WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 7: It’s getting Real : god-parents and a “surprise party” – 25 days

Yeah its 3 weeks 4 days left and it’s really getting real. I now have this feeling of “can’t wait for this day to come and go” whether that is a good or bad thing I don’t know. But I think it is more as a result of having put in so much into planning for a day and now you get to the point when you are just waiting for the day to arrive…yeah that is where I am at the moment.

Two things happened this past week both pleasantly surprising. First Valo, Tendai’s cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Iyvana on Friday the 20th of March.  It came as a surprise to both of us when she whatsApp Tendai to say she just gave birth, Tendai laughed and said yeah nice joke, you still have a couple of weeks to go. Then Valo sent a picture of the baby and Tendai still thought could be someone else’s baby then she send a picture of herself and then we knew it was true. The baby had come a couple of weeks earlier so took us by surprise but it was a pleasant one.

IMG-20150320-WA0015
Baby Iyvana

On Saturday 21st, the happy parents made a request of Tendai and I. They want us to be the god-parents of baby Iyvana. I love the name and its meaning which a little research made me understand has Russian and Hebrew origins and means “Gift of God”(Hebrew) or “God is Gracious”(Russian). I am so specific about names…I think names do have a great influence on how the kid will turn out in life. So I was glad with the name choice by the parents…Iyvana is just an apt name for this princess. We both were so humbled by the request to be god-parents of Iyvana. It was one we could not say no to. Valo is one of Tendai’s sisters who I sort of clicked with even before we met. We connect on level higher than I do with most of Tendai’s relatives. She is also really close with Tendai. Nkulu, Valo’s husband is also very good friends with Tendai so we already had a very good relationship between us prior to now.

When I first heard the request I was quite for a while. I walked into the kitchen and found a couple of unwashed plates and proceeded to wash them…as the water run through my hands into the sink and my hands went through the motions of sponging, scrubbing, rinsing and cleaning the plates, my mind switched into processing mode and I was weighing the implication of saying yes, the responsibilities that come to saying “yes we accept”. I don’t take such responsibilities lightly. I can be that serious sometimes.

I thought of my own god-mother and how she cares for me like her biological son and doing this on a consistent basis, daily…praying ,caring for, encouraging, cautioning me. Now If I say yes then this is what I will expect Tendai and I to do same and even more to Iyvana. It was an emotional moment for me. I know I want to say yes but I had to contemplate carefully all the responsibility that comes with that and also make Tendai understand same before we give a yes. If we know we won’t be able to do that to the best of our ability then there is no point saying yes.

Tendai understood the weight of what we were considering and agreed with me it was immense but confessed her willingness to accept the new responsibility. With this, we called Valo and Nkulu to accept the responsibility. So officially guys I am now a god-father and coming at this time. 3 weeks to my big day only made me realize how real this new territory I am walking into is. Am I excited? absolutely!! I am thrilled and so is Tendai…and so is Iyvana who is so cute by the way…just like her parents and god-parents 😉 I will keep you posted on here on her development. I won’t be seeing her in person for another few months though which is sad as they are in Zimbabwe and with all the plans we have ahead of us, getting a free slot to visit Zimbabwe will take a few months.

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On Saturday the 21st, friends of Tendai in Cape Town decided to throw a surprise bridal shower for her. Since it was a surprise, they needed to rope yours truly in the plans 😀 so that is how I got involved in the plans which began a few weeks ago. My ultimate plan was to deliver Tendai at the venue and make sure up until the last second she remains completely unaware of the plans going on.

Now Tendai has always bragged that I can’t lie to her. She is certain she has known be so well to tell immediately I tell her something that is untrue and to some extent she has proved it to me and I had vowed to prove her wrong at the right time, a promise she had laughed off. So this was a perfect opportunity for me to prove my point and men o men I did a good job! I had to give myself a pat on the back. I sold her a story which she bought easily and swallowed hook, line and sinker!!

Bride to Be
Bride to Be

The day came and it was a very successful event. Tendai is still talking about it. She had no idea that was planned and she loved every bit of it. She gave me a 10/10 score for my role too by the way so I have redeemed some of my pride in that department. I understand the friends and family in Zimbabwe are also organizing a bridal shower for her next week when she is suppose to be in Zim. Well, I will keep you posted how that goes.

But on Saturday after dropping Tendai off at the venue and left. It again got me thinking…this is getting real!! the final balls are falling in place and the final phase in this journey has started, its 24 days to go and Bridal shower down. The décor of the venue had “Future Mrs. Wala” written…when I saw pictures it made me smile. For real this thing just got real. I love Tendai and I can’t wait for that day when I shall stand before God and men to declare my love to her and take those vows that will bind us for life!!

Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 5 : Medical Tests and Privacy issues – 40 DAYS

So it is exactly 40 days from today to the wedding if I take out the end date from the count. Yeah the days are rolling pretty fast and if I am to believe the saying that “Time flies when you’re having fun” the  I will confess that I have been having extreme fun since the turn of this year…especially from February! The days have really gone fast I am almost dizzy each time I check the calendar.

In 1 month and 9 days from today I will be walking down the aisle with my friend and companion. Again I am a bag of mix emotions…happy and anxious, excited and cautious. I have spoken to many who have walked this route before and it seems that is the norm so I am not abnormal after all.

This week has been a quite one comparative to the past few weeks since I started this series. We are having a church wedding and one of the requirements the church needs is for both of us to attend premarital counseling sessions with the pastor of the church. Our case is unique though that both of us are not based in Nigeria where the wedding is to hold and the church also has no branch in South Africa where we currently call home. However we didn’t need to sweat it out for long as a solution presented itself soon. One of the pastors is currently studying for his PhD and guess where? yeah right in South Africa so we were asked to get in touch and he is going to conduct the sessions on behalf of the church. We have had a few phone calls and all is going well.

This morning he told us we will need to undertake some medical tests and the results sent to the church via him as this is in accordance with the church rules. The tests include genotype, pregnancy and sickle-cell. Now this didn’t really sit down well with Tendai. Not that she is against these medical tests, she feels that it is in some respect some invasion of our privacy and at best the church should advice us to carry out such tests and not enforce it as one of the church rules. I didn’t have much problem with it as I feel “let’s just do it” besides these are tests we have done before. At the end Tendai agreed but did voice out her displeasure. So it’s one week gone and one challenge dealt with. Let the weeks roll by, we shall overcome and tackle the challenges as they come. One thing though that remains unquestionable is our love for each other and my personal conviction that this lady is the one I will want to spend forever with and this is a conscious decision I made for which with each passing day I am more convinced I made the right decision.

Tendai
My Attempt at a Silhouette shot of Tendai a couple of year back… Not the best shot but proud of my effort so I have kept it safe since then. :_
It was a late evening walk on the Camps Bay beach ..I had my camera and she was willing to pose for my elementary photography skills and we had this shot 🙂
Another old one…I had to dig a bit into my archives to come up with this one…again it was on another visit to Camps Bay beach…but this time was on a typical Cape Town Summer afternoon…

CHINA AND LEIBSTER BLOG AWARD : “11 random facts about myself”

This year is really ending with a BIG BANG for me….So I am having a “double-barrel” post today but I will keep it short so let’s say a Double-barreled-Short-gun!!! 😀. I just got back from China and my experiences will make for some interesting blog posts… I will write about the full gist in a new post soon…I am also heading to Israel in a few days and that again is another series…so see, I got a lot to talk about…y’all just hang on there and enjoy the year-end cruise.

Today is the first time I am checking on my blog since my return from China and I was that I have been nominated for the Leibster Blog award by my very good friend Bluphoenixrebel…I must confess that I can’t hide my excitement So had to do a quick ‘zeal‘ dance steps in my office space which really isn’t strange…in case you don’t know here in South Africa dancing and singing is just normal hey…when we are in a celebratory mood we dance and sing, when we mourn, we dance and sing, when we are protesting against government policies, we dance and sing…we dance and sing about everything and anything and in fact we dance and sing about nothing. Dancing and Singing is a lifestyle here…so when you visit South Africa you know what to expect.

I had to dance when I read my friend’s comment informing me of the nomination…I could not sing however because I use a shared office space and I had to respect others :-). The nomination for the award is conditional though, I have to complete four steps to finally win the award.

  1. I need to post 11 random things about myself
  2. Nominate 11 other people who I feel deserve this award as well as links to their blogs
  3. I also need to go to their page and tell them about the nomination (and procedures)
  4. No tag backs! ( I honestly don’t know what this means yet but since I am only concerned in starting with the first step today, I won’t stress about knowing what “No tag backs” mean  🙂 I will get to know about it before I get there).

So here are 11 random things about Me!!

