Amazing how a year has passed since my first work was posted on here. Back then I was just going to post my first thirteen works, then cut and run. I did not know the first thing about blogging then – not sure I do now. I honestly did not think people read stuff off the internet. So my shock was profound, the surprise pleasant when I read my first four comments. I died and went to bloggers heaven!
Week after week I would get comments, always something positive. I was coasting. Then four months later I hit a brick wall.
It was my first ‘3 for 1’. The 1st post got the usual positive reviews. The second was a different kettle of fish! The first four comments ripped into me like barbs. I am not sensitive like that; I was just in a bad place at the time.
I was ready to stop writing, but my Editor waded in and held my hand and stroked my hair, telling me everything will be alright. And for that I will always love her.
Without a picture, a contact detail or proper name to go on, I felt safe to write anything I wanted and still be unchanged. The anonymity worked for me.
The first time I ever got found out by anyone other than family, I had been blogging for about six months.
I had been boarding passengers on a flight from Abuja to Lagos. When I asked to see her boarding pass, it was with my professional smile. “Do you write for 360nobs.com?” The question came in a rush and caught me unprepared. I stuttered my way through an answer, and for the rest of the time it took to board everyone else, I had this goofy grin. Recognition can do that to you.
When boarding was completed, I went to where she was sitting and offered her an upgrade. She let me know she was not travelling alone and I extended the upgrade to her friend.
Both ladies went with me into Business Class and I sat them on seats 1right in front of me. I served their meals and we chatted about random things, and when we arrived in Lagos they got off but only after she got my business card.
This is April and I am still waiting for that call/sms/e-mail from Chinny.
When I first gave out my e-mail address, it was in response to a comment posted by a reader.
I had put a contact information out there so I will not act surprised that I actually got mails.
When ‘Sorey posted his BBPin on the pages of 360nobs and declared himself my biggest young fan, I added him straight away, and I am glad I did. Turns out he is my youngest known reader. His story? He stumbled upon 360nobs searching for good Naija music, then hung around to read stuff and has read everything I posted before and since then. Dude even pings me to discuss other stuff, and alerts me when my posts go up.
Then there were other BB contact requests and Twitter followings – all of them good stuff. It gave me the feeling that while I had not ‘arrived’, I was no longer in my backwoods eating abacha, taking snuff and drinking palm-wine.
First there was Worah. While I do not have the exact first couple of tweets we exchanged, I remember they came on a morning when I was on Standby. Before that, between her, Ready and I, we had exchanged a few comments on “Already Taken”. So when tweets got round to “What do you have planned for the day?” and movie plans got mentioned, a date was set.
I got there on time for the movie, bought 2 tickets and went to have lunch. First time I heard from her, she was around the corner. “Good timing” I thought to myself because the heavens opened and let rip.
I am certain I wore the soles of my shoes a few inches flatter pacing, when forty-five minutes later there was still no sign of her. This ‘around the corner’ come and far o! At some point during my wait, I would stare into people’s faces, everyone a suspect. For all I knew, it may be an edition of ‘PUNKED’.
She finally got there and we caught what was left of the movie, after which she left to beat her curfew and I headed home.
When Miz Khimmy followed me on twitter and I followed back, it was clear from the start that we were cut from the same cloth with the only differences being that I was from the top fabric: weather beaten and sun bleached; she was from further down the bale: cool to touch and still colourful.
We chatted a lot and it was easy to see we enjoyed each others virtua-company. Then work took me to Abuja for a night. She was so excited I was finally visiting her turf, but she had a family do so we would not be seeing.
Then she was in Lagos for a weekend. I had been out of town myself and when I returned, a mix of circumstances meant we still would not see. I was tired, but I would have been able to put in at least an hour of visiting time; I am not mobile and would have borrowed my brother’s car, but he chose that weekend to not return home; I would have taken a cab, but was too broke to afford one.
In short, nothing was ‘on’ for me. I made my excuses and that trip passed. I got third time lucky, and only very briefly, but it was worth the airfare and travel time.
Mateelly is another reader following me on twitter. We hooked up on BB too, and when she came Westward for a wedding, we met up.
The next time I was in Abuja to see my older sister, I gave her a holler. I was in ‘booj city for a few days and between movies, Yahuza suya, the night life, video games, Wonderland and the heat, Mateelly and my sister made sure I had a fun few days.
Here I will attempt to thank everybody who has been a part of my writing this past year.
Let me say here that I may omit your name, but I promise you it will not be because you are any less important than those mentioned. It will be because the pages do not yet exist to list every single person and their contributions.
@ Neefemi: My 1st comment on 360nobs, and you have kept up with me these past 52weeks;
@ Miz Natural: I believe you are tied with Neefemi on number of comments posted. Those comments in the days before the ‘view counter’ kept me writing. “Old faithful” comes to mind;
@ J_Gbus n pHisayo: You, in your different ways, have helped me keep my head on straight and my feet on the ground. I call you my Terra Firma;
@ Roli: My best critic. I count myself lucky to have met you on that Accra flight, and accepting for Tade to bring you along the 2nd time;
@ Tare: I remember between September and December how you pushed me to keep writing, risking your relationship to do that. I pray someday he will realize it is him you have always loved. My work only offered you an escape from his silliness;
@ M.E: My Eagle Eyes, thank you ‘coz for letting me tell your story. And those typos you caught, they taught me to take more care. Don’t forget I have written everything from my BB – I still do #NoExcuse;
@ Ready: More than anything else, you taught me the value of consistency. I probably would still post one a week, but maybe a Thursday here, a Sunday there… You get the picture;
@ Stranger: You have inspired more stories than anyone else, and for that I thank you;
@ Village Maiden: You came to me for pointers, causing me to look to those that have gone before me, learning from them and evolving as I went;
@ Jigga: You brought my work to Bims’ notice. Not all brothers believe like that;
@ Bims: You took a chance on an unknown. Not a lot of editors will do that – trust me I know;
@ Nobs, Oye, Bims: You gave us 360nobs. Dare I ask for more?