Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Tribute to Late Mrs. Elizabeth Nneka Nwakakwa


'Grandma', we called her. The name that brought butterflies to our tummies whenever we heard she was visiting. No doubt we were interested in the sweets and biscuits, but more than that we were interested in the sincere love and care she brought home. We saw it in her eyes, her smile, her gentle touch as she patted our backs one by one and in her gift of Naira notes labelled for each one of us proportionate to our age and level in school. 


Grandma was the meekest person I’ve ever known. She was quiet in spirit. I never heard her complain though there were many reasons to. From mosquitoes that bore through weak bed nets, the beast heat from the east giving more exercise than rest at night, her oatmeal “swallow”-turned-porridge due to someone’s culinary incompetence to pension delays and all what nots.


She was a woman of God. We knew not to knock on her door in the early hours of the morning, but even at times in the afternoon, we met her staring down her glasses on her leather jacket Bible. 


It goes without a saying that she was a good mother for whoever taught my mother the values she passed down to us must have been good. 


Today we celebrate a life well lived, we mourn not as them without hope, but we know that if we follow the examples she gave us we will meet again where there are no pension delays, no mosquitoes, no sickness to hurt our bodies and certainly no death to separate our loved ones from us.


Adieu Grandma. See you in heaven.


Chidiogo Ibe (Grand daughter)

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Evan


"Evan". I had never heard that name before. I knew of Eva, but not Evan. I wondered if that was her 'real name' like we say in Nigeria, meaning a name given to her by her parents or like me she had given herself a sweet unpopular name. But more striking than her name at our meeting, was her face. My reaction at first sight of her was, "Who goes about with this much makeup?" She loved to wear very heavy make-up.

We met in church. To be precise, in an audition to join the church choir. So we were divided in two groups for the induction process and fate landed us in the same group. We didn't talk much until after the induction weeks. We were both Soprano so we had to sit together during rehearsals. We enjoyed sitting by each other. If I was late, she'd ask me to sit on a reserved seat beside her. If she came after me, she'd sit just next to me. I could never have thought that with our first encounter, which didn't leave a good impression, we would hit it off as quickly as we did. 

We became very fond of each other and our relationship extended beyond choir rehearsals. Need I say, she later reduced her make up. I was shocked to my bones the day she came to rehearsal without makeup and she did that quite a few times. Here is one of her no makeup pics. Isn't she lovely?
Another distinguishing feature was her hair. She had caught the natural hair wind long before it blew on us. She always looked gorgeous in it. I was and still am amazed at how she manages to maintain it herself.

On getting to know her inward person, I discovered Evan is a very lovely and charming personality. She is a true daughter of God, very dedicated to God and the things of God, one would never have guessed by her initial appearance. She always brings up God in our discussions. She has no pretense whatsoever. She welcomed me to her family and she is down to earth. I cannot think about Lagos without thinking of Evan Nneka Elodi. Even though the time we spent was cut short as I had to leave the country, but every moment I spent with her was memorable.

I have learnt to never judge a book by its cover. We need to go past what people look like and get to know them for who they are. Judge not, that you will not be judged. Also, that everyone is unique in their own way. We could miss out on beautiful friendships when we allow assumptions prevent us from getting closer to people.

Radiant ~ May 2018