Thursday, July 23, 2015

THAWED Part 3

I have no proprietary rights to this photo. Unknown source


My life fell back into place except that my palette kept craving the exquisite meals from Nri- that’s the name of the restaurant where I met him- and my mind kept replaying jokes and witty banters from that evening. It’s been over a month and I have succeeded in not being able to forget Amanze- contrary to my plans. I am grateful for my ego that has prevented me from walking into that restaurant and making a big fool of myself. I also thank common sense for not letting me ask for his phone number that day. I have tried to push that meeting out of my mind and life like I promised myself I would but each time I pass that building on my way to work, I can’t help looking up to the window where I last saw him. Of course, he has more important things to do than stand all day waiting for me to pass by. Only idiots like me- married idiots- go around looking up at windows to find non-existent people. The strangest thing however, is that that vase never left the window sill and it always had different flowers in it. Like I said before, that man was too smooth for his own good. Anyways, I knew better than to come any closer than I already was. Besides, my husband came home about four days after I met Amanze.

Truthfully, I was glad to have him home. Amidst all my complaints and heartache, I must have forgotten to mention that I love my husband. I am not sure about being in love with him but I do not believe that love is just a feeling. I chose to love him so I do. He certainly doesn’t awaken my butterflies but he holds the keys to some of my best memories and of course, I made four amazing humans with him. That means something in my books. So he came home after months of being away for God knows what. At first, I was glad that he was alright but each time I remembered what he put me through during his absence, I grew mad at him. The striking thing is that when he was absent, I was fine. I was numb, remember? I didn’t care enough to be mad. I channeled all I had into being a mum, making good money, indulging my taste buds and just being another woman trying to remember what happiness feels like without allowing pain anywhere near her. I hadn’t even realized that there was anything to be mad at until another man reminded me of what it feels like to be noticed, indulged, taken care of and perhaps wanted. I didn’t care to feel all these things if I was not going to be allowed to have them. And that was maddening. Howbeit, I kept my cool. I have always been good at that. I took care of him and made sure he got to spend some time with the kids. Two years ago, we had a huge fight in which I clearly stated that I could tolerate being ignored but wouldn’t if thought he could do the same to my kids. I even threatened to give him a divorce and take full custody of my kids if he kept neglecting their paternal needs. By the time he got calls from two of my lawyers within three days, he knew that I wasn’t to be messed with on that matter. Needless to say, he made extra efforts when it came to the kids. He would always check his time when he was playing video games with the boy or excuse himself to take short phone calls when he was playing chess or monopoly with the girls but it was obvious he spent a great deal of himself trying to keep it up. If my kids were okay, then I would stay. We spent lesser time together; I guess he gave the kids what extra time he might have had for me but I was too frozen to be bothered.

This time around, I could feel myself creating more distance between him and myself. Usually, I’d put up a front and try to be all over him but I put in no effort this time. He probably sensed it and his play boy instincts were aroused. You know that primal trait that draws men to things that appeared inaccessible, that was probably it because I can’t think of any other reason why he came home one evening bearing a box of my favorite chocolate, midnight blue lace lingerie by Victoria secret and a pair of red bottom Loubs. The day before I was making my afro into two-strand twists in preparation for bedtime when he called me “Ima”. That’s the word for ‘love’ in Ibibio, our native dialect. He had just walked into our bedroom after spending some time with the kids. Eno, Nsikak and Aniekan had come home from boarding school for the weekend.  Eno and Kaka (Nsikak) are the boys and are older than Nini (Aniekan) and Didi (Edidiong) who’s the baby of the house. She’s just seven and she keeps me company and busy when the rest of the family are away. They couldn’t imagine not being able to see their day on his first visit in five months. Eddy had gotten them loads of stuff; books, games, clothing etc and they were elated. Yes, Eddy is my husband’s name. Actually, it’s Edikan but his friends and colleagues call him Edikan. I used to call him baby until it started to sound foreign and odd on my tongue. So I just joined others in calling him Eddy. Right! So he walked into the room and said “Ima, …” Frankly, I didn’t hear the rest of it because I burst into laughter. I found it absolutely amusing that a man would be away for five months, call weekly or even bi-weekly, doesn’t text, hasn’t called me anything but Edima in two years, hasn’t touched me in almost a year would return and suddenly call me his love after I’ve decided not to care about any of the above. He stood there gaping at me while I continued twisting my hair still amused. He must have been embarrassed because he walked into the bathroom where he stayed until I finished my twists and went to Didi’s room to read her Bible stories, as is our tradition.

