Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A LOVED ONE



A letter to Sochima Ezeoke,



When I made up my mind to write a letter to Sochima on her birthday, I started by thinking about all the nice things I would say about her in the letter; and the more I thought, the more I realized that nice things is all I had to say about her Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sochima... You may take this for granted but the truth is that I think that your birthday should be a National Holiday. Yes, I know 1st October is the day your country, Nigeria, achieved independence but that is not what I mean when I say National Holiday. I mean that it should be marked everywhere on the calendar... perhaps is should be called 'Sochy Day' and then very many significant people will come together to celebrate THE LIFE AND TIMES OF Sochima Ezeoke...


Okay, for starters, Sochima Ezeoke is a Nollywood actress, the founder of www.asmedianig.com, and a mentor-- to mention but a few of the good things Sochima Ezeoke is doing for mother earth. I did an interview with her on this site a while ago. Look here: http://daisynandecheokoti.blogspot.com/2013/03/in-footsteps-of-genevieve-nnaji-enter_6.html  for details of the films that she has starred in, the details of Arrivals and Sojourn Media which she founded, her current projects and all other


details you may want to find out about this Sochima, the Starlet.

 Sochima is a personal friend to me and I thought that I would give her a piece of my mind on this very special day of her life: Her birthday

Here are a few propositions for you ;



                   Do not draw conclusions quickly and even when you do, leave room to revise your
 opinions
                   Since you are endowed with youthfulness, fly like and eagle and brook no limiting horizons
                   Remember that one only fully possesses one's life if one makes it out as a gift for others. In fact this is the secret of immortality
                   The greatest of all arts is the art of loving. It is a talent worth cultivating.
                   There are many great and wonderful virtues, but the brightest of them all is courage.

Lotsa love,

Nandeche.
  PS: Sochima may this day bring you many happy returns and a foundation for that great future you hope for:-) YOU ARE DESTINED FOR GREATNESS!!! Once Again, Happy birthday!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

THE LITTLE ESSENCES OF LIFE

 Maybe I seek the past-- a past that as Lauret Ngcobo pointed out, is swiftly passing through our fingers. But I have a different opinion... the past should go, I believe but that will only happen after it has finished its role of helping me build a present I can cling to. I was advised never to make a move before I am sure of where I am going. So until that happens, until I have fully grasped my present I will not even contemplate parting ways with my past. And of course, I will never part ways with my past for there is no present without a past, just like there is no future without a present.

“I just felt lonely after the church service and I decided to check on you.”

Perhaps that was a simple everyday text that was not supposed to awaken so many emotions but in my case it did. First, the sender is a very close friend-- the kind I can say (without trying to be modest) that I cannot live in this world without. She has always been there with me and I couldn't reply the text without a tinge of lose; thanks to the passing of time that has decided to throw distance between us.

When eventually I sat down, I discovered that I needed to open up to someone about my fears of the coming and going of seasons. Laurence Durell says that somewhere in the heart of experience, there is a fear that we can conquer if we were attentive enough, loving enough or patient enough. Will there be time? I am accused of being an alarmist. Granted, I look for things that I may never find but the fact that the search is worth the while is what motivates me. Discovering new truths is a habit that I would want to cultivate in the people whose paths cross mine...it could be a mirage but I see it as a mental exercise that can help develop so many other aspects of an individual.

So where was I? Yes, I needed consolation and assurance that this great feeling of loss at breaking ties with old friend wasn't a reserve of people with a name like mine or some other artificial thing. Then in a nutshell I was told that its heartbreaking and uncertain but a time will come when some relationships will have to end. Not because we wronged each other. But because of many other factors. And ending in this case doesn't imply cutting off communication with someone because 'some relationships have to end' but because there is nothing more to talk about. So when this time comes, only the little essences of life can keep you going. So, what are the little essences of life?

  • The laughter you shared
  • The love that will last, always, no matter the circumstances that have driven you apart
  • The simple joys and pleasures you got from the most funny places;like under a particular tree
  • A shared childhood(if you shared one)or other things you have in common.


