Open up, a little Wide please..


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I woke up this morning 19thof September 2014 feeling super charged and Womanly! ‘Oh dear,’ I thought to myself, ‘I haven’t felt like this in months! Scratch that, Years!’
Before I take you into the mind-fuckery which my story about this beautiful day would give to you, let me just say,  -“I had the most amazing night last night”
Ha! It was like the first night of the rest of my life. That kinda sounds like 2Face. You know the song? Hian, if you don’t know this one it haff happun for you ni yen! Ok, so all the ol’ gs reading this know what I am talking about I would have to break it down to its smallest molecular structure.
***Dear Eva, now is the time to drop the grammar. Awon ti Patrick…(insert last name)***

Ok I’m back.

Last night I was out with my homies at the Afrika Shrine to watch Oga Femi Kuti rehearse. My producer Tintin, came up with this idea to chill at the shrine once every week to watch the great Femi Kuti rehearse with his phenomenal band. Lucky for us we have kept at it three weeks straight and its been so much fun and genuinely Inspiring to watch him week after week.
Unfortunately last night Oga Femi was not present like we had hoped but guess who was?? All the homies! My producers Tintin and Gray Jonz who are both responsible for what my soon-to-be released debut album sounds like, Hayo Niel- my friend and amazing singer who’s seen me struggle through obstacle after obstacle to get here, wherever here really is, Obinna Agwu- My manager from way back when I was feeling myself and rapping “I done did it” hustling my ass jumping from bus to bus and okada to okada to record sessions with Sossick, Isi – my Manager in this very before moment called present-day in which I am a proud Guinness #MadeOfBlack ambassador (started from the bottom now we here), my Photographer – August Udoh who has taken some of the most eye magnetizing photos of me, and Kiki- my friend and the guy who makes sure everyone is feeling the right vibe! 
So you see? Full house it was! The gist was about the ancient and modern times, the memories were good for the soul and the laughter from our table reverberated through the building. 
Bonus : Femi Kuti’s band was on a roll last night yo! As always, the music was as raw and true as its source.
When I got home at 11:30PM last night, knowing I had not to worry about my baby boo of an Alsatian cause I had fed him earlier, I got cleaned up and slumped my tiny frame into the most restful sleep.
So imagine how i felt when i woke up this morning after a night like that with friends!

I decided it was a good day to cook pots of fresh soup and stew, buy some plantain for the beans i had been planning evil for, some fruits cause i have been forming #fitfam for a while and garri to sama better eba this weekend.
I also had dance rehearsals fixed with Raphael, my choreographer, at 2PM and 200 pages of the novel "The Sum of all Fears" by Tom Clancy to finish before 9PM. It was indeed going to be a good day. Boy was i ready!

With such vibrant energy bursting out of me and not worried about anything but feeding Frankie my dog, i set about to go through the many magical moments inherent in this beautiful day.
Like always, I opened up my eyes to feast upon the beauty of my surroundings, enjoying the clean air of my neighborhood, appreciating the combined efforts of everyone to keep the place clean and enjoyably habitable. And as i opened up my eyes, my heart became receptive too. In this moment with eyes and heart open, Permeating the tissues and blood vessels that embody my heart was Love, and Gratitude, and Zeal for life.
So i opened up even more like i always try to do.
My mouth opened up too, curving into the brightest smile that seemed plastered on my no-makeup face cause i was willing to smile all day today. As always.
I smiled so hard as we drove past the security, their hands waving greetings of love and admiration, knowing that the warmth my smile conveyed would touch them in places where life seemed cold.

A smile really does that i swear!
Photo Credit: Aham Ibeleme (Photographer), Eva Alordiah (Makeup artist)
Through the morning traffic as we headed to Ipodo market in Ikeja, i wondered about life and how so magical it could become if we all opened up a little more. In that doing so, we boost each other's confidence, connect in more meaningful ways and learn a thing and more from friendly conversations.
It does take a lot of spirit, to look at someone regardless of class or social status and make them feel special.

