Whitney O!

Truth be told, I didn’t watch the live screening of Whitney Houston’s burial on CNN this past weekend. I did later catch up on some clips the next day. And of all the tributes by various celebrities and family friends, Kevin Costner’s really touched me the most. This is really strange seeing that his flop movie Waterworld really hurt my feelings when I borrowed it from the video club back in the day. He redeemed himself a bit in the flick 3000 Miles to Graceland; but let it be known – MJ is the king.

But jokes aside, I had done my own private mourning on week of her passing. I was grouchy at work, and kept on replaying “The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack” on my work PC. Even my manager knew to leave me be. At least I wasn’t Facebooking on company time.

To make matters worse, the day after the sad news of her passing broke, I got to work and stumbled into an argument between some of my co-workers. A few of these new school juveniles were comparing Beyonce to Whitney. I laughed in Mbaise Igbo ( trust me it sounds like a Coke counter scrapping the floor). No disrespect to Mama Blue Ivy, but that is like comparing Uncle Ben’s rice to Abakiliki rice (with stones inside). And besides Whitney is the better actress. Haha.

Why was Whitney special? I am not going to bore y’all by spewing what you have probably heard this past weeks about what a talent she was. Okay, sorry, I will actually have to bore you. Whitney could ‘sang’. And I have not gotten my tenses wrong; she could ‘sang’, the way Ron Isley, Mary J Blige and Jill Scott can ‘sang.” I don’t know if any Nigerian artist can ‘sang”; I know a few that can ‘sung’, but I no go name names o. Today is about Whitney.

You see the problem with some of these new singers is that a few hide behind some smokescreen so that you don’t see their talent for what it is. There is choreography, designer clothes, bling bling, auto-tune, top-notch production which masks those with voices that can break glass. How could I forget the new trend of wearing sunglasses. Every artist these days sports a pair in the videos, and when they croon love songs about how a dame has made them kolo, it is hard to believe them. Their body movements and dance routines say one thing, but their eyes tell a lie. No “R &B” or soul artiste should ever wear shades unless they are Aaron Stone, Ray Charles or R-Kelly from back in the day. D’Banj is also excused, but he nor fit sing sef anyway.

Whitney sounded sincere and original. A song like “I will always love you” had the range to appeal to the most heart-broken spinster, as well as the most hardened thug or armed robber. Even my grandmother loved that jam back in the day when she heard it on MTV during the time she came to do omu-ugwo for my baby sis. An I will or-wares ruv yoo…….

Some of these new singing cats just bellow out tunes like they are more concerned about how they come across. Open ya eye make we see whether na apollo dey do you. Abi you know say you dey deceive yourself and shame don catch you.

Is it not amazing when you notice that Whitney never broke into dance. Her voice alone could captivate you. She didn’t need any fancy video by Clarence Peters or Hype Williams to get spins. And when she displayed her magnificent vocal range, she didn’t show us her 32 molars, pre-molars and incissors. Her mouth was barely open, like I nor fit shout sef. An I will or-wares ruv yoo…….

Hers was a pure beauty and elegance. She looked every inch a super-star. She was the kind of entertainer you could take home to mama (not mommma). And actually not have mama scream in disgust and irritation like “This geh done waka well well. Make you find innocent geh marry.” Whitney’s pure unbridled talent took her to fame and fortune – she didn’t need to appear half-naked on the red carpet (Aladdin syndrome) or flash her punani when alighting from a car. Heck, she did not need Brazilian weave, or Twirra (twitter).

Have you seen some Nigerian singers try to hold a note?  A music note, not a bank note. Compare that to the video of “Shoop” where Whitney was doing her mouth like she was chewing hot eba.

What makes Whitney so memorable? I listened to Whitney during the period a girl did turn turn turner with my emotions for the first time in my life. A girl with the code name C.A.N shattered my heart into tiny little pieces. She ripped my heart out of my chest like Goro (Mortal Kombat) and laughed into the sunset. She pulled my heart out of my chest like Apocalypto. I drank many bottles of Calypso, but it was Whitney not alcohol that got me through it. I can recall listening to “Why does it hurt so bad” from the “Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack” while eating yampo in my room in pitch darkness. No, craze had not caught me – NEPA had taken light, and I need to lem.

Whitney’s music inspired. I once listed the lyrics of “I believe in you and me” and put them on a card, and ‘supplied’ it to one chick like that. It worked more than buying her a BB Porsche or a weave. Not that I will ever try that nonsense anyway.

Listen to a jam like “Run To You” off The Bodygaurd Album and see if it would not make you feel like crossing 1000 Obudu Cattle Range mountains and 1 million River Nigers to find love.

That was not the only time Whitney came through for me. I recall also jamming “Until You Come Back” off the “My Love is Your Love” album with a girl I was dating because she loved that tune. When we broke up, I used to think about her a bit whenever I heard that song, and half-wish she would walk through the door. Or the gate. I even instructed our aboki to look out for her incase she came, so she wouldn’t miss me at home. I kept asking the mallam if someone had rung the bell. Well she never did walk through my door again, but Whitney had another correct song to console me with – “It’s Not Right, But Its Okay”. Or as I preferred to call it “Its all good”

And don’t you lot go thinking that Esco is mushy. Men need love too. Sensitive thugs, you all need love. Silent morning, they say a man is not supposed to cry. I hated that jam.

