Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rocking THESE GENES.. my personal story!

When i am asked to write about my journey as a person living with sickle-cell, the challenge for me is finding the right balance. I do want to share my experiences and let you know how it felt, and feels, but i also do not want to come across as self-pitying or whining. Then there is the delicate balance between hope and reality. Yes, you can live with these genes, but it is a painful journey no matter how much i try to coat it!

The best thing?
I just write and hope that if one person reads it and feels better, then God's purpose for me continues to be fufilled.

Yes, i have learnt to see my genes as part of my purpose. For any other option would drive me insane. How do you explain to a child that they are living with a disorder that is incurable and was inherited at birth, and came about simply because two people loved each other and brought forth life? How do you, as that child, wrap your head around it?
For me, there were transitions, but the most memorable are the angry, and the happy.Angry was at my mother (oddly, never my father. But i am a fierce daddy's girl), and more importantly, at God. You see, it was impossible for me to understand how God could love me and punish me at the same time. I had wild discussions with Him, i even urged Him to kill me, Once, i was so ill that even the generator got on my nerves and moving a muscle spelt pain. That was my most fun moment because after i spent all my time asking God to take me home, i felt at peace and was no longer angry again! I do not always share this story as it sounds 'spiri koko' (spiritual) but since that day, i knew i had to either wrap my head around this disorder, or let it consume me!

I chose the former.
First, even though i could not remove the cells, i could remove my attitude to them. Instead of hating them, i loved them. Yes oh, even when i would have to be rubbed all over by my mother (sweet mother for real) with transvasin, and sleep with a hot water bottle, all because it was my birthday and i just had to dance. I mean, what is a mother to do; not allow her child a birthday party because she would be in pain later? I loved those cells even when it meant my mother would find some other concoction for me to try next. I mean, i was luckier than most; they never tried to beat the evil out of me abi? I loved my genes oh, even when it meant my father spent more money on hospital bills than school fees when i was growing up, and even though it meant my sister got a little less attention than i did (and i love her for never making me feel bad about that!).
The more i loved the genes, the less they seemed to bother me. And the more i spoke about the genes, the more i found coping strategies. The more i understood the genes, the more i worked around them.

Yes oh, i was the girl in the hospital who would never flinch as they stuck a needle in her arm (I once took fourty eight injections in one famous week), and i was the girl determined to make people laugh because the more they laughed, the less they focused on me and why i was so thin, or why my eyes were yellow!
But as i grew up, i realised that loving but ignoring the cells was not enough. I had to speak up about them. I had to let my friends know that i could hang out with them, but only for this long! And i had to find out from other people living with sickle-cell, what their journey was like! The more i did this, the less it became about me, and the more it became about a nation and a thinking!
Why is sickle-cell practically stigmatised? We should talk about it, and noone should be ashamed to either live with it, or have a family member or friend that lives with it. And why should we deal with it alone when by asking and sharing, we can find more ways of coping with ours? I mean, people have asked me to speak with their friends or family members that live with the disorder but are ashamed or afraid of it, and even though i am not a medical expert, i do enjoy encouraging people!

You can live with sickle-cell. I do. Tope does. Toyin does. Subi does. Jacob does. Tunji does.
Some days, i do not hear from Subomi so i know he has been ill, and i call and we say hello. And vice versa! We are not hiding, and we are not letting our genes stop us from living.
We may not express it the same way, but i think somewhere along the line, we all realised that it really was not how long we lived that mattered, but how well.

Stuck in a Moment

I started work at a new place last week, and where i work, i have to play music and talk for five hours... Hmmn, sounds great! It WAS going great, until one fateful Thursday when i went on air, promised to play a song, played it, and then the rapper had an expletive on the verse. YIKES¬ I quickly changed the song, apologised and went on with the day, but the truth is, i still feel like that was my worst show because from then on, things went from bad to worse. You see, from 6-9a.m, i had been doing well, but once something went wrong at 9.15, i could not get past that and it ruined the show, and my day!

Or like when a relationship ends and we only focus on the negative; you know, what went wrong, why and how. And once that happens, we seem to forget that there was a time and a reason we were together in the first place! Then we claim we are heartbroken and stay rooted to a spot, unable to function! Or when we fail and exam and even if we passed all the others, we cannot seem to get over the fact that our report sheet is not perfect! Or when we mess up at the office, or in public, or have a fall-out with our friends, or make a promise and then break it!

