A place to rave, a place to rant, to commend and recommend, mostly a place to vent...

Friday, March 7, 2008

Me, myself and I...

Solitude for me a burning desire that is sated once a week: Sundays from 11am to about 6pm. My husband takes the children out every Sunday and I cherish those few hours alone. They have lunch at either Southern Fried Chicken or Aunty Ajobi's. He then takes them either to Millenium Park, Wonderland or to visit family friends. They are gone for most of the day. I really, truly enjoy my own company. It's my time to unwind and do things that bring me joy. I believe every married woman needs that time. We do love our families dearly, but from time to time, we need to rediscover who we are. Now, I feel I have to confess; I have an addiction. For me it is books, books, books and more books. I have always loved books. My mother introduced us very early to the Hausa classics, Magana Jari Ce and the poetry of Abubakar Imam. My earliest memories are of all six children sitting around our mother while she read from the aforementioned books. She would also read from a Hausa comic book called Sauna Jack, which was hilarious. She had been withdrawn from school at 15 and married off to my father. However, by that time, she had already cultivated a love of books which she gladly passed on to us. As a little girl, I loved books like Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, Tom Sawyer. A good book for me is one that is written in the simplest narrative, no long cumbersome words. Good writing I believe should exclude no one. I became a bonafide literature freak when we started going to the Kano city library. In those days, the Library was stocked with the most amazing collections. It was there I was first introduced to the Encycleopedia Brittanica, which gave me knowledge that amazingly I have retained to this day. I got to read books that opened my horizons and transported me to places I might never visit, giving me experiences I might never have. Later on, in my darkest hours, books also gave me solace. In secondary school, I had the most amazing English/Literature teacher; Miss Bailey was a British woman from Hull in the UK and was in Kano for a total of 12 years. She took a particular interest in me because, early on, she realised that we shared a love of books. She noticed that I always had a book with me: at Assembly, during prep and even in class. So besides the books on the school curriculum, Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), Hamlet and Julius Caeser (Shakespeare), Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe) and African Child (Camara Laye), she further introduced me to the best of the British classics; Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and Great Expectations), Shakespeare's (Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Midsummer Nights Dream, All's well that ends well, The Tempest) and Thomas Hardy (Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D'Urbervilles). I estimate that in my 39 years, I must have read close to 1800 books, at two books a month from the age of eight. On my own I discovered the American classics; To kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye and also contemporary writers like John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffery Archer and David Baldacci. I am happy to say that I have passed this love of books to my 12 year old daughter. She is in JS2 in Funtaj Secondary School and I was sorely disappointed when I saw the list of literature books for her class but I digress. This is a rant for another day. Anyway, back to my lazy sunday. I read for most of the day, go to the Salon, sometimes I have lunch with friends then I come home and settle down for my second favourite 'alone' thing: movies. If books are my drug of choice, movies must be like a therapist to my angst-ridden centre. I love comedies and thrillers. Whatever my situation, a good movie can reboot my CPU and improve my mind set. I am now discovering small independant movies that are made on a shoestring budget, without the support of the big studios and rarely with big hollywood stars but are phenomenal. I watched Little Miss Sunshine a few months ago and last Sunday, I watched an excellent movie called 'The lives of others'. I give it four stars (my ambition is to be a film critic in my next life). I have heard great things about another movie called Juno. A friend said she had a pirated copy but I will wait till it comes out on DVD. For me the movie experience is not just to see the movie, I need to hear the dialogue with clarity, inspect the art direction of the movie set and scenes, appreciate the directing and enjoy the musical scores, all which will probably be denied me on a pirated copy. Anyway, that is a sliver of my weekend life and in the words of Lionel Ritchie "I am easy, easy like Sunday morning.."

25 comments:

Ladi said...

I loved Magana Jari Ce - the TV series on NTA with the parrot and all. I couldn't read the books to satisfaction since I'm still struggling with written hausa.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

I saw your comment on my blog and decided to hop over to yours. Just reading your about me gave me goose bumps. I am already loving your blog. My favorite sentence from this post has to be "good writing should exclude no one. . ." I have found that the best writers are not the one's with the best vocab, but with the ability to connect.

OMG! My younger sister was the second set in Funtaj Int'l! She did Funtaj from Primary 4 to SS1! Good to have another Abujalite on blogsville.

Keep writing with candor-Zan dawo!

NigerianDramaQueen said...

