Category Archives: People I’ve met

Celebrating Pastor Paul

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IMG-20160126-WA001He has been called many names and Pastor

And because he speaks mighty well, an Orator

Listening to him, you can’t be satisfied with status quo

That results in time-wasting and unnecessary fiasco

It would seem his waking moments beckon with much action

Trying to capture it, he Calls for a Performing Generation

One known to have fought many battles to be here

Constantly says Something is About To Happen, don’t fear!

Baaba

Yesterday, the accolades poured and I wondered

Should such a one be celebrated but once I pondered.

Today, I acknowledge him as one who bares himself

As he works the call upon his life, taking others from the shelf

I dwell in awe of one who truly loves his Asaba-Ijebu Princess

And misses no opportunity to let us know this essence.

As we appreciate you again soon,

May you hold the words we say (though not often), as true.

For indeed… you have not just been a Mentor, Life-Coach, Father

But also a Prophet, Priest, Leader, Transformer and we seek no other!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

 

 

The Queen is back!

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Needing respite and more inspiration, I quickly grabbed the opportunity by my colleague to follow him to an art Gallery just around the corner. Of course I know I’m going to an Art Gallery, so by default, I’m expecting to see Artworks and more Artworks and probably some ‘crazy looking Artwork!’

But nothing…NOTHING prepares you for the world you are about to step into!

I was blown away!

I felt like a child in her favourite toy shop…I went from one section to the other.

I’m told (and I also noticed) that I hadn’t even gone to the other levels yet.

I’m sure you are already itching to know what happened…hold it!

You see, it’s one thing to walk in somewhere and all you get is that ‘nose-in-the-air’, ‘the-animals-with-horns-were-called-for-a-meeting-and-the-snail-went-also‘ attitude. After being weighed, scaled and found wanting on their faulty scale, no one gives you the attention that should be given to a guest. But not so here. It was all warmth and colours and dress-change. You will understand in a moment as I let the pictures speak.

By the way, I went to Nike’s Art Gallery and meet MAMA! So cool abi? We had a little chat, and she shared great joys in simple things. You could see her love for Arts shine through. She talked about how you could easily create art, whilst showing us Artwork from Bicyle tyres, disposable cups and paper etc. I left there deciding not to throw broken wares away but create beauty and more inspired than when I got there.

I met a Prof or Dr. but sadly I can’t remember his name. He stays in Colombia (I think), Oh my goodness, why didn’t I just write this down. I guess I was too overwhelmed with all the beauty. I met an elderly man, I think it’s Mama’s hubby but I didn’t ask him. We had an interesting conversation and I told him I was married to an artist too. He wanted to know if it was the ‘dada-kind’, told him the ‘afro-pops-kind’ and by the time I showed him King’s picture with his afro and suit looking dapper, he exclaimed “Now that’s a proper artist, I’d like to meet him”. So King got an appointment without seeking one! LOL. Yet to go there though.

Did I mention? She signed my book which I bought there (at a discount) and offered us drinks! Who does that?! I’ll be visiting her shortly for a proper interview and to see the other levels of beauty I had missed out on. I think you should go see things for yourself.

© 2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

What’s your story?

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story1-300x191Every one has a story to tell. The “Once-upon-a-time-stories” always end with “and they lived happily ever after” but that’s in the kiddies books you know! In life, it sometimes starts bad, middle good and end bad. Other times its simply yummy…and I love those yummy seasons. Though I won’t deny that the rough times, groom me and toughen me up while increasing my faith. Loving on you Jesus!

But in all the different episodes that life gives you, I will always encourage you to look for the lesson, learn it well and fast and move on to the next page. There’s so much joy to discover, don’t get stuck in the rut and live your whole life on Act 1 Scene 1 alone. Move on! Explore! LIVE!

Today, I’ll post a link to a friend’s story and how it has made her view life differently and decide to help people she meets and also improve herself. Kash, (I call her ‘Cheque’, don’t tell her I said so. LOL. But she knows that already) is one person you want as a member of your crew. She is a willing help/helper. Always follows-up to see if you have concluded on the assignment. Is she all yummy like that? Nope, she is a people-reader and so tries to relate with you accordingly, though still showing her sweet nature until you intentionally ‘push’ her away with your bad attitude.

Was she always this nice? I guess not! Would you like to know how she got changed? I bet you do! What are you waiting for? Go read and if you want me to hear what you have to say, please share your story. https://fidelitybank.ng/mytoughjobstory/index.php/miss-kashimana-ichaver/

Please don’t forget to vote for her by clicking on the ❤ sign, if you love what you read and I’m hoping you will like I did!