There are so many ways and opportunities to get and stay grounded. Not the good kind of grounded where your head is not in the clouds, but the kind of grounded U2 sang about in their song- 'STUCK IN A MOMENT'. You are stuck in a moment you cannot get out of, and taking a next step, or even seeing that there is a next step to take, becomes impossible! As a wise man once said, the only reason a man commits suicide is because he no longer has hope. For as long as we know there is a light after the tunnel (and then another tunnel with light after it as well, and another tunnel...and more light, andother...), we know that even if we feel at our lowest at this very moment, we have to get ourselves together and take that step!

When do you take the step?
Do not let people rush you! People will forget how they handle their own moments and will throw all sorts of advice at you! The choleric will say, "Oh, get on with it!". The melancholic will say, "Life is bleak anyway!". The phlegmatic will say, "Really? You are still on this matter?", and the Sanguine will bound into the room and try to take you for a walk thinking that the more you walk, sing or dance, the happier you get.
No.
Stay in that moment, that very spot, that same place, till you know you have to move. Then move!

How do you move?
You could write about it. Writing can be so therapeutic. Whether you make it poetic and award winning, or you make it honest, personal and private, just write! Be careful what you do with your writings though!
You could also listen to music because the truth is, for every emotion we feel, someone has felt it as well, and if we listen to their songs, they will be soothing!
You could also talk to people that have been there before and so know how to jump! Like how i immediately told Gbemi what happened and she shared her horror stories with me. That made me feel a little better!
And when all is said and done, remember your OWN experiences. It might not be exactly the same as you are now going through, but the certainty that there was a time in your past when you had fallen and wished the ground would swallow you, when you had failed, been heartbroken, been angry and done something silly, been hurt and afraid, and then made it through, assures you that this will also become a memory.
Not today.
But one day.

Random

TOTALLY RANDOM

And once again, one of those busier than most weekends swung by!

It started off with an easy enough Friday. Picked up the new s.h.a.r.e tshirts, tried to sleep a bit, then began the beauty preparation that comes before an event.
I know why men get frustrated with women sometimes. They just cannot seem to comprehend the amount of time needed (or ‘wasted’ in their own opinion) to come out looking like another version of ourselves. On a good day, a girl can, to get ready for a date, Law Dinner or something equally important, do the following
- Put dodgy stuff on face. Apparently, this dodgy stuff CLEANSES the face. How does dodgy pasty stuff cleanse?
- Soak feet in scented water (Pay incredible amount for the scent. Water should have been free)
- Scrub, paint and polish said feet.
- Do same for hands (and not be able to move around normally for the next thirty minutes as paint dries).
- Shave
- Pick out outfit.
- Put foundation, powder, eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipliner, lipstick, blush and more on face.
- Look in mirror and hate colour combination of eye shadow
- Curse because trying to rectify that will ruin everything else.
- Make it work with careful use of Vaseline and brush
- Look at outfit.
- Change mind about outfit
- Start to panic because you are now one hour late for event and everything looks annoying!
- Finally wear what you picked out in the first place... but with a different accessory
- Step out and pretend it was nothing!

This pretending part is the most important. Women will spend thousands of naira at the salon to get hair and a fortune on clothes to achieve a look that says, “I threw this together in ten minutes”. Na wa oh! But i digress!

So i got ready, and went off to RED for GIRLFRIENDS NIGHT OUT, an event put together by TOdays Woman and Occasions and Events, featuring ladies hanging out with or without their better halves, as somehow, we tried to answer the question neither gender knows how to answer effectively. Like, how to tell your girlfriend she is putting on weight, and if guys ever have girlfriends! (I have heard guys say, “I am single till i get married”).Okay oh!
It was a fun evening with Adesuwa Oyenokwe of Todays Woman acting as Co-Compere with Bimbo Ayorinde (whose birthday was celebrated with a surprise cake), and Mrs Ann Murray-Bruce dedicating her time to ensuring the guests were very happy! And happy we were with the canap├ęs, gifts and prizes, free magazines, and karaoke competition. I am happy to announce that i did not sing, so no eardrums were hurt, but Cynthia Okpala did sing... and win!
The night ended with a lot of dancing... And number swapping. Wonder how many will actually keep in touch though?!

Saturday was spent at Infinity Foundations charity event- MENTOR AN ORPHAN which started with us seeing a movie with orphans from various homes, and then hanging out at Double 4 / Cafe Vergnano to see children dance, act and sing. There were also performances by Shawn Rapha, and interactive sessions between the mentors and the orphans. It was a simple, well planned event, which we do hope will gather more ground.