PS: I'm definatrly into independent films now. If you get the chance, I def recommend "The Devil Came on Horseback" and "La Vie en Rose"

Afronuts said...

I must say you have a very cool habit - reading books. Please dont ever drop that habit.

Its a source of building ur mind and enhancing ur creativity. I'm doing stuff like that too.

pamela said...

now I remember that tv series - was wondering why that name sounded so familiar.


All I have to say is: Books Rock!!

Toks- Boy said...

It has been really interesting in the last few months since I got back speaking to my "hommies" and discovering how many of us were\are really geeks -as in book loving geeks. Mymother used to work at NTCin Marina and they used to have a canteen where they would get a regular supply of comis and books which I devoured (along with the cakes and biscuits) at quite a rate. I just got back from London and in the bottom of my case are ten!!!! books that I bought over the weekend.

You describe in your post my perfect Sunday. Good books, indie "or at least non blockbuster" films and Halle Berry. Sorry I digress. Welcome to blogsville.

'Yar Mama said...

It is amazing that what unites us is much more than what divides us.
@Ladi, I'm glad you enjoyed Magana Jari ce like I did and still do

@NDQ Its a small world, who knows my daughter might even be sleeping in a bed your sister used. I am actively looking for the films you recommended but I hope the French film has subtitles

@afronuts/pamela/toks-boy, I am so glad that in these days of video games, DVDS and I-pods, there are people that still enjoy the timetested pasttime of reading. Nothing I have found so far can substitute a good book for me..

anonymous gal said...

books rock. i loved maganan jari ce. even thogh it was written in hausa someone read it to me most of the time.plus i loved the pictures.

ibiluv said...

loved magana jari ce on tv though,love books and movies meself and i absolutely have the most fun when i am by myself

NigerianDramaQueen said...

Yes, the French film has subtitles. It was a big deal in the states...

Uzo said...

A post about books, movies and parting words by Lionel Richie? My kind of woman...

Zena said...

For some reason, I usually don't branch out to many blogs but I did yours, I love the way you write,it's easy,and it's like I've none you for awhile, it seems like you're a very calm and determined person,
My dear you're a bibliophile, we share a love of books

Rayo said...

I love reading too!!! My goodness, I just don't understand it when people say that they don't read or that they can't read unless there are pictures involved. Please, encourage your daughter to continue reading.

fantasy queen said...

OMG, my dad had a copy of Magana Jari Ce, i would pick it up and read willing myself to understand...he had a library in his study filled with all sorts of books, the encyclopedias and what not i'm proud to say i'm a book freak like he was.

good thing you havent lost yourself in the sweet chaos of family life.

Jaybabe said...

:)

Enjoy your easter!

I have come to realise that reading broadens the mind. I can't live without it myself. I'm good at subject which have got notes, a lot of notes, and i cant perform well with calculations. I gues thats y i majored in management.

For me reading is made very simple, especially that when you read, you make out pictures, kinda like scenarios of what you reading about. Easy.

Keep encouraging her to read.

UndaCovaSista said...

I love independent movies as well and thoroughly enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine. Juno is excellent, full of laugh out loud moments of dry, sarcastic humour (the best kind!). I'd also recommend Garden State and The Station Agent...

Naapali said...

At the risk of sounding like an echo, of myself and the other voices here, I must say it is refreshing to hear your voice. From me, a belated welcome to Blogville, happy reading, writing, movie watching and criticism. I see one of my favorite characters in this world of ours already beat me here.

Undacovasista, well done o! You discovered this spirit and decided to hide her for yourself.

Ms. Catwalq said...

u and I are going to be friends....that's all I can say

UndaCovaSista said...

Aww Naapali. That's so sweet!

Ah, but wait o! Do you mean to say you didnt get my heads up about this fabulous new blog and it's owner, Yar'Mama? I'm astounded!!!

PS - The pidgeon must have got tired half-way across the Atlantic and crash landed. Oops :)

nwaka said...

" writing should exclude no one".....nicely put.

Simi Speaks said...

We share the same love - books! love 'em.

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Smaragd said...

i have to echo Catwalq here, u and i are def gonna be friends!

J'adore, ich liebe, yo ama BOOKS.I started reading Enid as early as 5/6.

I am totally "ina sun ki'ing" ur blog ryt now.

Smaragd said...

and av been told severally that i should be a critic in this life sef!...lol

rethots said...

What is it with mothers and books? http://rethots.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/3/