  1. The first thing I do when I wake up is to brush my teeth…I don’t speak or eat until my teeth are brushed.
  1. I love to travelling…(I have so far visited only 2 (3 if you include Africa where I am from) out of the 7(or 6) continents so I still got a long way to go.
  1. I am a late ‘nighter‘….my sleep time is about 2 am at the earliest.
  1. My friend Blue who nominated me is among my best friends, I love and cherish her a great deal BUT (…wait for it….) we have NEVER met in real life!!!! I feel I know her more than most of my friends who I live with though…Thank you Facebook and Twitter.
  1. I have only been blogging for 2 years now but I have been writing articles and songs since I was 5. I still have some of the newsletter-styled articles I wrote all those year but I don’t have the courage to share them. A large chunk of the articles have been lost though no thanks to moving houses…they are in some pile somewhere in my father’s house but I don’t know where.
  1. My fiancée is Zimbabwean and I am Nigerian, we met in Madagascar but now live in South Africa…makes me feel like a true definition of African…my Identity can’t be pegged to one geographic region…if you add the fact that I spent my first formative years in the US …kindly help tell me who am I ? 🙂
  1. I love birds…and Music and I are inseparable.
  1. I am passionate about Israel and unashamed to be associated with pro-Israel causes.
  1. When it comes to Soccer, there are only two teams in the world, (i) Liverpool and (ii) The rest. I support Liverpool and we are the best…#EndOfStory
  1. I have always fantasized about possessing some super powers and I really do think I have some.
  1. I think my calling in life is to help others even at the expense of myself. I am most at peace and happy when I see a smile on another’s face.

Phew!! now that was not as easy as I thought it was going to be….11 random things took me a little over an hour!! well, there you have it.

Now watch out for my next post about my China experience….and to give you a little here is a photo of me in a Chinese warrior suit…my friend upon seeing the picture said she thought it was a stature of Shaka the Zulu and was wondering what a black stature of Shaka will be doing in China!!

Shaka the Zulu on the Great wall of China
Shaka the Zulu on the Great wall of China

Celebrating Nigeria

Birthday time…Yay!!!

Ok wait a minute…I have to confess I am not the birthday party type…I most times mark my birthday low key (by my standards that is 🙂 ) usually with a few friends and family…but I admire those of my friends who throw all stops and pull down all barriers to party and party HARD!!!  I agree birthdays are milestones that are worth celebrating…they only come once in a year unless if you were born on the 29th of Feb then I will say you have no excuse at all but to celebrate real hard each birthday.

Over the years I have attended and witness birthdays, a trend has always been same in all instances…happy times!! From the social media to birthday cards, flowers and a lot of other presents…birthdays are full of fun and merry every year…friends and even the not so close friends make an effort to make the celebrant feel good…Now that is one reason why I think many look forward to their birthdays.

The fact that everyone aims to please and make the celebrant happy does not mean to say the celebrant is perfect in all sense…no one is perfect…we all have our flaws …when I chat with the celebrants and ask if they wish to have any change in their lives…they list is always non-stop…there are always wishes and some regrets from actions, or in actions in the past…but all that does not stand in the way of having good times on our birthdays…that I think again is a significant importance of birthdays…though things are not all perfect and 100%, we chose to look at the positive and appreciate the gift of life…the mere fact that one is alive is worth celebrating.

Today marks Nigeria’s 53rd ‘birthday’ or as they call it Independence Anniversary…and unlike our personal birthdays been happy times, in recent years, the independence day is a day Nigerians wear sack clothes and mourn…it is a day the most populous ‘black’ nation in the world come out enmasse to condemn the leadership of the country and count all the evils and failures of the years the country has gained her independence from its colonial masters. Nigeria’s Independence Day now resembles a day of mourning especially on the social media as well as radio and TV.

I however choose to be different…I won’t dwell much on the flaws of my beloved nation. I am not denying that things can be better…I chose to optimistic instead. I chose not to weep and cry and label the 53 years as a waste. I am making a decision to see the positives of the 53 years that we have spent as a nation. I chose to celebrate a country which bounced back after a full blown civil war and still manage to have a semblance of one nation…a feat that many nations have tried to achieve without success. I choose to celebrate for been a part of a nation that is as different and diverse as any other nation can be and yet with all the difficulties and challenges that this diversity comes with, we have spent 53years and still counting as a nation and against the prediction of many we are still one nation.  I see reasons to celebrate…reasons to look into the future with optimism that we will eventually get it right and infact, I already can see us getting it right.

Yes, I see the positive in what we have…I choose to see the silver lining in the dark cloud…I choose to see the rainbow instead of dwell on the cold and wetness of the rain. So I say this is to a happy 53rd Independence anniversary Nigeria my beloved country.

Here are a few songs I love…national songs which I think all Nigerians should not only listen to but imbibe the message and lift our heads high as we match into a future…not a future which is a “time zone” but a future which is all we can be but is yet to become…a future which is bright…a future which has been in our dreams way too long and is time it comes to reality…enjoy and celebrate Nigeria with me.

