placards
Hearts pounding in sedition
Singing,
“All we are saying….”

If they’d still shout
And leap for joy,
“Up NEPA!”

If they’d still
Loll and recline at home
Because the gates of schools
Remain unopened,

If they’d still wheel a barrow
To buy water from
The next street

If after S S 3
They’d be unable
To spell their names.

It would be my shame
But yours too.
(First appeared in Sunday Sun Review, January 6 2013;
Shortlisted for the KorloueNow poetry competition 2012.)

'Don't Speak Igbo In This House.'



Once upon a time, I could not speak English. I was two, three or there about. My father propounded this argument that it was better to teach children the local dialect from the cradle and then in school, they learn the lingua franca. Of course my parents are well schooled but I happen to have one of those culture-conscious gentlemen for a father. This idea augured ill with my English-Literature graduate mom as she watched her tots prattling away in Igbo. Even though in the late eighties and early nineties when my elder sister and I were born respectively, the argument made sense and was practiced by many homes in the east.

But the tune of the dance changed when I was four and my kid brother was born. A new commandment was issued: DON’T SPEAK IGBO IN THIS HOUSE AGAIN. I guess my mother feared that we would end up not having enough armor in our arsenal of English words. That was my third year in kindergarten and the only English I knew were the ones  just enough for me to get by; enough not to get into trouble in class, enough to answer questions correctly (this is a ball, this is a chair, etc etc) and enough to pass my tests. But my deepest expressions could only be conveyed in Igbo.
To say that the new commandment at home came in handy for us would be such a huge lie. Sometimes simply out of rebellion, we took to signing after she must have denied us a request ( ‘I wouldn’t do it for you till you said it in English’) after we must have tried and tried till the speech hung in our throat like an over-stressed Blackberry. Sometimes  to make it easier, we spoke Engli-Igbo. Check out this conversation between Mom and I;
Mom: How was school today?
I: Fine. Mommy, my nwa-class, Miracle, broke my pencil.
Mom: It is not nwa-class. It is called ‘Classmate’.
The moment I eventually sat up in my grammar was when I turned ten and had to go to a Unity school, where all the girls formed, ‘I started speaking English from the womb.’ Any gaffe could earn you an everlasting nickname. But in my efforts, I never neglected my Igbo. My WAEC result, though riddled with C’s and only two B’s, of the two A’s I made, one was in Igbo.
Well, I could say I turned out well in the English-speaking world, (I am a writer now), yet I deeply cherish learning to speak Igbo from the cradle and I have this strong feeling that it added depth to my imagination and this happens to be it an invaluable gift if you are a writer. What more, I can brag in my resume that I am bilingual or (permit me to joke) even multilingual if I include the smatterings of elementary French we were taught at school: Bonjour, Bonsoir, Bon chance, Ca va….J’t aime!
The desire to write this came upon me when at the salon, the other day, I met a cute little boy who spoke highly-concentrated Igbo. In this 2013, believe me, this is a rare and beautiful thing to behold. To the Ghanaian hair-stylist who does not understand Igbo, he spoke correct English. But to his playmates, he spoke Igbo.
He just reminded me of my little self, several years ago.