That next day, I was literally astonished. All the signs were in place; my mouth was hanging wide open, my eyes were almost popping out of their sockets and Most of all, I was dumbfounded as I stared at Eddy holding out his presents to me. I certainly knew what to do with chocolate and Christian Louboutin shoes but what did this Mr. expect that I’d so with the oh-so-beautiful lace lingerie? Who told him that we still have that kind of chemistry? I must have been thinking for myself because he came unto me muttering under his breath about how he knew he must have hurt me all this years. I was quite disgusted. I picked up the box of chocolate, said “thanks” and headed for the door. Just before I left the room, I couldn’t resist turning back to mention how he didn’t hurt me because I didn’t give him the luxury of doing so. He stood there visibly shocked; he had never seen me react in that manner. He could feel the anger seething beneath the surface and the coldness underlined it just like I hoped it would. A few hours and twenty-four chocolates later, I returned to find him asleep after he had dropped a note on my pillow. The note said he got a call the previous day and needed to go to Ghana for three months for some mega project. He said he understood that I have made great sacrifices for us and deserved better. He said he just wanted the night to be special. After reading the note, all I could think was that he had no idea whatsoever about what I had or had not sacrificed. I went into the bathroom, washed my face and a few tear drops away and went to bed. I had imagined that someday, something would cause me to start feeling again but I had envisaged it would be him awakening the love and intimacy we shared, and I imagined it would feel good. I never thought I’d ever be open to pain again. Nobody told me that another man would crack the glass or that Eddy making advances at me would be repulsive rather than endearing. Nobody told me that what looked like a gesture that I had always prayed for in years past would feel like vomit thrown in my face. I could feel the ice melting and all the rage and pain that were frozen were frothing over the surface. The next morning, I decided to act as if nothing happened the previous night. I chose to give him the treatment I had always given him. I had always performed my duties in silence and without warmth. I could give everything except warmth; I didn’t have it to give anyways. I had run out of warmth almost five years before now. I helped him pack all what he would need, got the kids to calm down and drove us all to the airport. Just before he boarded, he gave the adults (that’s what we call the ones in secondary school) some money, hugged them tight and whispered something into Didi’s ears that made her stop crying. When he walked up to me, he was about to say what I sensed would be mushy so I stopped him from going any further. “You’re running late” I said and dusted the lapel of his jacket. I was about to go for a hug when he lifted my chin and kissed me. It was a long, bland kiss but I obliged him if that would leave me with some peace. He hadn’t kissed me in almost a year, and it felt like the entire flavor had been lost with time. 
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Hello darlings. I hope you love how the story is unfolding. Pt 4 is on its way. 
Anyways, I traveled home and it feels great to be with family. they are simply everything.

P.S- My laptop fell and some parts cracked and a few places got chipped. Its a Lenovo S400 Touch ideapad. I need to know if it's possible and what it'd take to change the carcass/casing/exterior. Its urgent. Kindly help me out. This laptop is my prime possession. More than half of me is literally saved in it. I have literally shed tears...and I need to do something asap. Biko....

I hope you are all having a great week.

xoxo,
Nazzy

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THAWED Pt 2

                source: blenderartists.com

“I think it worked. May I sit please?” My mouth was full so I just nodded to the man standing before me. He sat comfortably and flashed a grin. I just kept on chewing slowly and waiting for him to say something but he simply said nothing. After I swallowed, I took a sip of wine, wiped my mouth and broke the silence. “Was the champagne from you” I asked with sincere curiosity. “Yes. It was and I think you certainly look happier. I’m hoping it’s the wine.” His gaze was piercing like when someone wasn’t getting a good look at something and was pouring more effort into looking at it. “It’s not just the wine. The food’s great too.” I replied in the bid not to give him all the credit for the beautiful evening I was having. Truthfully, I wasn’t happy just because of his gesture; I had bottles of Dom Perignon sitting in my bar at home but he definitely scored good points on the scale. I scrutinized him as he sat silent looking smug. He wore an adire jumper dominated by the color green and a pair of mahogany-brown loafers. He wore a plain gold chain on his right wrist and a TAG Heuer wristwatch I couldn’t help but notice on his left wrist. There were no rings and it wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention that he smelled like heaven on a man. Go figure. The last time I was this taken by a man’s scent, I was in university, he was my best friend and I slept hugging his jacket for months. Yes, the very same jacket and no, the scent didn’t leave. Don’t ask whether I washed it cuz I did not. Anyways, it’s needless to tell you that amidst his simplicity, he reeked of class. The kind of man you’d see standing in front of a hotel and ignore until the valet brought his car to him. He wasn’t strikingly handsome but I thought he looked pristine. He wore an afro trimmed at the sides, and neat side burns that ran down his profile to his beards. None of the bushy beard gang drama that seems to be in vogue was going on there. His eye brows were full and well aligned. His lips were full with an undertone of pink. I was able to take note of his height before he sat and he was quite tall; about my husband’s height. That means that without heels, I’d be just about four inches above his shoulder. His teeth were perfect; I always, always check out the teeth. So he wasn’t strikingly handsome but he had my attention alright. I caught myself studying staring at him and quickly thought of something witty to say.