Enjoy your evening!

Picture source: http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leadership-supervisory-skills/six-keys-to-crafting-your-story/

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

#911 – 14 years later

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14 years later

September 11th is here again
14 years later with its reminders of pain!
It’s been easier to bear as the years roll
Because we have seen worse tragedies untold
But nothing prepares one for the pain of loss
Nor can one its emptiness afford
You’ve been gone all this while
And time has taken flights in miles.
I’ve met FK because of you
And had some sort of closure even if few
Remembering you and others today
In a somewhat sad happy way.

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Bring it back Lucile!

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Lucile de GodoyThe first time I met Lucile was because of a post she wrote on telling the truth to a friend and the cost of it (that’s was not the topic but basically the content). Actually, I met two bloggers that day, the other one delighted in being bad and that brought him readship, after a while of seeing nothing interesting again, I unfollowed him and that was my first and only. But Lucile maintained her sweet nature all through the months and later confessed she wasn’t much of a writer, I didn’t believe her. Now I know she writes very well by that I mean – says it the way it is and at the same time tries not to hurt her readers by her sincerity.

Lucile is 😦 … why?

Because she just realised that some of our readers actually don’t read our post and that includes our Facebook friends, they just ‘like’ and move on. So to sift the wheat from the chaff she took off the LIKE button! And typical of Lucile to graciously explain why she did what she did. It is quite annoying to notice that people can ‘like’ a blank page. You will have to read her post to understand but it’s okay. At least she is srrounded by just people that want to be part of her world.

So what’s my point? I l ❤ ve Lucile’s page and she has amazing pictures and post. Occasionally, I like some pictures and comment on the ones that I can’t resist and now she’s made me 😦 by taking that away! I will respect her choice, while pleading for her to bring it back after a while though.

Hope you are much better Lucile. LOL and a big Hug.

© 2015. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

Ayus 4 sure

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Ayus 4 sure

…and the song goes “who do you love?” we replied “Ayus 4 sure” and we all giggled.

Dear Ebony,

Funny how we met and became close over 22 years now…how times flies. Ours was not one of those planned meetings, maybe Divinity designed it that way before the foundations of the Earth, but somehow we struck a cord that has been difficult to break…who wants to break or spoil a good thing anyway?

Life and love has done its bit to put distance between us, so have other friends and ‘fiends’; but somehow we know the truth. You are one of those people I don’t have to dress up for (with you, I’m just me). Back then you were not the chatty type, but those who knew us thought I knew the fabric your dreams were made up of. Over the years, we have grown and have spoken…the things you didn’t tell me in school, my ‘concerns’ about your silence, have found answers. In one day you told me everything I needed to know from across 7 seas…and encouraged me to ask you about anything, which I did. Now I lay claims to knowing things others don’t 🙂 In that one conversation, you asked your own questions, stated your ‘fears’ and got your answers.

Strange how I started out being friends with your sister Ebikela whom I call ‘PC’ aka ‘Partners-in-Crime/Partners-in-Christ’, and ended up with you. Now my family and yours acknowledge me as your friend rather than hers. Other friends have come into my life like Darlene (Uche), Bola, Otibhor, etc. and for every one of them, I’m thankful for the part each play in my life…in your present absence.

Why do I love you?

For always knowing when I needed a good word, a rebuke, a hug…you can be such a Mummy, though I’m a year older…and you have a HEART!

For the poems, that said “I care and my shoulder is strong enough to carry that burden you bear,” I still have most of those poems you know…

You even wrote me a song …just for my birthday. Do you still remember the tune?

For the prayers, when my pains were beyond words and tears were all you got (especially in love matters…more like broken-heart issues),

For watching my back and wanting me to embrace peace at all cost.

For always remembering my birthday and I yours…you said to me some years ago when I made all attempts and couldn’t reach you on your birth date “that the jinx was broken”. God knows I tried, but hey…life happens. LOL

You taught me how to rhyme my poetry lines, now writing without rhymes is so difficult…sometimes I miss that! Also showing action via words in my poems, allowing my mind to run wild and free. It’s been a wonder-filled ride in that genre, all because you pointed the way *wink*

I know you know I love you but how much is what you are yet to grasp, and while you are still thinking about that, I ask again “who do you love?”

Always your Ivory.