Sunday was meant to be easy breezy but when the chance to ride to the airport with MIMS (of the ‘This is why i’m hot’ fame) and Jozi (the South African group) for my blog came up... it became another issue for the Fashion Police (hopefully not).
It was nice to see international acts come into Nigeria and see more than their concert venue, the hotel and the airport. They got to do radio and television interviews while they were here, and though the Jozi crew would have loved some palmwine, the Beans, Efo and more that they tried was also pretty cool!
In the end, i realised one thing.
We might be having debates about our music, our states and our country, but from the outside looking in, Nigeria isn’t doing badly! SO lets thank the entertainment industry for the pr work they are doing....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What SCRIPTURES do the STREETs produce?

If there is one album i currently have no problem playing consistently on repeat, it is, not an album, but a mix tape!
It is the mix tape that took two years to wrap! The mix tape that puts some of my favourite persons on various tracks and flirts with genres while still keeping its core target audience happy!

It's Street Scriptures, brought to you by the very talented, very crazy, highly respected team, Knighthouse!

Ill tell you straight off the bat that one thing the Knighthouse Family know how to do, is create powerful hooks. One minute listening to any of their tracks, and you probably have the chorus down. But are hooks enough to make a song?
Well, ask the millions who listen to ‘The Finest’ what is said in any of the verses, and possibly only twenty percent will try to answer. ‘Ijinle Pam Pam’, ‘Purple’ and their other pre-released singles work the formula well- killer hook , interesting blend of artistes, groovy beat (or, as i am really tempted to say, ‘dope’ beat).
But can three...four...singles and two err.... remixes (we say err... because deep down, we all wish ‘Finest’ was not remixed, no matter how much it still makes us shake our body ‘small’) translate into an album?
It’s what we sought to find out as we sat down to a relaxed afternoon, Street Scriptures playing!




Listening to this mix tape, i realised i could play a game- Guess The Artiste!
Knighthouse has only gone and featured EVERYBODY, his cousin, and a few of their friends, on their mixed tape! And they somehow find a way to find a space and place for each voice, in its own preferred style! So when you spot Modenine on a track, you know the way it will lean, and when Skuki gets on a track, it is to take the mickey and have some fun. You might wonder though, if one or two risks could have been taken; switching the styles and messages up a bit!
Nevertheless, Street Scriptures provides a platform (my favourite word) for new acts to get heard side by side with established voices. And this works well on so many tracks including, ‘My Thoughts’ (Mode Nine and Ade), and ‘Make It Better’ (Ice Prince, Mo Cheddah, Mobie and Fumbi). And when we say voices, we particularly loved Ayeesha on ‘Hate’, Sabre on ‘Number 1’, Mo Cheddah on ‘If You Want Me’, and Fumbie on ‘Make it Better’. While most of the songs were produced by Knighthouse, there are some other producers on the album like Tha Suspect, Kraft and Jesse Jags.
Another thing about the mixed tape? There’s a Jekyll and Hyde feel- there are the feel good-bordering –on-pop songs, (like, ‘If You Want Me’ Mo Cheddah featuring Sasha P, and ‘Purple’ or ‘Ijinle Pam Pam’) and the straight up hip hop tracks (like, ‘Before i Wake’, Kraft feat. Dj Klem, and ‘I Dare You’ with Blaise, XYZ and Terry tha Rapman!). This means if you like your music mostly soft, you might find some tracks jarring at first... but be patient and listen again!

Our favourite skit on the online version of the Street Scriptures, is ‘KH RADIO’. It is one of the funniest skits we’ve heard in a while! Sauce Kid and M.I also come through on some really cool interludes! ( We love Sauce Kid more with each track, interlude, skit, freestyle and feature we hear from him!). With 25tracks making the eventual cut, you wonder about the songs that did not make it!
The songs that did make it are interesting, challenging, fun, and entertaining! And we in particular have a few songs on repeat!
- Number 1
- Ijinle Pam Pam
- Hate
- Live at 51 (Vector? Pype? Hell yeah!)
- Make it Better
- I Dare You (Blaise holds her own and then some! Also features XYZ and the always on point, Terry tha Rapman), and of course,
- The Finest!


