This should be interesting. I have been dreading this day. And when I dread something I avoid it. Procrastination has been a cute cuddly soft blanket away from that which my heart tells me I must do. I must step out of the light of nothingness into the darkness of my muse, channeling whatever demons reside in me. They are not finished with me yet, they assure me. There is a lot in me that must come out.
I write. I have written for as long as I remember, from childhood. I write obsessively about the things that I think about obsessively. I am the first to agree that many times I do not make sense. Every now and then I make sense. Google me and you will find my thoughts scattered all over the place; there is no rhyme or reason as to why they are where they are. I simply write and folks pick them up and put them in places where other folks might find them. My words have found solace in many places, some of them quite sketchy, in the words of my teenagers.
About three years ago, the Nigerian writer Molara Wood invited me to grace the Arts and Culture section of a brand new newspaper NEXT. Every week I would write something, anything, as long as it was not more than 850 words. I was scared of the possibilities – of failing. But Molara is not someone you say no to. I agreed and offered a silent prayer to the gods of my ancestors. They came through for me and ensured that in three years, I never missed a deadline. I wrote a new column every week until that day this past September when I hung up my writing gloves. I am incredibly proud of that feat because I am not a trained journalist; just someone who loves to run his mouth about any and everything that catches his fancy.
I no longer write for NEXT. Late in September, I bade that brilliant but troubled newspaper a fond teary farewell. I meant every word that I said in that piece. Molara Wood and NEXT were very good to me and I will be forever awed by the vision and excitement that her founders offered Nigeria and the world. In the years I was there, I wrote about a lot of things; my parents, my lover, my children, my children, my children, exile, longing, books, lots of books, and of course literature. I wrote about pretty much each book that I read. My audience called these pieces book reviews and before you knew it I was being called a book critic. There were not a whole lot of perks associated with this new title. For one thing, I was conflicted about it. I see myself as a writer, first and foremost. The idea that I was sitting in judgment over the works of my colleagues did not sit well with me. And it did not sit well with the targets of my reviews. I was called all sorts of names after each “bad” review. Sometimes writers would hold a pity party at which my dignity would be grilled medium rare. Truth be told, I enjoyed the insults and the abuse; I am weird like that.
So what next? Well, I am still here. I have been busy since leaving NEXT – writing and writing and writing. I have a lot to say about the same things I have always talked about – the literature of our people, exile, my lover. our children, longing, America, Nigeria, Africa, etc, etc. I promised I would not go away. If anything, I like to keep my promises.
Watch this space 😉 I shall be right back. Yes.
20 thoughts on “Stepping out of the light”
Pa’ Ikhide, Great to have you back. Now I can look forward to some real entertainment laced with wit and wisdom.
You keep saying your ‘lover’. You don’t want to call her your wife? I discovered you on 234 next, July this year and I’m glad I did:) Welcome sir
Speaking of thoughts scattered across the web, five years ago I stumbled across Pa Ikhide’s classic Cowfoot by Candlelight http://tinyurl.com/69mk5xy and have “stalked” him from afar ever since.
A lot to look forward to here…
Look forward to whatever comes “Next” All the best.
It’s a good thing to know I’ll have a place to read Ųя thots once again. Bookmarking this at once. Welcome to the blogging world.
@ Esther, I’d rather my hubby calls me his lover than just his wife. Sorta more romantic, don’t U̶̲̥̅̊ think? And the Songs of Solomon would agree with that!
Nice try, just that there is need for some more ingredients.
Welcome to blogosphere, sir. I look forward to reading plenty from you. 🙂
Lovely, stylish, rich write up.
yay! Pa(stor) Ikhide is back!
Abeg, make we here word! As your legs don carry you reach dis so, you are welcome. Na here all of us dey. Dey write dey go, we dey read.
Pa Ikhide grilled medium rare just so excites my long forgotten cannibal cravings, I’m tempted but I have great restraint.
As you say, this should be interesting.
cowfoot by candle light….yeah!…a stumble upon which made me a forever disciple…am following.
[…] Ikheloa has joined the blogging community. This sentence, otherwise supposed to describe him in a few words and put him in the context of […]
Ah, Mr Ikhide – you’re welcome. Hope you enjoy being here.
Glad to have you back, Pa. Stepping out of the light into what? Limbo?
My….these are interesting days. Welcome to blogging Ikhide, I look forward to your yarns. Wish you were on blogger sha..
Welcome back on the web. We hope to read new renderings from you.
And He’s Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome, sir. Welcome, welcome, welcome.