My Island tongue.

Hello all, hope you have all been keeping well. It has been a hectic fortnight for me, I have finally made up mind now, I am going to move to Naija permanently, I will expound on this another time. Anyways, I have been tryna put some things in place to make that easier for me. Hopefully, I will have some things to post up on my blog after this weekend.

Now, I was reading Original Mgbeke's post about the fact that she cannot speak nor understand much Igbo. I must say I was very surprised, hers is one of few blogs that is so Nigerian, it makes me miss home. I guess one cannot reach too many conclusions from blogs.

I am torn on this, my siblings cannot speak Yoruba either, they understand it perfectly, even different dialects and accents, but because they do not say the words, they only hear them, they find it very hard to speak the language. I am the only one who can speak it well, (I might make an audio blog in Yoruba soon, lol) I guess that is because I was born in Naija and they were not. I am from Lagos Island and as much as my aunt, who raised me, wanted us to be proficient in English, she ensured that we could speak Yoruba and write it. My attachment to my culture cannot be divorced from my understanding of my language, I love the tones, the adages, the flexibility and how one word can mean many things depending on how one says it.

I must say, I enjoy speaking English, I was told my first words were in English, as a result of hours spent watching Sesame Street. I try to make sure I speak it well, proper tense, correct grammar and all that.

I think Nigerian cultures will die a slow death the way things are going, so many young Nigerians, even ones in Nigeria, will tell you that they cannot speak their mother tongue, I read about one of these actors, Tontoh Dike (she is Ikwere) saying she because she was raised in PH she cannot speak her mother tongue, only English and Pidgin. I mean! When I was coming up, my closest friends, Bassey and Chidi, would gladly speak Yoruba to us and then switch to their own mother tongue when they were with their families and speak English at the evening classes, those kids were lucky mehn. Imagine, there are some Lagosians that can speak FOUR languages, maybe not perfectly but still.

I just find it rather sad that so many Nigerians would rather speak someone else's language to their children and to make matters worse, they speak it imperfectly, when they can express themselves perfectly in their own language. We oughta take a leaf out of the Indians' book. I have never, ever, met an Indian person or an Asian person for that matter that cannot speak their own language, what is it about them? If one loses one's tongue, one's culture will die, that is just the long and short of it.

As a result of my childhood, I mixed with Nigerians from different parts of the country, I know some Igbo words (the cuss words obviously) and I have an interest in the culture. I must confess I do not know much about my Island culture, because it is different from wider Yoruba culture. It is a mixture of Bini and Yoruba and I do not know enough about it, I am trying to find out.

My latest thing is learning Pidgin, it is going well because I realised that it is not rigid in form, Lagos Pidgin is mostly Yoruba translated down to its most literal form, so 'you no (dey) hear word' (which in standard English would be, 'you do not listen) in Yoruba is 'O kĺn gbÒ rÒ' or 'no follow me do dat kin ting' is a literal translation from 'ma ba mi se iru kan be (yen). Okay, my Pidgin is not yet perfect but since I have realised this little fact, it is coming to me. I also spend a lot of time listening to Wazobia FM.

So, you can all imagine my joy about the music scene in Naija, they way the singers and rappers sprinkle their lyrics with their own language, I love it. 9ice, Raw, Da Grin.... these are artists that I dig for that reason. I know everyone digs M.I right now, not me though, I find dude too western.

Now that is over.... I got the cleaning bug and I decided to re-arrange my books, that is a picture of my favourite shelf.

Les portes du souvenir

I know you all know about my fascination with Koko Mansion, I watched it incessantly for three week, the chick I wanted to win, Shona, did not win. I was disappointed but the show got me through the boredom that threatened to swallow me whole. I mentioned KM because I am amazed at how conservative Nigeria still is. It is a thing of permanent frustration to me that a lot of Naija people, mine included, do not seem to understand that humans do not roll off an assembly line with the same thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes. I think I liked Shona because she struck me as defiant, her dread locks, her tom boyishness, I found it all endearing (*) but it also made me sad, I knew she could never win such a show. The (seemingly) docile woman is still held up as ideal for all Nigerians to aspire to, ah!