Truth be told, anytime I was having women problems, I kept that shit to myself, and I found music therapeutic. I have the sort of friends who if you tried to tell them about your emotional drama or relationship woes, would laugh in your face. Like you can’t be serious; abeg leave that thing. As my friend Kola once said it, the solution to woman problems is more women.

Personally, why I will miss Whitney Houston so much is that her music was there during many parts of my formative years. I was an 80s baby, but it was the 90s I came into my own, and that was when she was at the peak of her powers.

Whitney_Houston

Everybody has a song that punctuates or is the soundtrack to different times in their lives.

My driver had huge Beyoncé posters on his wall in his room.  He liked Bey so much that he even bought the Nollywood movie “Beyonce and Rihanna” and was disappointed and almost inconsolable when he didn’t see Mama Blue Carter in the movie. Dude, didn’t you see the poster?

One day, I mustered up the courage and time to ask him why he fancied Jay Z’s wife so much/

He said it was because of one of the songs when she had recorded when she was still in Destiny’s Child.

I closed my eyes, as I inquired. Which song, pray tell?

“I go survive o, I go survive o” he sang in answer, smiling. Proud of himself, he continued “Na that song help me when I step on poisonous nail for my village, and my oga come reduce my salary.”

I racked my brain. Was he confusing Destiny’s Child with The Mandators or Tosin Jegede that 80s child star?

Eureka! You wrecker, “Oh you mean, I am a survivor”.

I was just blowing English jare. He had put his own twist on a song that motivated him and made it his own.

So he didn’t like Bey cos of her bootylicious curves or her thunder thighs then? Interesting.

As I end this, my heart goes out to Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter. May Whitney also rest in peace. This is a woah-Nigerian blog, but she was an honorary Nigerian because we blasted her music, and helped contribute to the millions of records she sold (Alaba or not).

Rest in peace to a great songstress and a unique talent – the late Whitney Houston. 

I leave you with this great tune from The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack. It is called “You Were Loved.”

As you enjoy, please share your life and music memories with me. Make sure you post a comment if you read this, or I will stop writing posts.  Just joking. But I am serious though. Lol.

 

Shant’gree Birds

It is the thought that counts - action is overrated anyway

 

We are in the season of love. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and its yet again that time of the year when we celebrate the loves in our lives, the sugars in our teas, the fish in our stew, the ones who take our breaths away. It is that time of the year when we celebrate the special sombori.

But Esco is not in the mood for any jagbajantis celebration of love. I prefer to go the other route and talk about those nonsense somboris who make us gnash our teeth, or cringe at their behavior. I want to talk about dangerous women in a man’s life who have caused him pain, grief and almost a certain death. All men have had that sort of woman at least once in their lifetime. I am here to talk about poisonous girls, or ‘angry birds’ as they are known. Seeing that majority of my readers are female, this post would not be popular. Heck, I may only get one or two comments.

I will be handing out this categories of girls, hibiscus flowers that I plucked from my neighbors bushy backyard. Here goes:

  • Girls who show you only one side of them, and then flip one day totally throwing you off balance. I once dated a chick who was the epitome of style and grace – to me. All my friends couldn’t stand her. Their nickname for her was ‘madame’ and that was because they said she had a nasty streak in her. Thing was, I couldn’t see it. She took proper care of me. If my car had a problem, she would come get me.  She would drop me off at night and watch me walk across my landlord’s perfectly cut lawn into my BQ, before she sped off. She typed my school project – all 5,000 words of it on her dad’s dusty Fujitsu PC. When she learned that I loved pancakes, she brought me some every morning for a month! Esco was getting fat.

 

She soon took over every aspect of my life. Esco was getting sprung. Soon, I was giving her my money to hold, and she was giving me pocket money. She was First Bank/ first lady/fair lady. And I was fair game.

 

But I noticed that other girls were scared shit-less of Madame. When I first started going steady with her, a friend of mine cried begging me not to. I couldn’t understand it. I noticed that my circle of female friends trickled until I was stuck with Madam only. I later found out that most girls were terrified of Madam and her circle of intimidating friends who were a powerful clique in the girl’s hostel. They threatened, and even once beat up another girl who was flirting with one of their fellas. This clique called themselves “The Powerpuff Girls.”

 

But Madam was very meek and submissive around me. If we had an argument, she would back down, and never raise her voice. Then she would massage my male ego my tenderly urging me: Babe please come to bed.

Soon Madam had Esco wrapped around her finger. Or so she thought.

 

Then one day, after we had graduated from school, she came to my place to visit me. We chilled in the crib for a bit, then it was evening time. I decided to see her off to get a cab. We strolled to a major street to hail a cab, and stood there trying to look for an empty taxi passing.

