Charged Up

I’m charged up!

Echoes! 

Echoes of hope, yeah!

I feel like I can say anything I wanna say.

I’m charged up!

I don’t care what happens after now.

But I wish I could kill every Nigerian politician –

Those old men are getting my hommies mad, you know.

Well, thank God for age and suicide.

I wish I can cure America of their madness;

They are insane to think they are the world power.

Give Nigeria 35 years more and see what happens

Shut up if you can’t catch a dream!

I’m charged up!

I feel I can use a little bragging here!

I’m the voice of the future

Dreams I caught from Olamide in Fela’s shrine

I’ll speak till it comes –

Nigeria needs a dream,

Since the American Dream is a fraud!

Wait… You no know?

I’m charged up!

I’m charged up!

Fuck these blind rusty corporations!

The Nigerians I know ain’t the ones on my screen,

But creatives have to pay their bills,

In a country where the artists are cursed 

By those they slave for.

I can see the future –

It’s on the wings of the young and heartless;

Warriors who would cause wars 

That’d lead to a holocaust on judgement,

In the hell of self acclaimed saints.

Yeah! That’s what my country is!

Yeah, Nollywood is the only hope alive,

And fuck anybody who looks to the west –

No slave owner wants to loose his slaves.

But if Olauda Equiano could buy himself out,

Nollywood would buy the black nation back their pride.

You’re dumb if you can’t see the writing…

I’m charged up!

I can see the future,

And it’s led by women

They look like Chimamanda and BeyoncĂ©…

I’m charged up!

Today, I’ve turned into a murderer –

Fuck guns, real killers use pictures,

Painted across the net…

Today I’ve turned a criminal;

God bless your mind

If I don’t get to fuck with it.

I’m charged up!

I’m charged up!

I don’t just suck pussies,

I finger minds…

I’m charged up – 

You’re about to get fucked up!

I’m charged up!

I’m not here to change the world

I’m here to fuck it up

Coz you can’t change the world 

Without it fucking you up enough

To fuck it up…

I’m charged up!

Gimme one more kiss

Bitch, gerrout the way –

I mean Eskay!!!

Drop

I dropped out from UNN in 2012… I didn’t drop out in grand style like Onyeka Nwelue or Mark Zuckerberg. Mine was more like Steve Jobs. Yeah! Steve Jobs, William Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci are my role models. And as ironic as it may sound, this is the truth – gospel or no gospel: dropping out of UNN is my greatest move in life so far. 

Why the hell did I drop out? At 20 I couldn’t tell what I wanted to do with my life. But I was sure I wanted better than carrying files all around, putting on suit in Nigerian hot weather, tying myself up like a goat looking for a job or getting stuck to a job I don’t like. And I was lazy and had a large dump of inferiority complex. But I was bookish. I was careful enough not to use the word intelligent coz it has been highly misinterpreted. But yeah, I was so bookish that I had covered my department’s syllables by the end of my second year. I don’t mean back to back, I mean the parts that interested me. I read the Greek classics, the Soyinkas, Arthur Miller, Samuel Becket, Shakespeare, any serious thing I saw on film history and theory and more. I only didn’t touch the ones written by my lecturers and their friends. So in my 3rd year, I couldn’t tell what more UNN could do for me. They wanted my money but couldn’t give me the education I was paying for. Knowing I wouldn’t need a certificate, I felt I was wasting my time and my mom’s money there. So, against all great advice from family, friends and well wishers, I left for Lagos, broke, with no social skills and no body…

In Lagos, I understood that I wasn’t really born poor. At least my parents could afford to pay for my school fees and feed us. In Lagos, I saw poverty, swam in it , cried in it and fought it. Aside that, I discovered I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I wrote scripts after scripts and bet me I now understand the meaning of rejection slip. It’s not the kind you get from a bank, it’s sending a script to someone who doesn’t bother to even get back to you. You know something worse? It’s listening to someone tell you a story you wrote after watching a movie with a title you can’t relate to. Coz someone you mailed your script used a large part of it. And you never got as much as ‘Thanks’… And that wasn’t the saddest part of the story. In Lagos, I served tables, worked as a security personnel in a guest house, carried goods for people in Alaba, packaged DVDs in the same market, joined the laborers who built the KFC in Gbagada and the ones who renovated the MTN’s office in Oshodi. I also slept inside a container in Ikoyi for months. And day after day, I would sit up at night thinking of a story, love, the meaning of life and how to be successful. And that was the greatest school I ever attended. Coz in the street of Lagos, everyone and everything I met and saw was my teacher. And everything I did was a lecture.