I try to live my life thinking: They gotta feel some typa way because i came here. They gotta feel some typa way because i talked with them.
What type of way you say? Some typa way!

I do believe, if the infinitely occurring combination of situations plus the gazillion joules of energy in our universe can bring me and anyone together in a space at a time, then why let such connection go to waste by putting up a wall? This is a connection! That 'I can't explain it, it just happened' thing we sometimes call coincidences.There's magic happening right here right now and you might just miss it cause you fail to live in the present moment. This right now moment. Life is happening right now and you are missing it cause you are letting the life that has already happened and now dwells in the past get to you, stealing from you your right to the present moment, your right to life.

Why do we stay locked up? How did it become so difficult-  to simply smile at another person? To ask "How are you today?" To talk softly and with respect? To say two words such as 'Thank you'. To say one word such as 'Please'. To say nothing such as Listen.
I dare say, you are only keeping yourself locked out of the heavenly part of the World when you lock people out of the heaven in you. We need to open up, a little wide.

I got to Ipodo market with the smile still plastered on my face ready for anyone connecting with me today.

My first connection: the sweet girl who sells Ugwu.

Although she seems older, she reminds me of myself when i was 12 and helping my Mother sell ice water and cold drinks in our shop. Remember ice water? ***sigh. all these young people***
Well before there was pure water, there was ice water. And then someone smart, who had a clear dream that our water could be sold in healthier, yet cheaper ways, stuck to that dream and boomshakala! Pure water everywhere. It even became hip to say "Nna mehnn my music dey sell like pure water".
You see what i did there? hehehee

Basically any young child selling anything on the streets, in the shops, in the market - reminds me of myself. A young Nigerian girl with dreams of success and a better life for my family.
I literally would come from school back in the day and go help my Mom in the shop. I do my homework in the shop, meet lots of different interesting people via sales interactions and go back the following day to do it again. That was my life. And it is a skeletal structure in comparison to what my life is now. So it is easy for me to look at anyone doing what i used to do and know it in my heart that they would get better than that, just like i did. Like my family did.

She received my smile, returning a smile that melted my heart as she sorted my vegetables to be cut.
Ugwu: N300

Connections 2 through 6 would keep me writing this piece too long so lets fastforward.

My 7th connection: a young boy clumsily clad, attending in a shop with various types of glass and mirrors on sale.

He seemed very eager to make a sale, as he described intelligently the differences in properties of mirrors in the shop. 
"This one has a plastic frame," he was saying to me, pointing his dusty fingers to a blue framed mirror. "This one is wooden framed and is stronger than that one."
Making a selection was easy for me, but not because i was a witness of his practiced sales pitch. I love wood anyday.
I made a choice quickly and said to him, "I would like the sturdy one with the wooden frame, would you be kind to help get it to the car?"
"Yes no problem," he says to me.
We made the walk back to the car in silence, but not for long. There was a yearning within me to open up some more and i thought "Booyah! This is a good connection". Time to start a conversation.

My Mom taught me that. My Mom could talk to any and everybody. If you like drive Pajero jeep and park it beside our rickety Peugeot 505, she nor send oh! She'd talk to you, make you laugh and the next thing you'd find yourself saying
"Ah! Mrs Alordiah is my friend!" Just like that! You and your Pajero jeep are our new family friends. Halleluyah!
Seriously, my Mom could hold conversations with everyone regardless of class and status. Little wonder she could nail a stud like my Dad. Ladies, there is a lesson here, receive it by fire!! If my Mom can nail the man she wanted, you can too! Can i get an Amen!

