A scene from 'Son Of a Chief'
I walked into the Open-Air theatre, University of Jos, and I felt at home. There were two stages at opposite ends lengthwise, but one was much bigger than the other. The smaller one was against the back wall way into the theatre while the big one was at the first half and the rows of concrete seating nestled in between the two stages.
There were people in leotards dancing, singing, rehearsing scenes from plays… It was all so exciting to little me. A place to really get into the things I loved to do… It was a dream come true. Unknown to me, this dream was to be short-lived.
Drummers Rehearsing for 'Drum Ensemble'
I went through the university wishing I was someplace else. I kept thinking there had been a mistake somewhere. I’d made a mistake being here. The department of Theatre and Communications was so full of sh*t… These were my thoughts for almost three years until something happened to change my mind in my last semester. This was when I met Professor Illah.
Professor Illah was once the Dean of my faculty, but at this time he was just one of those senior lecturers who took final-year students from time to time. He loves cars and drove an Audi A8 then, in 2011. His method of teaching was by taking our opinions and ideas and linking ig with what he wanted us to know. In his eyes, everyone was right. He taught Dramatic Literature and Criticism which explored the elements of Drama and the components that made a work of Art spectacular. Elements that made it beautiful and the one way he described beauty was thus;
“Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder And The Reason For Beholding”
The second half of this quote made the scales fall from my eyes and I had an Epiphany (I love this word). I suddenly realized why I was where I was. I began to appreciate the years I’d spent in the school and told myself that even if I hadn’t learnt anything, this was worth all the time and energy.
The saying makes you understand that beauty is in everything and what may be perceived as ugly to one person is beautiful to someone else. 🙂 This makes you appreciate and see the beauty in everything.
Through his classes we explored why certain businesses are more successful than others, why cartoon characters have huge eyes, why people love drumsticks over chicken legs or why some people like curvy ladies. Essentially, the appeal in a work of art of any creation is trying to find out what makes it attractive, what makes it beautiful. With this knowledge, life is easier and one can go through life being more appreciative of everything around us.
Professor Illah became my favourite university lecturer and whenever I can, I share this theory to help others be more appreciative as it has helped me.
Apply this simple theory and life can only get more beautiful.
I want to make something of my life. I want to make an impact, but with the possibility of work comes the fear of inadequacy. Will I excel? Will I be good enough? Or will I be overwhelmed with reality and fail? Fear is the enemy… Why is it so? :s
Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections
Every now and then, images of my childhood flash through my head and anxiety grips me for a second. The most precious thing though is the feeling that comes with the images. I can’t describe it, but it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. 🙂
I used to tell people before that the number of books I’d read between age 5-25 were more than what some people my age would read in their lifetime. This was just to buttress how much I loved to read and still do.
My first reading challenges were the books in my Phonics Factory box; 3 Steps Ahead. I learnt to read it after my mum had read it to me several times.
One word that I found hard to pronounce at the time was ‘slippery’, but after my mum pronounced it for me once or twice I never forgot it.
I played with Dr. Seuss too. He guided me through a world of rhyming words and unique diction as seen in the book, ‘In A People House’. I always wondered how that sentence made sense. :p
On of the first novels I read, as did a lot of people, is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Narnia was a place I wished was real. I half expected a door to appear somewhere and lead me to that fictional place. Lol.
The beauty in reading this particular C. S. Lewis masterpiece is that you can’t help but visualize it as you read along. In the middle of my reading I would lift my head up and immediately wonder where the movie I was watching went to. 🙂 It was that magical.
I gobbled up books as I saw them. Sidney Sheldon’s Memories of Midnight crossed my path when I was in the fourth grade (Primary 4). Mama said, “that book is too big for you” and she hid it. I found it and read it, but didn’t make much sense of it till years later.
In high school I started putting pen to paper; writing my feelings down. I went to boarding school, leaving hfirst tim. It was hell. The death of my father began to hurt me the more and I started running a list of ‘what ifs’. My cousins found it and destroyed the book, but that didn’t stop me from writing. I just moved away from the darkness a little. 🙂
My first book, which is still far from complete, was a mixture of my fantasies and fiction. About a teenage girl growing up with childhood friends, family and her attraction to a guy… Blah, blah, blah. Typical right? Surprisingly though, it is my first fictional writing and probably my only one. Two friends read it back then in the 9th grade and they kept asking me when I was gonna finish it. Sadly, I never did.
Now, I’m here. I started this blog when my friend Bedari berated me for writing my thoughts out for the world to see. I used Facebook to vent and he said it was a very bad idea. People could latch on to any of my moods and prey on my vulnerability. This got me thinking deeply and I decided to start up a blog as my way of healing myself, learning from mistakes, opening up about myself and getting to read from awesome people.
As long as I live and breathe, I will write. My inspiration comes from my life. The need to write is innate, part of my natural programming. From the shortest thought to the detailed essay. I have to scribble something down.
I look forward to being published someday. After garnering the right tools to make my writing the best, but for now I’m content just writing for myself.