Whatever the case, friendship ties should be guarded to survive the ever changing circumstances that characterize the world we live in today. I am persuaded to believe that true friend can grow separately without growing apart.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

THE EXIT OF A WRITING LEGEND





Photograph: Mike Cohea/AP




Once in every era, a voice is born with a rare ability to stand for truth in the midst of storms. In the era that ended this past Friday, Chinua Achebe(1930-2013) was that person. His ability to walk on turbulent waters...a place that even angels and demons fear to tread is a quality that will continue to vibrate for generations to come.

Some  writers argue that when a man is left with just a few days to his death, he becomes emotionally disturbed with unsettling questions doing their rounds in that person's head. In the introduction of Leo Tolstoy's novella THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCH, the writer seems to say the same thing. He says that a lot of people experience a finality that makes them so afraid; not because of the impending departure but because of the fear of having failed to do things that they should have done. But for Chinua Achebe (I can't bring myself to say, The Late Chinua Achebe because I think that he still lives, in his own special way) this thinking can be said to be totally false because he wrote as much as he could and not only that, he wrote widely and far into the future. His works will be as new in a century to come as they were in the 20th  century when they were fast written. Achebe clearly devoted his life to the obedience of his calling as a writer.

Chinua Achebe's writings are undoubtedly the most studied works of literature in Africa and beyond. His acclaimed literary daughter Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her talk THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY confirms the indespensability of Achebe's writing. She says that reading Achebe's books opened her eyes to new and peculiar truths and helped her redefine literature... she realised that characters with kinky hair and skin the color of chocolate could exist in literature... In a recent essay, WE REMEMBER DIFFERENTLY, Chimamanda acknowledges the fact that Achebe is a writer whose work gave her permission to write. She goes on to say...
"...Afterwards, I held on to the phone and wept. I have memorised those words. In my mind, they glimmer still, the validation of a writer whose work had validated me."

That brief digression was to draw us to the length of life Achebe still has ahead despite his physical death. I believe that Chimamanda will not want to offend her literary father's memory by doing anything less than what she should in as far as literature is concerned.

Chinua Achebe's name will remain in our hearts and the hearts of many who will be born in the coming generations. The best honor we can give his soul is to walk the talk.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GENEVIEVE NNAJI ENTER SOCHIMA EZEOKE




It is not every day that we meet a young and obviously beautiful lady whose ambitions (not appearance) govern her way of life. In this rare and exclusive interview with Nollywood actress Sochima Ezeoke, we meet a redefinition of the youth; a proof that beauty and intelligence can reside harmoniously in one body. Ladies and gentlemen, here is her majesty, Sochima Ezeoke.





ON HER ACTING CAREER: 


Daisy Nandeche (DN) : Basically, who is Sochima Ezeoke?
Sochima Ezeoke (SE): Sochi is a strong, intelligent woman who believes so much in hard work no matter how difficult an undertaking is. She keeps working until she succeeds.
DN: You are now a household name in Great Movies Industry considering that most of your movies are done there. How did it start?
SE: I got there through the Great Movies Talent hunt. Since then, I have been opportuned to work with them. But that is not to say that I can only work for them. I work for other producers as well.
DN: What are the benchmarks of a film that you can star in?
SE: Any film with a good story line will do for me.
DN: Are there any roles that you can not take no matter what is offered?
SE: Yes. Roles that require me to go nude or something close to that.
DN: Are there any similarities between Sochima Ezeoke and that characters that you have played?
SE: Yes, some similarities exist between me and some of the characters I have played. LONELY PRINCESS as ‘Ego’ and Royalty to Royalty as ‘Ijeoma’.
DN: Palace Slave and its sequel, The King’s Bride was and still is a much talked about movie among Nollywood fans. Did you envision that kind of reaction from the audience?
SE: No. I never anticipated that kind of reaction from the audience especially since some people had already given negative criticisms before the movie was shot; they didn’t want me to take up the role because I was new. All thanks to God because He made it happen. And God bless Sunnycollins Nwatu for believing in me.
DN: What in your opinion sets Nollywood apart in Africa?
SE: Its deep roots in ‘Africanism’. Whether we accept it or not, every Nollywood film addresses Nigeria’s problem and that of Africa as a whole. This approach has enhanced globalization and it has also shown that there is another world outside what Hollywood creates.
DN: Is there anything you would want changed in the way Nollywood films are done?
SE: The only thing I would like to see is film makers working harder in order to attain a near-perfect shape in their work no matter how simple or complicated a film is. Also young talents should be given chances so that our movies won’t be filled with the same faces all the time.
DN: I am just curious, do royalties exist in Nigeria?
SE: Royalties exist but mostly in the rural areas. I didn’t grow up in the rural area so I can’t say much about them.
DN: Where do you work currently?
SE: I am working with Justice Development and Peace Commission on a project that aims at helping and empowering the rural poor. It is an NGO under the Catholic Church.
DN: Who are your main influences in Nollywood?
SE: Genevieve Nnaji and Bimbo Akintola.  They only get bigger and better and that makes me admire them more and more. I also love Genevieve’s sense of style; she can do no wrong in my eyes (laughs).