* Challenge for My Dear Watson

Mafian Darty

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Mafian Darty

It’s been 30 something years now when last I was 5+, try as hard as I may, I’m not sure I remember much details about what happened then. Maybe if someone had made a journal out of my life, I would have stories to tell.

However, I recall a time we went to the village and went to visit Aunty Eno (whom we called ‘Mafian Darty’). No, don’t ask me, I don’t know why she was called ‘Mafian Darty’ but Darty is her surname and Aunty Eno was one woman who doesn’t swallow any nonsense. Maybe her no-nonsense attitude earned her that name. With a small frame, and not blessed in the height department, she commanded presence and was an authority to be reckoned with. Her famous saying “As you make your bed, so you lie on it” came in handy all the time especially when we were deviant.

As I was saying before digressing to introduce Mafian Darty to you, we went to the stream to fetch water and being the smallest in the team, I was given the onerous task of carrying the kettle. Now this kettle is not the Electric one with malleable material around it, but those metal ones with an inverted wide ‘’ as its handle and a pretty mouth like that of a tea-cup.                                                                                                                                           Kettle             Not like the kettle was heavy though, but picture a child coming from the city, going up and down the jagged, hard and muddy (in some places) road with a kettle on her head and sometimes in her hand – changing it from the left to the right hand; not an easy task I tell you.

Who sent you? You ask. No one!

I didn’t want to be left out of grown-up fun with my siblings by being detained at home to sit and listen to the elders tell stories of long ago before I was born or tales about people I hardly knew. Whilst trying to ‘force’ me to recollect when that person came to visit us in Port-Harcourt in the year 1978 or earlier (who does that?!)

On our way back from the stream with my kettle in my hand (left or right, choose one) or on my head, we stumbled across some Afang leaves (vegetable used with other combination in making a very delicious native soup) and being one who loves Afang soup a lot; though the smallest, I managed to convince the team to pluck the leaves. We had the problem of how to convey them home. This was promptly resolved when I offered my kettle to be used. The water I had fetched was poured away and our loot deposited in my kettle and we went home excited at the possibility of a steaming delicious pot of soup and praise from Mafian to go with.

It’s been over 30 years now but I never forgot her reaction.

“Where’s the water you fetched, why did you throw it away? She queried

“Aunty”, I answered excitedly “I brought Afang leaves home for soup” beaming with a smile.

“What quantity of soup can this make? She asked visibly exasperated looking down at the Afang leaves, which were only a handful.

“We have the roots in the backyard and could have easily plucked some to make soup. The water was more important” She replied upset.

At the point, my face dropped and the smile turned downward in sober reflection. I resolved from that day to always stick to the goal at hand. Yes, it might look important to me but if it doesn’t matter that much to the collective efforts, then no way!

Now, what has being 5+ again gotten to do with a young woman in her late 30s?

Is it the desire to be young once more, capture lost times or enter into the mind of a 5 year old plus and explore?

If like me you have a very active 5 years old, you will be 5 daily as a matter of fact per second. One second, I’m helping her decide her dress, the next minute she’s changed her mind and wants to wear mine. Sadly these daily decisions have affected the total outcome as when she finally decides to wear that dress, she’s out grown them.

Imani Naomi is my very vocal, I-know-what-to-do, read-everything-she-sees, beautiful daughter. Daily I am upgraded to her level to learn something new (I know I should say ‘brought DOWN’ as I am taller than her, but I’m not discussing height here) as times are changing and their era is different from ours. She teaches me how to pronounce words using the right diction – with her lips pursed forward like an English woman about to sip hot tea. LOL. Every Wednesday evening I am a ballerina as I have to rehearse the steps she learnt in school that day; by Thursday I become a sport woman. Friday evening, we are planning what hairstyles to conjure for the stylist come Saturday!

She isn’t a handful but more than a handful! And a joy to be with any day any time and for such joys, I don’t mind being 5+ all over again.

Oti

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I don’t know why, but God just keeps blessing me with people with similar names. Most people feel enriched by the bulk of money in their account, or their ability to reel out verbose words to the discomfort and confusion of their listeners and many other reasons. But my wealth beyond my love for books mostly resides in people. By that I mean my relationships and the ability to keep them alive (on both ends) despite all our struggles during the process.

He comes at you as simple and easy to work with…an ex-colleague once called me “an eager beaver” that I was always ready to help but I think that description fits him aptly. His willingness to answer every plea for help makes you wonder if his clock reads 48 hours rather than the 24 that others have. And being a ‘November’ person, passion becomes him. This same passion transcends his work, his relationship with friends and family to his love for God! Whilst others chase after what young men love, he chases the Giver and like the Bible says, those things chase and overtake him. This in no way mean that he is without them, but the good stays and the rubbish continues to where it belongs (the bin).