Unfortunately, all I could muster was “So it wasn’t the man in the cubicle then?” “You must be good at math.” he replied visibly amused by what he figured must have been me trying to say something clever. I laughed at myself. Apparently, he had caught me and his sarcastic retort didn’t go unnoticed. I might enjoy this conversation, I thought and decided to drop my defenses and have this potentially interesting dialogue. “I like sarcasm on a man who knows how to wield it.” I said honestly in between mouthfuls. Of course I went back to my meal. “Yes? I guess we’re different. I like it coming from dogs. Its special cuz they can’t talk” he laughed lightly. I offered him some of my wine but he declined politely; something about not interrupting a lady’s greatness. “So you’re not the guy from the cubicle” I said giving him a cue for some proper introduction. “No I’m not. That’s Mr. Eno. He’s a regular. He probably doesn’t look it but he’s not big on wine. He’s more of a fruit juice-shakes kinda guy.” “I find it interesting that you’ve told me everything about that fine young man and you haven’t even dropped your name by mistake.” How did he even know who was a regular and who wasn’t? I was pretty sure he wasn’t in the room when I tried to find who the gift was from. He laughed and shook his head. “My apologies ma’am. My name’s Udoka Amanze. I hail from Imo state and I absolutely love your smile.” This time, he didn’t smile, as if he was trying to convince me that that wasn’t just another pick up line. This guy was too smooth for his own good. “I’m Edima and I’m married.” He caught the not-so-subtle hint and leaned back. “Of course. Your ring is quite visible. I mean, that diamond is nearly blinding. If it helps, I used to be married.” He said with a shrug. I almost asked what happened with his marriage and caught myself before it fell out. It was none of my business. “You must be proud of your home. Tell me about it. Any kids?” I liked how he asked these sensitive questions with a touch of innocence and a great deal of sincere curiosity. At least, that’s how it seemed. Thank God he specifically mentioned the kids because I certainly didn’t want to talk about my husband. “Yes, I have kids. Four. Two soldiers, two princesses” I could literally feel myself glow. I never spoke about my kids without that glow spurring from the pride that made my heart swell. “Four? Who would have thought?” he asked surprised. “You barely look as though you’ve had any. It’s really admirable” he complimented. “Well, if I keep coming to this restaurant, I won’t be able to keep it up for long. The food is amazing. You probably know that. I mean, you know the regulars…and you sent me wine without being visible. You either stalking the people here or you definitely know your way around her and how to go unnoticed while you’re at it.” “Yes, the food here is amazing but I’m sure you can handle it. And no, I don’t stalk people here. The cameras just make it easy to see what goes on here” he pointed at about two lenses that had gone unnoticed before now. “That explains it. So you work here. Chef?” I thought he had the sophisticated air of Chefs. Maybe not. Maybe I was just lavish with my graces tonight, probably from lack of attention. “Yes, I work here but I’m not a chef.” Honestly, he was quite easy to talk to. We talked about food, my kids, politics in Imo state, how married folks in Lagos forget many times that they are married and how husbands are never caught because they can blame their late homecoming on the traffic on the third mainland bridge. There was a lot of laughter and a few awkward moments of prolonged eye contact and seconds of silence. He was very accessible; it felt like he was holding nothing back. On the other hand, I was trying not to give away too much about myself and honestly, it was pretty exhausting. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, a woman,probably in her sixties, walked up to our table. Apparently, she was here for him and I could see the admiration she had for him in her eyes. "Mr Amanze, thank you for the other day. I don't know what I'd have done without you" He just grinned at her and said "Now you're embarrassing me. You deserve better ma'am. You should order today's special...on the house of couse" "Very well son. God bless you" and she laid a hand gently on his shoulder before moving to one of the empty tables towards the end of the room. Something about that little exchange moved me. It was obvious that he had done something for the lady that she considered a great deal while he on the other hand didn't consider it as such. He was a helper and I couldn't ignore that. Of course, I didn't ask what it was about; it was none of my business. He carried on with the conversation as if there was no break at all. We talked about places we had both traveled to. We even found out we had two mutual friends and that we both hate popcorn. After about two hours and not a few glares from customers who probably taught we should get a room, I checked my iphone screen to see what time it was. He also turned to his wristwatch and we both smiled. “I should get going” I said, secretly wishing there was more time. I was surprised at myself for thinking that. I was not in the habit of enjoying the company of men; I barely let them close. I didn’t even really notice them. The special ones were like cute dogs; notice them, flash them a smile and forget once they walked past me. But this night, this man had put a crack in my castle of ice. It was probably for the best that the evening had come to an end. There was certainly a reason, I stayed away from craving all this warmth and it was probably for the best. I suddenly couldn’t wait to leave. What was I even thinking at first? I was married with responsibilities and I couldn’t afford to have this particular man around me. That’s right, this particular man.


