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Half-of-a-Yellow-Sun-March-2014-BellaNaija

Half Of A Yellow Sun: The Movie

“Up until then, whenever

anyone had mentioned the

possibility of making a film

adaptation, my answer had

always been, ‘No, I’m not

interested.’ I believe that each

reader creates his own film

inside his head, gives faces to

the characters, constructs every

scene, hears the voices, smells

the smells. And that is why,

whenever a reader goes to see a

film based on a novel that he

likes, he leaves feeling

disappointed, saying: ‘the book

is so much better than the

film.”

Paulo Coelho, The Zahir.

I was beyond excited the first time I heard that Half Of A Yellow Sun (the novel) by Chimamanda Adichie was going to be adapted into a film. The last time I had been that excited was when Agbani Darego was crowned Miss World in 2001. That was 13 years ago and this is Agbani Darego.
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Agbani Darego

I’m not expecting much from the film to be honest. I’ve read some not so lovely reviews. I know it won’t be as great as the book. Paulo Coelho explains that perfectly. I’m just excited to see the characters come to life through Biyi Bandele’s eyes. It would be interesting to see his own interpretation of the story. I would love to read the book again before I see the film. I read it about 4 years ago.
It was surprising to learn that D’banj is behind the soundtrack for this film. Half Of A Yellow Sun is a story of love, betrayal and most importantly, the Nigerian Civil War (Biafran War) and I just couldn’t see D’banj fitting into this picture. This is D’banj holding a bag of Koko Garri.
D'banj and his Koko garri
Well, here is what he has produced. It’s a typical ‘Nigerian-music’ type love song with sketchy lyrics.
“I don’t mean to bother you, can I borrow some of
your time, tell me who discover you, ‘cos you’re the
treasure I don dey find…”

 I like it but I’m not sure how I feel about it for the film.

I can’t get over the fact that he’s on a beach with a horse with a lady while some clips from the movie which are included in the ‘Bother You’ video depict war and suffering. I really don’t know where they were going with this. I can only wait and see how this song gets worked into this film.
Till then,
Love and regular blog posts,
AA.

Dear WordPress

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I am angry. I am angry because I spent my time yesterday, the 22nd of March 2014 trying to update my blog which I had not updated in a while, only to be frustrated by you, WordPress. I expected much more WP. We’ve been buddies for almost 2 years now. Why would you do this to me? It would have been better if the post had shown no signs of being posted but that was not the case. It was very visible on my Reader and it opened when I clicked the link I had shared on Twitter. What trickery!

I received some complaints from some of my faithful readers on Twitter. They asked if I had deleted my post. I was confused. I told them to check again because I was sure my post was there, waiting to be read. I had faith in you WP. I went to bed feeling uncertain and unsure of my blogging abilities. I had not received any feedback. I couldn’t remember the last time I hadn’t received any feedback. I even considered giving up on my blog.

I became worried when I received another complaint this morning. I decided to investigate. I visited my blog and what did I see looking back at me?

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I saw this. My Missing Manchester post from almost two weeks ago. Where was the Introverted Nigerian post that I supposedly put up just last night? Do you now eat posts WP? Is that what keeps you going? Devouring posts? I was sad. It meant no one had seen my post. I had worked hard on it by the way. Well I ended up getting in up (I think. You never know with you, WP.) and I had to apologise to the complainers.

This is totally unacceptable WP. I am disappointed but I won’t leave you. I can’t see myself with Tumblr or Blogger. I just hope you sort yourself out and do the right thing.

Love,

AA.

A dissatisfied user.

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The Introverted Nigerian

I always try to avoid labels but for the purpose of this post, I shall identify as the Introverted Nigerian.

I don’t talk much but I’m not exactly shy. I used to think I was. I prefer to talk when I have something meaningful to say, well except on The Ramblings where I discuss mostly irrelevant issues. I was the child that never danced during those children parties my mum made me go to (Cool kids don’t dance). Sometimes, I didn’t even know whose party I was attending. I didn’t really fancy socials in school either and I never danced. I don’t think my friends have seen me dance before. Maybe one or two have. I dance at home though. It’s usually silly stuff; when I’m trying to make my siblings laugh. That’s probably the only way I know how to dance-like a clown. Please don’t try to imagine me dancing if you know me. Things will never be the same if you do. Although my comedic dance moves are top-notch, I try not to exhibit them in public. I don’t think the world is ready for my moves. Not yet.