I am still evolving as a thinking and feeling being and one of the greatest joys of my life is being exposed to different people from all over the world, I was a child when it occurred to me that I hated sweet things, I mentioned it to someone and they thought I was abnormal. My mouth has propelled me into a lot of sticky situations, I cannot tell you how many frog jumps and 'close your eyes and raise your hands' hours I had to endure because of my big mouth.. As if the big mouth was not enough, I was afflicted with some sorta blind courage....

When I was eight, I was accused of being a witch, it was a funny experience for me because I orchestrated the whole thing. I was in boarding school, we had Saturday service and the youth group leader advised us that anyone who had dreams about meat, raw or cooked, should step forward. Now, I must confess I had no such dreams but I am that cat, so I stepped forward, just me! Imagine, the entire YG were wimps, anyway, she took me to me to the head mistress, I cannot remembered exactly what was discussed but I was informed that I, the star pupil in bible study, was a witch, I wanted to laugh, instead I cried and walked of to my room. I had this affliction as a child to speak when I knew it would have been better to be quiet, anyways, as a result of all this rubbish, I was given a letter asking me to not come back to school. My uncle came, threatened to sue the school and the matter was dropped. I finished school a year later and I do not recall anyone else being accused of being a witch. Maybe I did something good, I do not know, it could have been terrible for me, but I had that foolish courage as a child...

I do not know what opened these doors of memory but it was one of the most poignant events of a rather eventful girlhood and I am thankful I do still remember.

Right now, I am enjoying the beautiful sounds of Les Nubians, their first album, Princesses Nubiennes, would be one of my five dessert island discs. This video is of my favourite song on the album.

....Be mused.

Sunday night and I got an unexpected visit from my muse. I am over my little flu situation so, thank you for all the good wishes.

I have nothing on my mind, I spent the whole day (feel free to shake your head in disgust, lol) watching 'Koko Mansion'. I am thoroughly hooked on the show, It finishes on Sunday which is fine by me, I want Shona to win but anyone but Rita will be okay.

I got through my charity work on Friday, they got me a bottle of cava, which I was thrilled about, I drank it all by myself, my tolerance for alcohol has shot up, I have been consuming more...

Now, whilst I was laid up recovering from my little situation, I read a couple of books, the most notable one being Staceyanne Chin's autobiography, I was so disappointed I almost cried, I was very excited when I got the book but it was poorly written and it just left me upset. I sorta gave up on books for the week.

I do not know if I have mentioned it on the blogosphere but I am doing a show, young Nigerians discussing topical issues, we are recording on Saturday, if it turns out well, I will put it up. Eventually I want to go back home, I am from a small Island in Naija, and all this city life business might just be too much for me, so I got to catch my share of fish. If you have any ideas about things that are worth talking about, please drop me a line.

I mentioned 6'3 a while back, I must announce that that situation is officially dead, dude likes Oyibo women ONLY! Imagine my dismay when it finally dawned on me, I am alright about it now though I must say that I should have known but such was the attraction I had to him that I ignored it, he has been the inspiration behind many late nights but no more, that is not to say if I had the chance I'd turn him down..Lol. I get crushes rather easily and I already have another, I cannot write about that one unfortunately,because L will go all out, lol. It's all good, I might find a good way to talk about it in some sorta abstract manner, so as to give no clues about the sexiness of which I speak....

Oh, I have a small request to make, I am willing to do something in return, of course it has to be within reason, I would ask someone to kindly hook me up with a play list of Naija love songs. I am on my Naija thing hard right now.

My younger sister discovered Fela, by this I mean she has now decided that likes him after many Sundays of complaining about Pops' Afro jams. So for the past three days, She has had 'I no be gentleman' on repeat, it is driving me up the wall but I am rather encouraged by her interest in, shows that my years of trying is paying off.

I am very impressed by Sugarbelly, she is amazing, if you have not visited her blog, I suggest you do asap.

Stay blessed all,