“You suddenly look uneasy” he said breaking into my thoughts. “No, I’m fine. I just need to get home to my baby girl. Thank you for the wine. Have a lovely evening.” I said rising. I didn’t wait for him to say anything. I picked up my bag and left him at the table. The ride down the elevator felt long with me replaying the entire evening in my head. A pang of fear struck me in the chest. There was something different, wonderful and scary about this man. And I chose to stay away. Just before I got into my car, I looked up at the building and there he was looking down at me with my flowers still sitting on the window sill. I got in, started the car and as soon as the engine purred to life, I drove away without looking back. I had decided; I was going to forget Udoka Amanze and gosh, I’d miss their recipes.
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Hello Readers. I hope you enjoyed the second part. Sit tight and look out for the this part. Click here to read THAWED (Part 1) if you haven't read it. I'd love to see your comments with respect to how the story is unfolding...

P.S- This was supposed to be flash fiction and although it might be slightly longer than intended, it will be a short one. Brace yourselves for impact.

I hope you all had a beautiful holiday.

xoxo,
Nazzy

Friday, July 17, 2015

THAWED. Part 1

                                                                      source: blenderartists.com

I am numb. I do not feel pain and that’s the only reason I’m thriving. This has nothing to do with physical pain; I have a really low threshold for that one. After my fourth child, I decided I could not deal with labour pains again. Give me some credit. If three are a crowd, then I certainly pushed boundaries with four. I am not here to talk about my kids so let’s move on.

Last week Tuesday was my 15th wedding anniversary. I expected nothing to happen and I wasn’t disappointed. When you expect too much for so long and get absolutely nothing every time, you learn to look away when the ice cream van passes through. My husband isn’t a bad man. I wish I could say he was so that there’ll be justification for my feelings. He’s just a bad husband and a caring but absent father.

We met as though we were from a story book; actually, he bumped into me on my way from the library. Clich√©? I know. Everything else followed just like you would expect it to. He was charming, caring, supportive and most of all, not too busy. Sometimes, I like to think that he still has all these things somewhere inside of him but I probably do not get to see them because he’s a busy man. He is busy being the CFO of one of the biggest retail chains in Africa and I wouldn’t be the insensitive wife standing in the way of that. Now would I?

At first, it was hurtful not seeing your husband in months, getting five phone calls in a week, getting flowers and chocolates on birthdays and holidays from the same delivery boy who begins to look at you with pity after some time. At first, I would cry from being alone, sex starved and invisible. It was horrible. To be fair, he grins at me whenever our eyes meet, and he takes me to his corporate dinners and plants wet pecks on my cheeks each time he introduces me to his elite friends. Oh and whenever I wear my afro in a huge puff, he always says “Nana, I like this hairstyle on you”. I haven’t heard “you’re beautiful” or “I love you” in ages so each time I want to hear a compliment, I quickly pack my afro into a huge bun. Weird? I know.