I get asked some rather annoying questions sometimes due to my reticent ways and I’m here to address some of them.

 Enter Introverted Nigerian (IN) and Random Classmate (RC). IN and RC aren’t exactly friends, just acquaintances. RC comes over to IN’s desk and they engage in a conversation.

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RC: You never smile.

This isn’t even a question. It’s a blatant statement. It is said with the same conviction someone would say ‘you’re a girl’ and be sure of it. What sort of ignorant statement is this oh you omnipresent one? ‘Never’ is such a big word and it’s rather annoying when this person who has known me for barely a month comes to me and says ‘you NEVER smile’. And I’m pretty sure you’ve seen my 32(not sure if my teeth are up to 32 really) RC, as I usually laugh at jokes during class.

IN (smiles): Haha… I smile. (I mean how else can you reply such an ignorant statement?)

Enter IN and RC 2. It is February 14th and the theme of our French lesson is L’amour. We have a little party in class later. There is cake. Pictures are being taken. I don’t really like posing for pictures so I sit and watch. I am not sad, not at all.

RC 2: What is your problem?

RC 2 looks annoyed. He probably does not understand why I’m not jumpy and excited. This question annoys me. My problem is the fact that he has presumed I must have a problem. He didn’t even ask ‘what is the problem?’ to generalise things or ‘Are you okay?’ to express some concern.

IN (smiles): Nothing… I’m okay. (I mean what am I supposed to say? That he’s being annoying and I’m not interested in the activities going on around me?)

Enter IN and Le Professeur. Le Professeur tells IN to read an article.

Le Professeur: Parle fort!

I can understand this. My voice is deep and low and has a tendency to get lost. I can’t really do much about this though. That’s just the way things are. I wish she would accept this. Does she want me to shout? Another classmate comes to aid. He tries to explain to le professeur.

 IN: Désolée madame. (Proceeds to read in shaky awkward-sounding voice)

I like to think that I’m a happy child, that I’m fairly normal and not that weird, but questions like this make me feel awkward. They make me feel like I’m doing something wrong when I’m really just being myself and that is unfair. I wish more people would understand this.

Love,

AA.

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Missing Manchester

Although I couldn’t keep up with the unpredictable Mancunian weather; the cold and the rain (especially the rain), I came to love Manchester during my International Foundation Year (IFY).

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I didn’t like the 12.5-minute walk to school every morning and I hated my 2-hour Economics and Business classes. My teachers gave me way more credit than I deserved. They all seemed to think I studied more than I actually did and my classmates thought I was a genius of sorts. (Haha)

My accommodation was not so wonderful (Never stay at New Medlock House) but it was inhabitable. I hated that my room was close to the street and that some nights; I became a passive listener to the drunken ramblings of University students. In some ways however, I liked my room. It was a safe haven for the days when my Chinese flatmate would decide to have one of her cook, drink and watch-Chinese-series fests with her friends. I miss my Polaroid camera and my other things in storage.

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I miss going to Arndale on Saturdays with my friend J and getting my other beautiful friend C to get me cupcakes from Harvey Nichols. I got fat quickly but that’s fine; the cupcakes were good.

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I miss the walk back home with J after our Key Skills class. We would talk about how useless Key Skills was (it really wasn’t) and ponder over the topics we had discussed in class; mostly stuff Noam Chomsky had written. We would stop over at Sainsbury’s, Subway, Rice or Nando’s depending on what J felt like getting. She would always try to make me buy a sub from Subway. It was probably her best food place. She was my Asda shopping partner and we always came back with way too many bags. I think we bought a lot of stuff we really didn’t need sometimes. I miss J.

I miss taking random pictures from my window. Here are some of the not so bad ones.

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Whose son is this?

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I also took pictures of pesky pigeons, street musicians and random things.

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I had never been to Manchester before I chose to go there for my IFY. It was a completely new and different experience and one that I enjoyed. I will always remember my short stay and the fun things I got to experience.