ON HER UNIVERSITY EDUCATIONdftd.jpg


DN: What did you study in the university?
SE: I studied Mass Communication at the University of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Awka.
DN: Did you have a problem with your family when you selected that course?
SE: I did not have a problem. Actually, I started with a Diploma in Law.    I love Law so much but I discovered that studying Mass Communication would give me the foot with which to try other things. That is why I decided to go for a degree in Mass Communication. I had my parents’ support all the way.
DN: I have watched a lot of movies about the crazy things that university students do over there—drugs, immorality, non-commitment to their academic work to mention a few. Is that portrayal the reality on the ground?
SE: The portrayal is not the exact scenario here. Sometimes Nollywood exaggerates their stories and characters. For example, some movies show university students ‘half dressed’ in lecture halls, but the truth is that most universities here do not allow indecent dressing to school. Security will stop you at the gate and if you are inside a car you may pass the gate, but you cannot enter any office or lecture hall. But that is not to say that immorality, drugs, non-commitment to studies and so on does not exist. A lot happens.
DN: Any memorable (and horrifying) incident you witnessed as a student?
SE: One day during my third year, I took a cab to school because I was late for a quiz. The driver headed to an unknown destination. When I asked him, he said I should relax… he was speeding. We ended up in a deserted place near an uncompleted building. He stepped out and asked me to wait inside which I agreed. Only God knows how he forgot to lock the car. By the time he came back, I was far away and he couldn’t catch up with me.
Another memorable incident was the day we did a speech presentation exercise in class on the topic ‘Who are you’. When my turn came, I walked up to the stage smiling then I started talking. Up till this day I cannot figure out what happened there (laughs) but before I left the stage, the lecturer stood up and started clapping and my course mates joined her. She (the lecturer) asked me to write down everything I had said and give to her. I scored the highest in that course.
DN: How did you manage to come out unscathed?
SE: Coming out unscathed was not my own making. It was God’s doing.
DN: Any tips for university students who are (maybe understandably) under so much bad pressure?
SE: My advice is, they should put God first in everything that they do, mind the companies they choose to keep; they shouldn’t join the bandwagon no matter how tempting it is and remember what you went to the university to do and take it seriously.
 rerg.jpg