After some time, the pain stopped. I just stopped crying and trying to be visible. I accepted insignificance and channeled what strength I had left to my kids. I am a full time mum; the shop where I sell shoes and make-up is just a part-time venture. It’s for those days I don’t wanna stay holed up at home or for when I feel special enough to wear makeup and glam clothing. I like to take drives and I have an array of benz models to pick from and each time I hit the streets, I’m visible to everyone. I see it in their eyes the look of wonder as they appraise my hair, clothes, car, shoes and even kids. I do know how to put on a good show. But all of it doesn’t matter because the one person who’s supposed to see me only sees dollar bills.

I love fancy food. It’s one of the things that help me stay numb. The pleasure my taste buds experience when enveloped by strange, exotic flavors zaps through my body and fills the spaces that would otherwise have been filled with the pain. Bliss is the only word for it. My relationship with haute cuisine is the closest thing I have to a marriage. I used to work out a lot and take yoga classes so that I’d be fit and sexy and perhaps, visible and alluring. But again, I put that to rest. The other day, my last baby walked up to me and said “Mum, I think you should start going to the gym again. You might get fat and I don’t want that. My teacher says you are a hot mum and I want you to continue being hot”. I just stared at her with my jaws hanging wide. The next day, I called the gym to reactivate my membership card. I haven’t dropped by since then though.

So on this day, I sat at one of my favorite restaurants in V.I. It is on the 6th floor of an 8-storey building and the view was amazing.  I love to look at Lagos from above and the waters are always a plus. I was waiting for my order to arrive: bacon-wrapped pork loin with peach and blue cheese stuffing. It took over an hour to prepare so I came prepared with a novel written by a veteran Kenyan novelist. Let’s not even start with my love for African literature. I had chosen a sit by the window and moved the vase of fresh flowers to the window sill. I loved how I caught a whiff of their scent each time the wind blew in. I caught my reflection in the glass hanging opposite me and was just thinking about how my kinky fro wouldn’t allow the wind to make my hair fly with it. I was just about to smile wryly to myself and turn back to my book when a waiter dropped a bottle and flute on my table. I looked up at him and he just smiled and handed me a small white piece of paper. He nodded and walked away. I looked at the bottle and it was a Krug NV Grand Cuve√©. That’s a $200 bottle of champagne. I had only had it once and it was heaven. I quickly opened the note and it read you look sad. People usually look happier drinking good wine. J.”  I looked down at my left hand. I was wearing my wedding ring and trust me when I say it’s far from unnoticeable. I wondered who would have sent me the bottle of wine. And did I really look that sad? I guess there’s more damage than I thought. I scanned through the room for anyone that looked like they just sent a strange woman an expensive bottle of wine. I am not sure there’s a way the person was supposed to look but I couldn’t pin down anyone. There were just a few people in the restaurant. As expected not everyone would be able to afford the internationally-acclaimed chefs that run the place, or the marbled tables and Italian leather chairs and sofas or even the expensive bottles of wine like the one standing right before me. I looked around more carefully this time. There were three couples and I doubt it came from any of the three men. There was a middle-aged woman around the corner and I am sure women don’t just buy each other expensive French wine on normal days in Lagos. Just as I was about to turn away, I noticed the group of cubicles towards the bar. They were half-hidden by pots of plants and china sculptures standing as though they were protecting that territory. This was my 7th time in the restaurant and I had never seen people sitting in the cubicles. I guess I just assumed subconsciously that there’d be no one there. But there was in fact, a man sitting there smugly raising was I supposed would be chicken or turkey dipped in some fancy sauce, to his mouth. I am almost sure I saw him smile at me before he turned back to his meal. It had to be him. I