Like I told you earlier, I studied him from afar and wasn’t disappointed when we became friends only more enlightened that this easy-to-be-with person studied some uptight course like Law! He should have been a painter …but then that accounts for his inability to explore colours. Don’t get me wrong, I have met lawyers that make the colour wheel seem bland (like Glowreeyah and Udiilaw). He will sue me when he reads this but I have a few lawyers too to plea my defence. For an always serious-looking person, the passion that diffuses when he’s talking about his favourite team ‘Arsenal’ is overwhelming. His belief in his team is like a marriage bond…for better for worse, in sickness and health kind of thingy. Here is one place we are on different time zones as I am forever hollering for Manchester United (even when I can’t list 5 of its team members)…my choice is based on association by marriage. 🙂

It’s not always been a jolly ride between us…a few brushes with the law (that’s my law by the way) and I’m so not talking to him despite his well-executed defence but like all good friendship, those ‘fights’ don’t last a day. I sometimes worry why a word you rarely find in his dictionary is ‘No’; but he says ‘as long as he can handle it, it is okay’. Okay!!? Have I talked about his love for love? It must be a November-thing but he is totally committed to what and who he loves. He is a rare find and a friend indeed.

Otibhor

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Otibhor

Writing 101, Day Six: A Character-Building Experience
Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014. In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study

Writing about people is usually a walk in the park for me, because on all first meetings, I ‘study’ you unintentionally. Probably because I’m a communicator, I try to understand why people behave the way they do by silently studying them. Meaning, I don’t start out with a grand plan to do so but by default, it happens.

We didn’t begin by talking to each other. At first meeting with me, the usual report I get is “she’s so uptight; with a straight face…I wonder if she ever smiles!” I’m glad to confess that I have maintained my first meeting assessment for years now. Not intentionally though, but like people say, “everyone is entitled to their opinion”. So I let you form yours and enjoy the mystery about me later; which includes she’s so warm, loving, stubborn *wink*, etc. Our initial contact was only on a need-to-know basis and according to her (she told me this later), that she had made up her mind to confront me about my not-so-nice look but I guess every time she met me, her liver failed (like we say in Nigeria) meaning she lost the boldness. LOL.

With chocolate coloured skin tone, kinky natural African hair (like mine…I think seeing hers made me grow mine), great smile, pretty eyes and demure personality …she’s a lady at first glance. Her ladylike attributes transcends her personality to her dressing and I think that’s where it stops. As I practically have to ‘force’ her to add a bit of colour or make-up to her face daily.

Her love for work and ensuring she observes laid down rules of the organisation is worth emulating…being with me brings out the other part of her (which I know is in there somewhere) a really naughty person that can break the rules while keeping an innocent face all together. Not that I’m saying I’m naughty, but I hate being so uptight all the time as the world has enough stress to go round already. Don’t tell her I said this ok…promise?

It is easy to tell when someone loves to explore…you can see it in their choice and combination of colours, the mix they throw into their culinary skills. She’s very good at baking too but has to be pushed to bake and when she does, the taste and final outcome is simply heavenly…yum, yum (her son ‘Sammie’ says when he is eating something he likes). That’s the feedback you elicit eating one of her concoctions.

Don’t be deceived to think she’s all ladylike and a pushover because she stands her ground well on matters she’s convinced about. But with me, I simply keep pushing the buttons till she stomps off (probably planning to ‘deal’ with me later) leaving me to have a good laugh behind her back. And despite all the occasional macho she shows, I can tell she has a heart that really loves to a fault and is tender especially if she loves you. She’s bore my pain alone, prayed about it, cried to her hubby over it and smiled at me the next day just so I’m reminded that there’s a rainbow after the storm, a light at the end of the tunnel and a friend that understands.

She can really be a mummy sometimes for someone her young age. It shows in her care for her son, Sammie and her Prince. I have come to know that this part of her is not a front she puts up just for looking-good sake. But an intrinsic part of her life more like something woven into the fabric of her life. She does it to her family members and other friends too. I’m not sure what our being together means to her (as in its’ depth) but she’s simply Otibhor (pronounced ‘oh-tea-war’) my colleague and now friend/sister.

© Frances Kelvin Otung 2014. All rights reserved.