ON ARRIVALS AND SOJOURN MEDIA (ASM)
DN: I must admit that ASM impressed me totally the very first time I visited the site. Good work. For how long had you nursed the idea?
SE: Thank you. The idea came up towards the end of 2010. We started working on it immediately and that is what resulted to the launch of AS magazine (print) maiden edition. It was a tour magazine that covered just Awka, Anambra state Nigeria where my school is located since there was no time to leave school and travel to other states for research.
DN: Why the name Arrivals & Sojourn?
SE: The name represents our goal for setting up ASM. It means coming and staying__  and staying in a particular place for sometime. Our goals are to show a peoples culture and their tourist attraction sites.
DN: What do you want the site to become?
SE: We are taking it one step at a time. There is a lot we want to put up in the site__ tourist attraction sites in Africa, a list of good hotels and eateries in Africa where tourists can spend their time and a business directory.
DN: Who do you work with?
SE: We have a team of web developers with my elder brother as the team head. They are responsible for structuring and updating the site based on the management’s decision.
DN: What do you do on the site?
SE: Writing articles for ‘Soul to Soul’ et al.
DN: What career do you intend to settle down on?
SE: I want to settle down as a TV presenter.
DN: What is your philosophy of life?
SE: Never look down on anyone; not even a newborn baby because they might just stand in a test. In a nutshell, humility is the name.
Sochima Ezeoke is one of the founders of www.asmedianig.com

Image credits: Sochima Ezeoke.

Friday, 1 March 2013

LIFE'S LESSONS FROM ONE 20 YEAR OLD TO ANOTHER


When I wake up on third of March, I will be twenty...say it again, TWENTY! It's as unbelievable as it sounds. I have a lot to be thankful for. I will begin by thanking people who have walked with me to the present.  I can't list all of them because they are many. But basically, I want to thank all my mentors-- my spiritual mentors, the people who inspired we to get hold of life and live properly, my parents, my role-models... and even those people I have never met but they mentor me by the way they live their lives and what they do. A big thank you to all of you.

It will be another new decade... A make or break decade as far as the future is concerned and I can only pray that the Almighty God will give me direction. Life as they say, is not a dress-rehearsal and I hope to be especially prudent.

So here are a few of the lessons I have accumulated at this grand age.

1. There is always a super-power
A greater power holds this earth. The earth has a beginning and for us to have a beginning then there must be a beginner. That beginner is the super-power. Remember God in everything you do.

2.Only boring people follow crowds blindly
There is a lot of bad peer influence hovering all around as. But luckily, it is always a choice. You can either choose to follow the wrong crowds and get lost or not follow the crowds... But just know that only boring and uncreative people ignore to think carefully and critically before taking any step.

3.There are no guarantees in this life
The fact that you have ability today does not mean you will have that same ability tomorrow. TIME is more powerful than everybody in this life. Use every opportunity to live a mark where you pass...history will ask questions and the fact that an accident stopped you from doing something will not exactly liberate your name in the records of history. People will want to know what you did with the time you had.

4. Everything that can be counted, counts
Whatever you do becomes part of the story of your life and when you will be taking stock of your sojourn on earth, it will be counted. Don't do something that will haunt you tomorrow. Be wise.

5. It is the same mouth which a dog uses to play that it uses to bite
Basically, understand people who are around you and always know the boundaries. Don't get carried away or too excited...only non-thinkers do that and Pisceans are thinkers:)

6. There is a place beyond knowing
There is a place beyond knowing called understanding. Understand  and critically analyze anything before you get involved. A wise man once said that, 'the color of fire is bright and beautiful but once you fall inside it, your body will tell you a different story'. For the Piscean, a word is enough.

7. Freedom is ephemeral
It's a fact. It is easy to discover that once you have it(freedom) for a while. Freedom comes with responsibilities and some of these responsibilities include doing house work...so don't be in a hurry for this thing called freedom.

8. You are the brand you!
Mmmm... Only you are You and you hold your life in trust so protect your life as if it carries all the tomorrows of the universe...because it actually does!

9. Destiny is in mortal hands
Your destiny is in your hands...People will show you the way but only you can follow the way that you have been shown. Walk every step bearing in mind the fact that you are walking towards destiny. Once again, be wise.

10. Be the model 20year old piscean in the world
At twenty, you have a huge life a head of you...hold it firmly and stir it in the right direction. Show the world that you earned the right to be 20 this year and that can only show if you are positively exceptional.

11. Love will come
If it hasn't showed up at your door step, it's certainly going to show up very soon. Love with your heart but don't forget your head.

12. Forgive

Life is a battlefield and we all walk wounded...

I will be meeting my fellow pisceans more often in a label I am starting and we will talk more then.

From me,

With Love.