I turned back to my book but as you must have guessed, no words from this Kenyan jumped at me. I was surprisingly flustered. Usually, I pushed advances away with a kind of polite coldness that I could bet, felt worse to the receivers than the normal front they’d have expected the average woman would put up. But here I was thinking that this stranger was sweet. Nobody had done this kind of thing for me in years. The only person who once did was currently in South Africa and hadn’t reached me in three days.  Typically, I’d call the waiter and ask him to send the bottle back to the person who had sent it but instead I opened the bottle and poured myself some of that golden goodness. It was heaven in a bottle. I leaned back and opened by book. This time, the words flew at me crystal clear. If this John Doe didn’t want to introduce himself and thought I should look happy drinking excellent French wine, I guessed I could oblige him. Just then, my meal arrived and I dug in. I registered every sensation; the tenderness and moistness of the pork and the velvety feel of cheese sliding along me tongue. This was definitely worth every thousand I paid. Ed Sheeran’s voice flowed from the speakers and I grinned. It was the song “thinking out loud” and I think I just raced to the moon and back. Here, they usually played fancy genre of music that I personally cannot relate to but think are fit for the class of food and people they serve. I began to sing along in low tones in between mouthfuls. Gosh! I was in the mood. Everything was perfect in those moments and I held on.
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Hey there Negriville! I hope you had a good read. The second part will be published tomorrow or the day after. Kindly re-share the post, drop your comments and Tell us your own story if you think its related. Don't forget that you can comment as anonymous if you think the info you want to release is sensitive.

The new website/blog is practically ready and entries for the "bold enough" series are being compiled. Kindly send in your tales of love, passion, love, hurt, struggles and triumph. Be bold enough to have your story make a difference in lies all over africa and the world at large. 
The change we need lies in our mouths and inks.

xoxo,
Nazzy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I COME KNEELING

**tiptoes into your day**

I do not even have the guts to come in here sounding all cheerful and righteous. I know I have disappointed many with my chronic absence sponsored by a host of reasons I'll give after I have been forgiven. I probably sound like a broken record but y'all should know that I do not lie to you...ever!! And this is not a lie when I say I have always wished to be more available but just couldn't help it.

However, I have resolved to keep you all in the picture from now on. I will make you all a part of my life; drop prose poetry and flash fiction from time to time, tell y'all about the little experiences and lessons that make the clock's tick-tocks worthwhile and even rant when NYSC and life try to shut me up.

I AM SORRY FOR BEING ABSENT FOR SO LONG. I know I'm not dealing with hard-hearted people so I'll now relax and say...

Wats up lovelies! E don tey...Oh and there's so much gist, I don't even know where to start from.

1. NYSC is coming to an end in a bit so I'm really bust tryna make sure I'll have a living to earn from afterwards. Masters is set for next year by God's grace, so I'm just tryna get into trainee programs and run one or two professional courses. Success doesn't come to people who sit down, fold their arms and pop chewing gums all day long.

2. Can you smell the coffee? If you can't, I'll save you the suspense. The Negrifille Blog is on its way to being overhauled, upgraded and established as a media platform for running several initiatives geared especially towards African women, youth, businesses/lifestyle. A new website is being created for that purpose. Expect new features, series and a youtube channel. Yes!!! And the most interesting part is that I do not intend to fly solo. Most of the features will be interactive and involve obtaining some form of feedback from you guys...Could be thru interviews, reviews, guest features etc. There'll be super exciting issues on both regular and controversial stuff. Full house people.
      I am super excited about all of it and look forward to having everyone be a part of it. I am still considering whether or not to do away with this particular blog..It feels like home and makes it really easy to access a wealth of bloggers on blogsville. Please advice me.
      I will return with more details about the features that we'll kick off with. If you've been a part of this, you definitely have stakes in the new world.
      P.S- Blogsville has its own special slot for a series involving bloggers. I hope y'all will be available because the world is ours and we'll seize it and recreate it with our pens.

3. Matters of the heart have been on my agenda of late. If you like gist, clean your ears and stand on your toes cuz this ine will come like a thief in the night.

4. Durulicious, I have missed you in a special way. Whenever I remembered this blog, I thought about you and how you've been checking in and pleading with me to come back. Well, here I am. Thank you.

5. Biko can someone advice me on the easiest and still very efficient video editing software to use? I have downloaded lightworks, avidemux, wondershare etc but I end up vexing and feeling dumb each time I try to figure them out. I need help biko...Ain't nobody wanna see sub-standard vlogs.

6. I have conceived the idea of writing a book.. Two, actually. One will be co-authored by someone else. Oh and I promise, y'all will be proud of me by God's grace. So wish me well and pray for me. Pay special attention to binding and casting out the spirit of writer's block.

7. Before the new website/blog is launched, I'll grace these pages will regular uploads that I hope will keep us all happy.

8. Welcome my darlings, to the second half of this new year. If you're reading this, you're not dead, and that's something to be grateful for. I wish you all life, health, wealth, wisdom, love and the grace of God in all ramifications. I love you all...

Thank you so much for being here. Now its my turn to be here.

xoxo,
Nazzy