FRANQUE’s FRIDAYS:The Show Goes On

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It all started with a facebook status update.

He posted:”Can you believe people?!!! You come 2 me wiv an idea and I pick it up n run wiv it – as fast as I can. For some odd reason I look behind to find you haven’t even left the startin line!

This drew quite a few comments from friends who thought it was about a girl. It really was about a girl, but not in the way they thought. He had a laugh reading their comments. He thought them all quite amusing for assuming they had him all figured out, then he saw her comment. She had read it, recognized it was aimed at her, understood what it was about, but missed the mark at the motive. She did not understand why, and did not ask for clarification.

She just replied “… INSTEAD OF RUNNING WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S IDEAS, SIT DOWN AND CONCEIVE YOURS! THEN YOU REALISE IT’S JUST MUCH EASIER TO RUN!

Those words cut him deep, though he tried to hide it with an “Ouch! Cheap shot” come back. It all started with a facebook comment, but it really started well before that.

Words, spoken and written, had always held an attraction for him. As a child attending ota akara, the equivalent of the Kindergarten system, he loved rhymes, pictures and stories. Back home he would take the readers and textbooks of his older siblings and, flipping through the pages, would concoct stories based on the sequence of pictures. All of these without recognizing more than a handful of the English alphabets, and none of the words. His two-plus year old imagination would simply take flight!

When he came of age and was told he would be starting school, the elation in his heart showed up as anxiety on his five year old face making his mother wonder if she should wait one more year. He was after all her baby. For days before he went, he had bad dreams that she changed her mind!

On the day she took him to get registered, he carefully selected his clothes for this special occasion: a pair of dark blue jean shorts with more pockets than he would ever need; his favourite t-shirt, a white affair with a green neckband and a drawing he later came to realise was snow capped mountains with the words ALASKA emblazoned across it. He preferred his shirts flying, but his mom was having none of that. She tucked the shirt into the shorts, causing his big belly button to jut out. He spent the better part of the walk to school pulling his shorts over his belly button, trying to flatten it with the waist band.

Standing in line, he felt all grown up and could not understand why some of the other children were crying and clutching their mother’s wrappers or their father’s hands. He just wanted his mother to go so he could get on with getting this education!

He loved reading, liked writing, but he learnt early that there were bills to be paid and writing, at the time, did not seem like such a profitable way to do so.

He comes from one of those families where everybody was on a list. As one of his lecturers aptly put it, you were either a cost centre or a profit centre. During your younger days you were put on the list of people who were given money, but the moment you got your NYSC call-up letter, you made the transition from that list to the list of people who gave the money.

With that background, writing took a back burner. So far back a burner, it almost got forgotten.

That was until a colleague at work invited him to work with her on a magazine project. He liked the idea and went straight to work on it. For days he would bury himself in the world of his PC. His relationship took a knock, for between his day job and this new project, there was hardly time for anything else. He even ate one-handed while still either punching keys, or making small notes. Sometimes he would forgo meals altogether – he had agreed to contribute as a regular columnist and as an editor so there was much brainstorming to be done.

He approached another colleague of theirs who had a similar idea. The plan was to get them to work together, and since this merger was his idea, the onus lay on him to harmonise their works.

Long story short, he had all his articles for a full year ready, all six of them, but his colleagues had yet to agree on certain fundamental aspects of fusing their ideas.

That was when he posted the update on facebook!

Following her suggestion, he showed his works to an old friend of his who, after reading them, told him he wrote like a girl. That was indeed high praise coming from her! Armed with the confidence generated by her compliment, and his articles – he had written some others since he had those juices flowing now – he approached the publishers of a magazine. He was asked to send in his work which he did. He is still waiting for acknowledgement of receipt of the work.

Frustrated before he even started, he posted the articles as notes one after the other on facebook. The response from friends who read them told him he could not possibly be such a ‘weist’.

I will be the first to admit that I do not have any formal training for this. The extent of my training is the same for millions of people out there: Primary and Secondary education in public schools, then further education at a Federal Polytechnic.

My brother put in a few words with a couple of people, and within a week told me he had sent my works to a Bims. All of my works!

Emboy u jus fall my hand. E go dey obvious now say person be JJC.” I moaned.

“I no know nau. Oya no vex.” came his reply.

Then two weeks later, I got a text followed by a mail from the Bims, it was to mark the start of an all new phase of my life. 360nobs became the Fox Corporation to my Simon Cowell. AIRtiquette became my Idols – my very own show.

So there you have it, the story of how Franque’s Friday came to be. In the past year, I have added relationSHEEP and fatherWOOD to the ‘products’ on offer here, and MEMOry lane elsewhere. In all that time you, all of you have believed and egged me on.

PS: As for my colleagues and their magazine(s), let us say it is still work in progress. We, on the other hand, are 360nobs – admin and readers alike. And if Marilyn Monroe is right in saying that “Imperfection is beauty and madness is genius. It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”, then the least we can do is to make sure this show goes on.

