Tag Archives: Music

Throwback: Birthday playlist. Also Chris Mba is a sexy beast.

Now what kind of Nigerian would I be if I did not introduce my son to the only version of ‘Happy Birthday’ he should ever sing? Or these other fantastic songs that coloured every birthday party in the eighties/early nineties?

What  birthday party songs do you remember from your childhood? Let  me know  your birthday party playlist in the comment box!

And finally…(Thank you Waffarian for this!)

Anyone that tells me that Chris Mba is not a sex god is a liar and God is watching that person. Look at the manly forearm vein. Those superhero shoulder pads, sleeves well rolled. See that Soul Glo’, sef. Thank you Kessing Sheen! Whatever, man. Chris Mba is a legend.

Blame it on my chi.

Ndewo nu, Igbo ndi oma n’agu akara edemede m n’aka  ugbu a. Kedu ka unu mere? And good day to all you non-Igbo readers as well!

This post is about Flavour N’abania so if you’re tired of hearing me talk about him, biko kwuruga – just shift to one side, as we say in Nigeria.

Flavour N'abania

Let’s have a moment of silence to fully appreciate God’s work, please.

Eh-he, where was I? Yes, so I understand as a Christian that whatever I ask for of my heavenly father will be given. Matthew 7:7 – ‘Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.’

In this case it translates as ‘Seek F(l)avour and ye shall find F(l)avour.’ Hallelujah? Amen!

WHY IS THIS NOT HAPPENING?

Is this because Christianity also makes provision for those times when you ask and do not receive – it is simply not in God’s plan? He knows what is best for you; you’re supposed to ‘Wait upon the Lord and he shall renew thine strength. (Isaiah 40:31). So this would mean  that meeting Flavour now or at any other time would be somehow bad for me.

 I don’t attend the so-called ‘New Generation’ churches but I find that a lot of them believe in speaking words into action – less waiting, more…commanding. I am comfortable with this approach with regards to my current Flavourless existence because it is similar to the Igbo belief system.

We Nwa afo Igbo believe in chi, your personal destiny, inseparable from your will. This is not a god to be bartered or traded or destroyed if they do not do your bidding.  This chi is both the physical manifestation of your will and the will itself.

So you see, I simply refuse to believe that it is not God’s plan for me to meet Flavour N’abania. I refuse. Mba. No. Nicht. Non. It is simply that my chi slumbers. For how else will you explain that ALL of my friends have met, touched, danced with or interviewed the Flavoursome One, eh?

Hear one of them : “Nwoke mara mma o. Skin bu so so mma eh!” (“He is so fiiiiiiiine and his skin is so lovely!”)

Needless to say, we have since parted ways.

I promised no more Flavour for a while on this blog, and I kept my promise both to myself and to you. I boycotted his music, I did not speak his name or allow anyone else to do so. Heck I even stopped watching  Alien vs Predator which I love because Predator’s  hairstyle reminds me of Flavour’s.

Now I have gone back to him in force, starting today. Flavour if you are reading this, I AM COMING FOR YOU. You cannot escape.

It is destiny.

If you have Spotify, and you speak Igbo listen to the skit below. It is supposed to be what happens when a group of Igbo boys hang out in a beer garden with the purpose of picking up chicks. The conversation is HILARIOUS. I would love to translate it but I have a feeling that it will make the whole thing dry and humourless.

Flavour – Skit By Waga G, Loye & Falvour

Ije Enu: Wartime and the music of Celestine Ukwu.

“Eeeeeeee! Bebi m eeeee!” The woman screamed. The veins in her neck were knots of  rope squeezing the scream from her throat. On cue, my sisters and I burst out laughing.

“Rewind it again!” we cried. My elder sister obliged and we all laughed again as the woman, her voice hoarse, threw her hands on her head and cried for her dead baby. The camera moved behind her to a swollen-bellied baby lying in a man’s arms. The man gritted his teeth, grunting. The child’s eyes rolled back into hollowed-out temples, white with thin black arcs showing under its eyelids.

It wasn’t so much the woman we were laughing at, as much as the peculiarity of her cries. We didn’t understand. I for one, was four.

As the woman’s wails faded away, the song we called the ‘Mummy song’ but which is actually titled ‘Ije Enu’ came up underneath it.  And with it, my introduction to Celestine Ukwu.

Celestine Ukwu

We have been very fortunate, my family. On both sides, we didn’t really lose anyone in the war. All five of my mother’s brothers went away to the front lines and all five of them came back. All my father lost was four years when he could have been going to University learning how to save lives but which he spent building ogbunigwe bombs to destroy them instead. I would like to think that it gave him great insight as a surgeon.

My great-uncle’s loss was often recounted with great gnashing of teeth on his part. He lost all of his property in Port Harcourt when the Nigerian government saw it fit to reward the war efforts of the non-Biafran side with Biafrian loot, to hear him tell it. My uncle would get particularly agitated as he told of knocking on the door of his many properties and being told in no uncertain terms where to stick his ‘landlordship.’

It wasn’t until I was sufficiently grown up that I heard that woman’s “Eeeeeeee! Bebi m eeeee!” cry for exactly what it was; despair, pain, sorrow all wrapped up in one. It wasn’t until we were grown that our parents told us about the comrades they had lost, childhood friends and neighbours who they might have inadvertently inhaled as they burned or tasted as they blew up next to them in tunnels or bushes.  I understood that  they feared to tell us these stories as children because they did not want us burdened with the knowledge of such atrocities. Or maybe it was a different kind of fear; a lot of Igbo families did not  trust the government, they were afraid of the army and the police was certainly not their friend as the Nigerian motto claimed. There was always a risk that we would repeat what we heard so our parents just didn’t talk because they did not wish to invite trouble.

I began to gnash my teeth long after my great-uncle died as I thought of all that property taken away from him, how he died poor and nearly broken in my village Oba, so small that it escaped the war altogether but not so much that it did not have more than its fair share of refugees or draftees or lost sons.

I understood the bitterness; why some people will never allow intermarriage in their families from either side and – though it is not my philosophy – how hard it is to convince them otherwise, how much of a numpty you will look if you even try. Where do you start preaching the message of unity from, born more than a decade after the war ended?  How can there be any sort of healing when nobody is willing to acknowledge from either side what went wrong? When wounds are still fresh from where people had their hopes and dreams and desires torn, cut or ripped clean away?

Where I come from, people still count their riches in Biafran shillings. They say ‘During the war I was so-and-so’, and they spit when they recount handing over their hard-earned money for a measly amount of Nigerian naira. All fingers of the hand were not supposed to be equal but after the way, they were all cut down to size.

And through all this, the one thing I came away with was a deep, abiding love for Celestine Ukwu, a wise man, a philosopher. A man whose music for me, has become more than just the soundtrack to horrific images of the Nigerian-Biafran War (Vol 1-3). His message of peace and togetherness speaks not just to a bygone era but to what we can be if only we put our minds to it.

I am not sure I could watch that woman screaming now. I hope she found some peace in her life.