So, in 2014, after winning the Homevida Award, I got my first TV job. It was through Frances who won in another category of the award. Then I had already quit the laboring job. I was out to hop into Nollywood as deep as I could. So, I would go to Alaba once in a while to buy movies and TV series. And I would spend my night, watching, reading and or writing. I even became nocturnal in the process. And gradually, I started getting an understanding of story telling. I started discovering what made films sell and why some TV series get cancelled after the first season and why some never made it past the pilot. I went through periods when I thought I was the current day Shakespeare and moments when I felt I couldn’t even write to save my life. There were moments when I felt I had figured out everything. And there were moments when I felt like I was just a kid with no knowledge of anything. Sometimes, I stay up all day trying to crack the codes, sometimes, I would just shut my eyes and say ‘Fuck Everything’. But all through, I was learning things they don’t teach even in UCLA or Harvard. I was learning why people watch films, how pictures speak to people and how people sing with shots and how to get a story from watching a dog give itself a blow job. Tell me where they teach that!

It’s 2016. I would have been a graduate by now and at least have a certificate. But this is what I have now, a dream, a story and myself. I am never going to graduate till I die. And I don’t want to coz school goes against my philosophy of life. School teaches you you can either be this or that. But I’ve never met someone who is not a politician, an artist or a scientist. In school, people study only proven theories but the greatest theories are yet to be proven. And every lecturer I’ve met worship those in the field and wish they could be brave enough to hop into the field. In school, we are instructed to follow instructions but life is for those who follow their heart. And when you leave, you are certified with a paper that defines you. But the greatest certificate you can ever get is from yourself and the greatest definition of yourself should be ‘You’… 

I dropped out of school because I learnt that no one can educate me more than I can educate myself through persistent studies. I dropped out of school to educate myself through life. And that education continues as I never let school end my education with a convocation gown…

Dalu…

You Too Are Very Very Annoying Annoying

It’s been two weeks since you left but I can’t still wipe off your writing on my white board. Although, I’ve turned your leggings to a rag for cleaning my generator, I wish I had burnt it coz each time I use it, I remember watching you wear it. I may have slept with another girl to get you out of my mind but I hate it whenever I see ‘My hate’ on my bed sheet. I saw you scribble it. And I thought it meant we shared something. Now, I can’t tell why you wrote it but it reminds me how much I hate you. Now, I should really burn that leggings. But I’ve learnt it makes the images linger longer. Shit!!! Is there really a way outta this? Look at me – I been dey form James Bond when you been dey fall. So, do your thing Empress.

The last time I went to your town, I was advised to go see you. But my pride couldn’t let me do that. Because although I am annoying, you are fucking irritating. How could a joke I told to get a laugh make you leave? Fuck it! Thinking about it now – it was actually a dumb one. Fuck it! You’ve always wanted to leave. I just don’t know why I had to stop you the first time. Worse, I don’t know why I had to try the second time. Right now, I can beat my chest and say – at least I tried. But fuck it! I miss you… I don’t know if it’s watching you sing BeyoncĂ© off key or the way you blush when I kiss you. Or when I tell you how beautiful you are. I can’t tell if it’s because I find you as crazy as I am and although we disagree on so many things, I learn a lot just lying by your side. Yesterday, I looked up the sky and wanted to count the stars – I remembered how funny you found that but I couldn’t laugh. What made me laugh though, was how soon I’ve forgotten some of the planets’ name you just re-taught me and how long it may take me to forget the pitch of your moan when I take you from the back. Do you still remember the pillow-talk clips and pictures? You! You’re a bad girl. And I wish I was ready for you… Come on, I saw badder chicks in Calabar. This gotta be another movie…

It’s apparent we are not meant to be. We are caught up in a web where being together would make us lose those we care about, yet we said fuck to that and let the line in between blur. How come we are now the lines in between? And what the heck do I really want from you? Is it the imperfections my inability to address pushes me to kiss more joints. Or did I ruin it by always hiding to take another Tramadol or by watching you avoid looking at me while I rolled my weed. I know it reminded you of your dad but it helps me forget mine. And I know that when you read this – you’d hate me more. Well, what have I to lose, it’s over – isn’t it? I think beautiful things should be let gone. Coz the closer we stick to them, the harder it becomes to live without them. But I love good memories – they lead my feet towards the smell of good roasted plantain and palmy. You know how I love them. I know how you love Oliver De Coque. My dad loves him too. We’ve seen each other’s tears. I’ve bathed you when you couldn’t raise your hand. You’ve tucked me to bed while I was higher than the Empire State and I’ve cuddled you when your sickness couldn’t let you sleep. I have away your tears. You have kissed away my pains. You’ve begged me to come and lie with you, asked me not to touch you again and chased me around the room, insisting you’d lie wherever I did. Little dramas that should have been avoided but we were too full of our pride – we couldn’t let each other win. No! Not till we became ashamed of ourselves and each other, submit to each other and share some kisses. And you’d let me bite your tongue and you’d suck the shit outta my dick. I hate you!!!