Franque

Franque

"Franque is in aviation, which by the way is not his job, just a lifestyle. If he ever kept a diary it would read like his articles will. Unfortunately he doesn't. Scratch that. He didn't.AIRtiquette is a walk in his shoes. Since regular isn't in his vocabulary, brace yourself for a bit of airwalking!" Follow @franque_521 on twitter.

32 comments

  1. I for one am glad her retort hurt so much,it spun you to action. We hia @ 360readers would NEVER have been blessed wit a fantastic writer like you. Fridays will always remain special and no,its aside the fact it’s a wkend,itz cos of you,FRANQUE.

  2. Oooh! This is quite inspiring. A set back is usually temporary and makes us stronger. If you have a dream,chase it. I love your courage. 360nobs rocks!

  3. Dis piece ryt here reminds me y fell in lurv wif ur articles in d 1st place. Bless d day I stumbled on ur work here on 360nobs. Its probably d only reason I still come on here. Keep up d gud work
    P.S still waiting on ur book. Fingerz crossed.

  4. My mum always said thank God for ur enemies, they keep you alert… I guess this is a classic example… Glad it hurt tho, now we have u to brighten our fridays 😀
    Keep it up, u are a fantastic writer… I’m with Miss parker, waiting for ur book…..

  5. Guys again happy friday to all of you.
    @ Mateely: if iCould blush iWould and you know it;
    @ FJ: iAm glad you find it so;
    @ Engy: iAm on okada chasin my own o;
    @ Miz P n Nengie: iWill make that book happen eventually, Amen;
    @ VM: Words fail me too…
    @ Everyone else: Thank you for coming back week after week to read my offerings. Bless all of you. ff @franque_521 on twitter.

  6. criticism isn’t always constructive but u were wise to keep goin n as u can tell ur writing has evolved and matured. My mom keeps saying u shud do print everytime i show her ur work. That being said i’ll end it with congrats on everything

  7. ps i woke up realised it was frriday and reached for my already dead(not dying o) phone to check if ur article was up sadly it wasnt but then it was 5:30am there’s no higher praise in my book! So u shud consider sending them to me earlier hehehe

  8. I pull my chair back, get on my feet and applaude you.
    Bold step you took there and yes, when one’s time arrives, there’s always that one person/thing that kick starts the dream!

    Double thumbs up!

  9. I luv dis dude…every single word i read in Ur post goes straight to ma heart. U are a writer indeed! Kudos Franque.

  10. Awesome Franque, you were such a precocious child!! Awwwww..I can just imagine the jutting belly button ha ha.I am glad that you didn’t give up and others didn’t give up on you. Your articles are my main reason for visiting 360nobs! Have a great weekend

  11. U really remembered what you wore on your first day at school? Like seriously? Is your memory that retentive or you wrote it down somewhere? I can’t even remember the colour of my uniform

  12. @ Stranger: iAlways wondered if Mrs.D saw any of my later works in light of her earlier reservations about my boy/girl stories. Mystery solved. PS: No higher praise indeed;
    @ Kammy: ur words are way more than enuf. Thank u;
    @ M.E: with the ‘thank u’ thing outta the way, iWould wanna kno how the person started too. #inUrShoes;
    @ Madame: *iCome n wonder o :D;
    @ Nena: maybe u will kno what when next iSee u #SwearUp;
    @ PET_P: was lyin down when iRead din n wasn’t sure if iShould get up n take a bow, or lie prostrate on my stomach – eventually did both. #Osé;
    @ HRS_C: ur words missed my head n went str8 for my heart too. *hug*;
    @ iKnow/2: we know what we know, yes? *wink*;
    @ iBeta_Pass: iAlmost failed my project. Still want me to write urs? :D;
    @ O_Oghene: Migwo;
    @ Miz N: U haff come again wiv big big grammar :D. Belly button haf refused to go and we still dey here o;

  13. Yet another master piece! Franque, franque, franque! Am inspired.. The way u write just gets one glued and u just dnt want the story to end! Wow! Pure talent.. As the saying goes,” where one door closes another opens up”, in ur case many doors have open and many more still coming.
    (Y)

  14. It doesn’t mata….am sure my supervisor wud fall in love wv d project….jus charm him….
    The topic— “the effect of malaria on the GDP of sokoto state” thanks

  15. While we’re on the project topic, could you write mine on ‘the effects of tariffs on the Nigerian economy’… Dalu. Seriously though, it’s good to know how your columns started.

  16. Bettr l8 dn nevr. I’m totally wiv I kno on ds 1. Their loss, our gain. I pray u nevr run out ov ways 2 entertain us. Ur mind is like a maze. Bless.

  17. First off, sorry i’m late was trying ti have a life that had nothing to do with a computer this past week and i tried a lil.

    Secondly, i want to write like you some day. I’m totally in love (i did not say you o, before your wifeys come and kill me) with your writing skills.

    Can’t wait for friday

  18. And this, is one example of why I find it funny when people think that going to a polytechnic is enough reason/excuse not to be intelligent!. Not that I know you personally, but I know for a fact from what I have read from you in the past few months that you can hold your own, anywhere! Harvard o, Unilag o….Yale o, Peking University o….You are a star and you have no hiding place……keep shinning!

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