Congratulations to Knighthouse for giving a mix tape that does not rely only on the strength of its pre-released singles to entertain! There are so many other tracks to fall in love with on the album that is surely a hit. What is the difference between a hit and a classic? Time
And only Time will tell if Street Scriptures is just a hit, or if it transcends time and is truly a classic, collectors item!

Should you get it?
Mos Def!
It definitely gets the T Stamp!

And don’t forget, if you buy online, then there is a surprise waiting for you further down the line.
That is all i am allowed to say!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the these genes teeshirts are ready!



Great news!
The tee shirts are here!
We would like to thank IMAGINE CLOTHING for working on these tees tirelessly and delivering them on time and on point
We love you!


So!
Remember that these tees serve two purposes
- raise funds for SAMI, our partnered sickle-cell charity
- act as the invite for the event, JEANS FOR GENES!

Jeans for Genes is of course, our fashion show which holds in a few days time. Sat Mar 27th!
Check here http://thesegenes.blogspot.com/2010/03/so-guys-here-is-update-but-first-lets.html for more!

We have two sets of designs!





A} ROCK THESE GENES!
If you would like to declare that you rock your genes, then this teeshirt is for YOU!

black: male (MEDIUM and LARGE), female (MEDIUM)
blue: male (MEDIUM and LARGE)
red: male (MEDIUM and LARGE)
lemon: female (SMALL and MEDIUM)
pink: female (SMALL and MEDIUM)

B} THESE GENES CELEB
This one is for all our every day celebrities! These Genes make you a celeb!

black: female (MEDIUM)
brown: male (MEDIUM and LARGE)
pink: female (SMALL)
red: male (MEDIUM and LARGE), female (small)


And how much do these beautiful teeshirts cost?
( i am glad you asked!)

N4000 (pere!)
N7500 if you buy two at once
N35000 if you buy ten at once
N60000 if you buy twenty at once
and more discounts available!

So now that you are ready to buy and know how much they cost, WHERE do you pick them up from?
We are glad you asked!
(You didnt ask? Sure? Ah well!)

You can purchase a THESE GENES tee in one of three ways!

1. BOOK! PAY! COLLECT!
Book a teeshirt buy paying the amount into an account. Then pick one up!
(pls send a TEXT to 08023066252 to get the account number....)

2. COME! PAY! COLLECT!
Come to any of the collection centres, pay and pick it up!

3. Buy at the gate at the event
THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED for the ff reasons
- teeshirts would have been sold out by then (we fast and pray)
- teeshirts will cost more then. (hmmn, maybe you should!)

COLLECTION CENTRES
- yaba
- ikeja
- swe (every friday)
for the addresses for yaba and ikeja, pls send text to 08023066252. You see, this IS the internet!

With these few points of ours, we hope we have been able to convince you and not confuse you...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sometimes

Sometimes you wake up
Then go back right to sleep

You see, sleep is beautiful
And a great amnesiac

Sleep and forget
Sleep and deny

Its nice to be able to sleep and not think about how silly one feels. And sleep is great for those days one feels like a complete, outright failure!

It is the way i have been feeling lately.
Completely, and utterly like somehow, someone put their finger on my pause button, and now i must stay in one place. Not moving, not achieving, not exceling!

Now sometimes i like to write detached. Because someone will read this and try to list the reasons i should not feel this way.
That someone should please note that i know.
I feel i need three days to lie down and list all the reasons i am thankful and grateful, and then wake up and fly.
But today, i just feel stuck.

Failure is a funny thing.
It is defined first by others, and then by us.
You may see the richest man in the world and think he has achieved much. But that man might feel like he has done nothing, his money counts for nothing, and why can't he just be bloody Bill Gates? Steve Jobs? Dangote?

Speaking of which...
When i think about the money those on the Forbes list have amassed, i do not get depressed.
But i am sure the guy who missed the list by a thousand or million dollars is!

Even failure get levels na!

Jack(ess) of all trades. Master (mistress) of none.
Sometimes one feels one spreads oneself too thin
And why is one speaking of self as one?
eesh!

Seriously though...
Who am i? Like D Prince asked?
Not Omooba like he answered.
Although with the way titles and honours are traded these days, i could just get myself one!

The truth is, it is easy to think about the 'x's and the 'y's and what they have achieved and feel like a right failure.
To hate ones blog
To hurt at certain personal losses
To fret over ones age
To stare hard at ones bank balance
To wonder how she does it and what i do wrong!

Sigh

There are things that cannot be written, only thought.
There are things that will not be said, only reflected upon.