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Bonfire Night

 

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Christmas Lights Switch On

 

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I miss Manchester.

Love,

AA.

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Let’s Talk About the Music Video for Davido’s ‘Aye’

In case you’ve never seen the video or heard the song, I recommend you do so before reading this post. Also, you shouldn’t take this post too seriously (especially if you’re a Davido fan or Davido).

Sometime this month, Davido released to us the music video for his song, Aye. Despite the elementary lyrics, it’s a rather catchy song. It meets the criteria for a Nigerian hit song, which I have addressed in this post. The first time I heard it; my first instinct was to break into Dansharoro, a type of Rawar Fulani (Fulani Dance) that involves dancing with sticks and hopping. Something like this:

Although Davido sings about a certain young woman who doesn’t want designer items or flashy cars (a Ferrari to be exact), his video transports us to what I’m guessing is an ancient Yoruba village in Owu Kingdom, where he steals the King/Prince’s wife/girlfriend.

It’s a nice video; great cinematography and all that, but I have some issues that aren’t really real issues.As I am jobless and have absolutely nothing better to do with my time, I have grabbed shots of the problem scenes. You’re welcome.

I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t see Fulani dancers at the beginning. That was the image I had formed in my head. Anyway, the men dancing with the cutlasses made up for it. That was sort of how I danced imagined dancing to the song.

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Ayeeeee

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AAAYYYEEEE

 But what’s up with these guys though?

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Paranormal Activity on the farm

 Now, this is a typical Nigerian farmer:

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Look at the veins

And this is Davido, the tattooed farmer. Look at how well fed he looks. Just look at those cheeks.

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That’s not the smile of a hungry man

How could they have afforded the fancy clothes and jewellery and not simple shoes? Not even slippers.

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All this wealth but still no shoes…

And what does this guy need a hand fan for?

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Why does this woman have a water pot on the farm? There’s no sign of water here so I don’t understand. Did they run out of baskets? Even if they did, she could have danced without holding anything.

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Where is the stream?

 The girl wearing orange is probably wondering what they are doing in her village. To be precise, she is asking, ‘Who are these?’

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Who are these ones?

The end leaves so many questions unanswered and I don’t even know where to start. I’m assuming this is where the King/Prince is told his wife/girlfriend is with some poor farmer.

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Your babe is with the farmer…

 He then looks and discovers that she’s really gone.

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Ah… she’s really gone… I shall do nothing about this.

This is the end. What did the King/Prince do? Did he leave them alone? Did he punish the chubby poor farmer? I guess we will never know.

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The End

I’m done here.

Love,

AA.

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The Day I Almost Killed Myself to Avoid Death

I recently got a new bike that I don’t ride much. It’s too hot outside and the streets are busy. I shall call it Aubrey.

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Aubrey

Years before Aub, another existed but it was nameless. I don’t remember much but it was slim and purple. My Dad gave my purple bike away to some stranger who asked for it when I was sent off to boarding school. Although that purple bike almost caused my death, I was sad.

On the day I almost killed myself to avoid death, I went riding with my sister. I’m guessing this was about 7 years ago. While we were riding, a lorry or a trailer or some monstrous vehicle appeared from nowhere and was heading towards me. This was the situation:

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The Rational Human Being

Instead of acting like the rational human being I’m meant to be, common sense abandoned me and I rode into the flower hedges. It happened that there was a deep gutter behind the flower hedges, and so I ended up in the gutter. No one really knows how I survived but I emerged covered in rubbish and with a few scratches.

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I don’t know which would have been more honourable; a gutter death or being crushed by a monstrous vehicle.

This is why it has taken me 7 years to get a new bicycle. I waited for 2 weeks after my new bike (Aub) was purchased to ride it and I made sure to get a helmet this time. Just in case.

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Safety First

Pictures taken by Ajay Abalaka.

Love,

AA.

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I am Growing a Beard

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As silly as the title of this post may sound, I’m afraid this is actually a serious issue.

It began when I woke up one morning and found a strand of hair on my chin. I didn’t think much of it at that time. I simply plucked it and moved on with my life.