Remember the look on your face when you told me if I grab ten million Naira and waste it, you would kill me. Remember the look on your face when I told you I want to make movies that would travel past Achebe’s novels. I wish I had looked at you long enough to know if you really believed that. Remember how you hide your face when you say the things you don’t want to say. I wish I had listened closer to them so I could understand you better. Remember how you look at me when you wonder if knowing me was a mistake. Well, that’s what makes the two of us. Remember how I smile at your childishness when I should be laughing at mine. Mad person dey shame? Remember how recklessly you drop your cloths when you come around and how shy you get to watch me I hang them. But you too know you’re lazy. Who is the judge now – my lazy ass? Remember how I like counting your black spots. I hope I forget how you love pressing pimples. And don’t forget your face when you were washing that pot. You are an idiot – you know. Sometimes I regret meeting you. Sometimes I regret writing that. Sometimes I wish we never cross path again. 

Sometimes, I wish my phone rings and you’re the caller, so I could do small iyanga before picking up. The fact is, I won’t be the first to call and I would hang up if you ever call. Coz I hate you… And I know what it means to hate someone more than anything else and want her more than every other thing. They call it love – I call it being crazy. I am crazy. You have made me crazy… That’s why I pray you go deep inside hell and rot there.
And God forgive you if you don’t wish me worse. Coz I would leave that writing on the board till you come back and wipe it off – God knows I can’t do that myself. You too are very very annoying annoying… I think I’ve seen enough shit about relationship, I feel obligated to write a Romance Series. Coz with each mistake I make in relationship, I wish I had a movie that painted the true images to me – as real as it really goes. This shit ain’t really beans.

Now, you can actually go and die coz I know how you hate that part of me that sees a storyline, a character and a tv series concept in everything. I’m dead already. I am sure you know that by now. Smile…

042 State of Mind

Yesterday, I completed the painting of my new apartment in Trans-Ekuku. Yeah, I did it with my hommies. A couple of weeks in Enugu, I can’t tell the level of grasp I’ve got. But yesterday, I made a girl a proposal I’m hoping she turns down. You bet – the last line was a lie. I’m yet to get what I could make out of this town. People here ain’t like the Lagosians. Here, men go to bed on time and wake up after the sun. Here, girls don’t look too sophisticated and guys look too calm – you stare longer at a weird person, knowing it would be long before you see another one. Here, men struggle for crumbs. But amidst all these, I’m beginning to see through the Naija mentality. Everybody wants to make money. Everyone believes God and politicians would butter their bread someday. And everyone blames his neighbor when the bread ends up not buttered enough. In other words, the hero mentality is not in our blood. That is not to say we don’t have heroes here. No! The heroes we know and celebrate here are not the ones we see in our movies. Nope…

Here, boys don’t know what it means to live for a legacy. Boys here don’t think much about the future. Boys here just want to grab the money to prove to their friends they are not losers. The discovery gets me wondering if I’m a Nigerian. Because, when I look around the city, I’m only concerned about what to make out of it. I’m only concerned about how to make sure that in a few years’ time, I could go out anytime in the night to buy whatever I want and not meet some motherfuckers who believe my phone is their’s or get harassed by the police – I hate them. I’m more concerned with how to make my hommies feel their lives are beautiful the way they are. I’m more concerned with saying ‘Fuck you!’ to the government. I’m more concerned with raising a national consciousness. I’m more concerned about living some street credibility my grand kids would boast of when I’m gone. You see, the thing ain’t gonna be beans.

I think the problem with Africa is that Africa can’t see her beauty. We are a consuming society – always in the look out to grasp foreign beauties. So, we leave our Palmy for champagne when we should find a way to make the two compete in the international community. We leave our Abacha for pizza or abandon our ose-oji for margarine. I’m not saying pizza is not tasty, I’m asking why we can’t package our ancestors’ food well enough – foreigners would be dying to taste them. I’m asking why we seldom see people eating groundnut, Okpa or agidi in our videos. I’m asking why we can’t tell stories about the people we know. I’m asking why we must copy American stories and characters in our pictures when we are beautiful enough to display ourselves. I’m wondering what we would leave for our generations yet to come. I’m wondering what we are waiting for. I’m wondering who else would do that if I don’t. I’m wondering what you’re still waiting for. 
Enugu is a beautiful city. I’m not sure any other people speak sexier Igbo. The hills down here could make your jaws drop. The people are deep in a calm way. You could hardly meet men subtler. The food is nice and the bars are nicer. Green bottles seem more like an ID. And damn, the hospitality is killing. The only thing needed to change here into a mega city is transformation of the residents’ mentality. Enugu have built a lot of talents. Once they grow, they leave for greener pastures. I think we should start by asking ‘What pasture could be greener for us than the one we grow ourselves? 

I don’t know why I’m writing this. It could be coz I’m still scared. But I’m here already and no other place feels more like home. I’m here already and I don’t know how to be just another class member. I’m here already and I’ve learnt how not to run when the king of the jungle shows up. I am here to take over this jungle. Where the hell do I start from? And who is reading to join the race? It’s time for a revolution in film-making. My mind tells me the future lies in mobile film-making. And I’m only interested in leaving the past behind. Alobam, come make we show these people some magic…