For every rung on that ladder of success, there is also another price to pay.

Ill tell you this much-
Life was simpler when all i did was wake up, eat, sleep and do it all over again!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So what are you doing on Sat Mar 27th




So guys, here is an update!

But first, let's say, its March already?
ALREADY?

This means there are only a few days left to go!
Yes o!
The biggest fashion show/party/market is going down on Sat Mar 27th at the swanky SWE BAR, in Onikan!

Our designers are ready:
TONI PAYNE, STRICTLY NAIJA CLOTHING, OUCH! HAPPYFACEZ and IMAGINE CLOTHING!

See what their designs are like, and buy these tees ON THE SPOT!

Some other designers will also have their gear on sale that day!
Tu Anny
NGUK

And our models will be made up beautifully by LABELLE'S TOUCH!
Recently nominated for a Future Award, this make-up house currently handles on-the-set make up for TINSEL, and also made the models up during the MNET FACE OF AFRICA finale in Lagos!

But what would clothes look like with no accessories?
Well, thanks to BUCKSTONE VENTURES, T.T.DALK FOOTWEAR AND ACCESSORIES, AKIN BEADS and MY DAZZLE, our models will show interesting and cutting edge Nigerian accessories!!!
We. Cant. Wait!

Can you?
(we will all have to wait till the 27th sha)

Just remember to hold enough money on that day to shop!
Clothes! Shoes! Bags! Pictures!

Pictures?

yes o!

Apart from the Red Carpet which is proudly supported by SOUNDCITY, QUEST TV, HIP ON TV, NIGEZIE and more, there will be fashion photogs around to take arty pictures of your friends and yourself!
Imagine coming for the JEANS FOR GENES sickle-cell party and leaving with MORE...especially images to last a lifetime!

All this while being entertained by:

Dipp, Skuki, Lami, S.K.A.L.E.S, Hakym the Dream, Zara, Overdose, Willy Bang, Loose Kaynon, Mo Cheddah and MODE NINE!
YUP!

And this big, wonderful event for purpose, will be hosted by DOOSHIMA DABO'ADZUANA!

Jeans for Genes creates awareness about sicklecell, and this time, will also raise funds to pay some hospital bills!

Jeans for Genes is proudly supported by:
ZAPPHAIRE EVENTS
s.h.a.r.e
X3M Music
SWE
MULTIKRAFT MEDIA


This event is STRICTLY BY INVITATION.

For INVITES, and more information about the event, please check out the blog
www.thesegenes.blogspot.com

join the facebook event page,
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=302889754167

or call
08023066252
07039268846


JEANS FOR GENES 2....
Music! Fashion! Sickle-Cell!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On a tuesday morning

Top of the day,top of the morning to you live with Tosyne Bucknor,areeaaa.......(cough*choking sound)i thank the lord,well,apart from the usual traffic report and weather,olusola reported that the traffic from akute to ikeja was hectic,actually forgive me i was trying to compete in the area challenge earlier(where i choked),really it's about saying areaaaaaaaaaaaaa like you are constipated,well i did good but a caller,Tomi from Ayobo won the challenge,but the other listeners who call to compete did well but they did not do it better than Tomi....My advice is listen closely to TOP OF THE MORNING WITH TOSYNE BUCKNOR,you just might be winners of fantastic prizes..
Why do people still send the "HAPPY NEW MONTH"message?...Later on there was a segment tagged"YOU SAY"where you get to say anything,you want to say,really listeners had lots of words to say through phone calls,text messages,facebook and tweeter,Olusola says he's thanks the lord....
Supermide greatest superhero in town came along with the TOP NINE(9)MOMENTS,also Tosyne gave the weather report,did you the weather changes by the minute SHESSS....Later on song of the week was played and do you know mr hudson is?.Actually he used to be popularly known as MR HUDSON AND THE LIBRARY,but now now all over the world known as Mr Hudson,he featured in one of kanye west's hit single paranoid,he is signed onto kanye's GoodMusic Records,really phenomenal song there by Jay-z and Mr Hudson-FOREVER YOUNG I WANNA BE FOREVER YOUNG,DO YOU REALLY WANNA BE FOREVER FOREVER.Really we can be young forever by similing with the TEETH(grinning),which is the song of the week and one of our favourites playing GOOD MUSIC..
Catch you tomorrow on TOP OF THE MORNING WITH TOSYNE BUCKNOR.....
Yours truly Olusola
Tosyne Bucknor.