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Examining my chin in the mirror is not an activity I regularly engage in and I was definitely not prepared when I woke up to find four strands (yes I counted) of hair on my chin. I cried. I cried because I remembered one of my nursery school teachers, Mrs Uzo. Mrs Uzo had a beard. She had a beard that had terrified me for most of my prepubescent life. Her beard made me question the little I knew about life. My only consolation was the fact that my strands were fine and not curly like hers. The only way anyone would see the strands was if they came very close to my chin.

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To know how serious my predicament was, I turned to Google. That was when I discovered hirsutism. Hirsutism, according to Wikipedia, is the excessive hairiness on women in those parts of the body where terminal hair (whatever that is) does not occur or is minimal, for example, a beard or chest hair.

After I had viewed the Google images associated with hirsutism and read that ‘women of European extraction are more likely to grow facial hair than either women of African or Asian descent’, I was convinced that I was definitely not suffering from this condition.

I have concluded that as I am not a woman of ‘European extraction’ and don’t have excess adrenal hormones, Mrs Uzo and her curly beard, wherever they might be are trying to teach me a lesson for all the years I spent questioning her beard. :( I now also spend my time examining random peoples’ chins.

P.S: Do not make the mistake of googling images of hirsutism. Just don’t it.

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Love,

AA.

Music Monday

Music Monday: Les Sommets de Nos Vies

I haven’t posted in a while and I feel bad about it. I know you missed me (I don’t care about you if you didn’t miss me 8O ). I hate it when blogs I actively follow aren’t regularly updated and I apologise for being a lazy poster the lack of updates. I’m going through a quarter life crisis and I’m growing a beard. It’s a long story.

Please accept this beautiful song by Corneille as a peace-offering. It doesn’t matter that it is in French and you may not understand what he’s saying. Just enjoy. :)

Love and regular blog posts,

AA.

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Questions and Things that Keep Me Up at Night

What to write about

Since laziness took over my life, my creativity has been going down the drain. I no longer have ideas for the blog and there’s nothing to ramble about these days. To correct this unfortunate mishap, I decided to spend some time at night brainstorming.

When it was almost 3.51am and I had still not come up with anything substantial, it finally hit my sleep-deprived mind. I would write about the things that don’t let me sleep at night and well, here we are.

What to Include in my list of things that keep me up

Of course, I had to have an actual list. So, I stayed up thinking of what to include.

How Lupita Nyong’o’s hair grew so fast

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Lupita Nyong’o

This one really gave me a hard time. The picture on the left was taken at the Critics’ Choice Awards, which took place on the 16th of January 2014 and the second picture was taken at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which was on the 18th of January 2014. Now, how could her hair have become about an inch higher within 2 days? My brain could not handle it but I considered different options -texturiser, blowout, she might not have cut her hair in the first picture (hair magic) and finally, Juju. It really doesn’t matter, however. She’s beautiful. I eventually settled for texturiser.

Why the French Language is so gender conscious

Why does everything have to be either male or female? I mean, just WHY? As I continue to struggle with ‘Le and La’ and ‘Un and Une’, I shall never be satisfied with any explanation for this language torture.

Why I want to spend 4 years of my life studying Law when I have absolutely no desire to practice

I still don’t know the answer to this one.

What would happen if I decided not to go to university. I’m not really a dropout by the way. Sorry if you have been misled by the title of my blog. I’m taking a gap year.

Would I end up like Aliko Dangote or will my parents kick me out of the house, forcing me to become a street hawker?

Turquoise Bicycles because they look cool

How optimistic Ajebutter 22 is

In his song, ‘Celebrate in Advance’, Ajebutter 22 sings about how he celebrates the things he does not have because he knows he will get them someday. (I know right…what??)

What if he never gets these things? He would have wasted some money and valuable time celebrating in advance. I comprehend not but I admire his optimism. He was so optimistic that he made a song AND a video. It’s a nice song I guess.

 FlowFree

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 Why Britney Spears has a dressing table in a dessert in the middle of nowhere in the video of her song.

 The Internet

I obviously had to find out the answers to some of these mind-boggling questions so I conducted some research. In the course of carrying out said research, I found out that the awkward V-shaped point in my hairline, in the centre of my forehead is called a ‘widow’s peak’. Who knew? I had spent my whole life wondering why there was a pointy ‘V’ on my forehead.

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Love,

AA.