Fumni Adam’s “Nigeria my beloved country” a golden oldies, TY Bello’s “The Future” and finally Banky W and Samsung’s “More than a star” a song they just released today…. 😀

A star is Born

The sun was blazing, the time was crawling and the excitement was at a crescendo..but my breakfast was almost used up so my energy was also draining…They said he is on the way so we had to keep standing…in a straight line by the road side in the scorching sun…my uniform was neatly starched and ironed, I had a new pair of white socks. Hours later I was now surviving by grace then a siren sounded in the distance…in a few seconds a power bike zoomed past…a few minutes more (now all the lost energy was back) and a number of big black cars with tinted glasses and full headlights on drove past…now the frenzy was back again (hunger was forced to take the back seat albeit temporarily)..waving and cheering…stretching to catch a glimpse of the governor…but he was not there…this was only the advance party!!! It took some more waiting before another round of similar cars this time with very mean looking men in black suits hanging from the doors and windows approached…now I was scared…the governor arrived all right and yes he stood through the car roof and waved with a white handkerchief…he smiled at us and never offered a word of apology for coming late..:-)

…wake up son…you need to go shower and get set for school…I opened my eyes and went through a few seconds of confusion where I was…it was a dream after all…no governor, no advance party nothing!!!

Yes, though it was a dream but a similar scenario happened to my friends…I was lucky not to be selected in the welcome party on that day…they came back to tell us the story…it was a consolation to us who were not chosen …that day was lesson-free day and back then, nothing is as good as a lesson free day…nothing except Christmas day!! :-)- who says every disappointment is not a blessing?

I have always said to my friends that I really don’t like going for funerals…no don’t get me wrong..it’s no superstition…I am not afraid of death -ok maybe I am a little bit afraid of the idea…but that is not why I dislike funerals…I don’t like funerals because each of the funerals I have attended ends up more or less the same…it has been a tribute ceremony…the deceased is always a star…glowing tributes flow from one speaker to the next and you can hear the crowd groaning and weeping in agreement.   I usually wonder how much of these praise did the deceased receive while still alive? Must we always wait for our loved ones to die before we celebrate them? why can’t we celebrate our stars while they are still with us…why don’t we tell them we so proud of you for being the best in what you do? or is the problem with us all that we are usually so blind to see all the good till the person is dead and gone?

2012 came and with it came an idea…celebrating the stars with us…truly a gold fish has no hiding place and a house built on the mountain top they say is visible to all…so also are the stars in our midst. It is like starring at the sky at night…the stars decorate what is a dark sky…they make the sky beautiful…Stars give direction, they have aided navigation from time past and still do…I still look for the northern star every now and then. The importance of stars especially at night – a night so dark and cold – can never be over emphasized . My science tells me stars emanate huge amounts of energy  which can be more than what we receive from the sun (a small star!!!).

Just as the stars in the sky, some people play a similar role in our this world..some of them live and pass on unnoticed in their generation..few however, get to be celebrated. If we can name the stars in the galaxy, we can at least celebrate the stars in our midst. We need them especially in this dark and gloomy times, we need stars to light up the world, to give directions, to help others navigate home.. We need stars to look up to, to get energized.

But how can we do this if a platform to celebrate them is not created?

Izhan magazine crew had the dream which is aimed at creating such platform. …the idea since its birth has since grown in leaps and bounds, it has gathered momentum and like a woman in labour, the time is almost here where the water breaks…So yes like the arrival of the governor, I am the advance party and now the sirens are all blaring…the advance party is zooming past…the star is about to arrive…

Izhan which means ‘star’ in Tarok language is a magazine created to tell the untold story of the next generation, the stories of achievement and celebration. A story of the stars within..a story of an emerging generation. The focus is on the Tarok nation…and the cause? So much is being achieved by young people of Tarok decent in the world of academics, business, culture and sports  and more…so If we don’t tell the world our own story, who will?  It is a decision to celebrate the stars within us…it is a decision by a team of youth to be advance party for the stars of our time – The Tarok’s finest professionals.

Izhan is the best thing to have happened in a long time. So keep waving your flags, keep cheering the stars, point them out…contact the Izhan team and let us make this world a better place…the countdown begins now!!!

You just got to keep your hand on the pulse right here as updates will keep coming…. I promise you that. oh and less I forget, let me introduce you to other members of this grand advance party…:-) they are Mr. Website a.k.a. http://www.izhanmagazine.com, Mr. twitter handle alias @IzhanMagazine, and finally but not the least Ms email nee izhanmagazine@gmail.com. Now watch out for the star…coming right up!!Image