 

Then a cab was passing but it had a man and a woman inside it. Madam then muttered something under her breath, as the cab passed us. The cab had gone down the road, then stopped and now did a U-turn and started coming towards us.

 

It stopped a few meters from us, and the woman inside jumped out, just as the man she was with was trying to restrain her.

 

The woman bellowed at Madam in alatika English: “Young girl, repeat that statement you just made now. What was the statement you just said, when we were passing.”

 

I was perplexed. I looked at Madame, then looked at Alatika, and then looked at Alatika’s bobo who looked like he too was spoiling for a fight.

 

I was going to try and shield Madame, but she shoved me aside and confronted the woman head-on, eyes-bulging like Segun Arinze: “What did you hear me say? Is your ear blocked.”

 

In fact Madame was so angry that she had a vein popping on her forehead. You know that vein that sticks out on your forehead when you are sucking a dry orange hard?

 

Chukwu a julu! Was this my normally calm girlfriend. The two lasses started a hot exchange there, almost coming to blows. I was trying to calm my chick the fuck down, but she wouldn’t listen. She was really cruising for a bruising.. It was becoming like that scene from Jenifa Part 1 where the Gbo-Gbo Bigz Girl crew took on the Runs Girls crew.  People started gathering, including some people from me yard and street, along with okada riders, abokis, maigaurds, neighborhood hangers-on. The whole parole was beginning to smell one kind like badussy (butt+ ——y)

 

In the heated exchange, the truth came out. Apparently Madame had called the woman an “ashewo” when the cab was passing.  For.no.apparent.reason.You know females are blessed with 50/50 vision and ‘blue-tooth’ ears. The woman had read Madame’s lips (don’t ask me how), as she muttered the words under her breath, and the woman had ‘commanded’ the cab driver to do an ‘automatic 360’.

 

Now there was more trouble – the woman’s oga was also now spoiling for a fight. With moi.

 

I was non-committal, like bros, if they sent you, tell them that you didn’t see me. Besides I only fight people whom I can see the top of their head. I cant see yours, so I wont (cant) fight you.

 

Some of the hangers-on there, managed to diffuse the situation. But me and Madame were never the same again. I had seen the other side of her, she had desperately tried to hide from me, and she probably felt exposed. By the next month, we had decided to cool things off.

 

Madame, here is your hibiscus flower.

 

  • Girls who refuse to be friends with you because you cannot date them. Mami, some girls eyes de chook now o. This used to be a male problem before. Guys only befriended girls to see if they could sleep with them. In fact I was like that once. I only kept a girl as a platonic friend, only if I wasn’t attracted to her at all. She had to be terribly ugly before I could relax and be chill with her. But I have matured over the years. I realize that not all relationships with members of the fairer sex need be sexual. There are other forms of relations to be had, except the physical, and now I have tons of hot friends, that I have remained cool with on a pure level. They are not that many, but I will get there.

However now, I find that it is girls who have that nasty streak of ‘all or nothing.” I know some girls want to marry or get a steady date quick, but this Oliver Twist behavior has to stop. I once had a female reader contact me directly, and we chatted a bit over a few days. Then she started asking for my photographs and contact details. I warned her if you see Esco, you nor go like am o. I wor wor o.

She begged me to send her a bb picture of myself. I write a blog, so my penmanship represents me. I sent a bb picture of my finger, and she got upset. Soon she got the inclination that I was wanted us to be friends, she cut me off immediately. I felt used. It is not fair o. Here is your hibiscus flower.

  • Lasses who have unrealistic expectations of men.

 

Sometimes, girls, and boys, but since I am talking about girls, then some girls need to ask themselves if they are emotionally mature to date or marry. No I am not asking if they have now sprouted boobs and lumps to be fondled, or if hair has now cascaded their armpits. Marriage is 80% about trust, friendship and perseverance, 15% about romance and 5% about sex. Money and in-law problems have a huge share somewhere there.

 

Please ladies, chill with your expectations from your significant other this Valentine season. Don’t be mad because you expected a box-card ( I have never understood why they fell trees for this waste of a thing), and your fella gave you miniature card. It is the thought that counts. I personally prefer sending E-cards. They are environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and then most of all I get to choose the wordings. And I am a skilled poet, so I can compose an ode to serenade my love interest.

 

So what if you wanted White Diamonds by Liz Taylor, and he gave you Malizia Uomo instead?

 

 I would now have to love you and leave you with an exchange between Richard Pryor’s character “Sugar Ray”  and his girlfriend played by Berlinda Tolbert  in the 1989 Eddie Murphy-produced movie “Harlem Nights.” See what happens when compromise reigns supreme:

 

Girlfriend:  Are we going to talk about your son all night? Or are you going to make love to me?

 

Richard Pryor: Why don’t we make love……and talk about my son in the morning?

 

 

 

Girlfriend:  Well…What if we made love all night……and then made love all morning? And all afternoon?

 

 

Richard Pryor:  What if we made love real hard for 10 minutes and drop off into a deep coma-like sleep? Meet me halfway.

 

 

Girlfriend: l’ll give it a shot.

 

 

Scene fades….

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!