*** Ok Eva, come back now ***

"Do you go to school?" I inquired of his memory. He responded first with a startle that rocked his eyes, obviously taken aback that this fine sister would care about what he does with his life. That made me pretty certain he didn't get a lot of this kind of attention in his everyday life experience.
"No i don't have support," was his following response, a shadow of shame hovering around his young handsome face.
"So you help with the shop everyday?"
"Yes"
"What class did you stop at?"
"JSS3" he said, his eyes illuminating through the shadow of shame making me sense he missed school.
"Ok so what do you want to do? No school, that's no problem. What do you want to do?" I asked.
"Music"

No way! Imagine that. And here he, talking to Eva.
Now i don't know if this kid has ever heard my music, probably wouldn't have recognized me sef cause i left the finer painted version of myself in my Makeup bag at home- but Lord knows one day he'd see me on TV and yell
"I know that aunty! I spoke to her in Ipodo market on so-so and so day."
Of cause no one might believe him then cause he'd sound like a famzer, but his soul would squirt streams of joy of having had a conversation with an actual music artiste. And maybe, just maybe, his dreams of doing music would spark up and burn flares more than ever before.

When he said music, my heart moved cause i understood. I have been here before, 17 years old with acne dressing my face and telling Teddy Esosa- "I am a rapper, I can rap. You have to trust me."
Here was my chance to say to someone like Teddy said to me many years ago "Go for it!"

He smiled cause i just affirmed he could do something for himself regardless of the fact that his immediate surroundings said otherwise.
"Well, now that you can't go to school, you are going to have to read everything available to you," i said to him. Read as many books as you can or pick up newspapers that abound in this market you sell in."

The value of reading! I envied my Dad when i was but a girl. He knew everything. Typical Nigerian father. They always know everything.
At some point when i was barely 7 years old, i began to really believe my Dad knew everything and so i made a habit of reading the books he had in his little home library at the time.
It was during this "I want to know what Daddy knows" period of my childhood that i picked up the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki at 15 and my life literally changed! Rat-race? Not my portion in Jesus name! The hustle was on.

My young market companion seemed pleased with my suggestion of reading books and nodded agreement. When we got to the car i gave him some money and asked him to buy a book.
If he was serious about doing music, obviously towards a better life regardless of the unavailability of funds for a formal 'white collar' education, he would by a book for himself and begin an education of self.
If not, well one day like i said, he would see me on TV, a physical earthly expression of the same dreams he holds in his heart and every word i said to him in the market would race to the foreground of his subconscious and they would mean something.

***insert Amen here***

And having that thought envelope my daydream as we drove back home, I decided I had to shar
e this with you.
I'm saying you should open up more. It sounds like too much to do, especially with how uptight and security conscious we have become as a result of our living standards in this country. But i tell you, it is in the little things. We would be touching lives one at a time and improving ours as we do so.
"Give, and it would come back to you, good measure pressed-down, shaking together and running over" - the Bible

 
Open up a little more, all the people important to your dreams for a better life are waiting to open up to you as you do so to the people around you right now.
Don't miss the magic of life in every connection. If they are in your present experience, they are there for a reason. Find it. Open up, a little wide please.
Simply smile at another person. Ask "How are you today?" Talk softly, with respect. Say two words such as 'Thank you'. Say one word such as 'Please'. Better yet say nothing, such as Listen.


 
 Love,







 

9 comments:

  1. Love you like crazy. #evafever.

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  2. Number1 Alordian9/19/2014 11:45 pm

    Open up to me please thanks '#Okbye good piece!

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  3. You really know how to carry people along.on stage and otherwise
    Wonderful
    Love u loads mami��

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  4. eva u stay rocking, this is one hell of a story! love u forever

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  5. Raphael Kazeem9/20/2014 6:22 am

    Life is full stages Eva...and you'be gone through yours steadily and classicly. i loved you the first I heard you and I believe so much in you. You are great. :)


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    Replies
    1. Ooohh yes i have! and super glad to be a part of it. Thanks for your kind words

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  6. This is really beautiful, am a little uptight because sometimes its the best way to prevent being pissed off by people around. but what's being alive when you ain't really living right? i got inspired Eva. Lots Of Love.

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  7. I love, love, love this piece. Having listened intently, to every word in your songs, I wouldn't put it past you to be such a beautiful writer. You rock gurllll. Love u munchos ;*

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  8. God bless u Eva this really touched me

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