Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Omolola Kimberly Dara and I am more than grateful for being granted the privilege of speaking with you today. I am not going to give pep talks like those regular motivational speakers you see on Tv or pay good cash to attend their seminars, however, it would be my pleasure to use this medium to encourage someone who has given up on life, someone who feels that life has nothing good to offer, someone who has always been on the receiving end of the ills of life and has concluded that nothing good would ever come his/her way. Before I commence, I wish to know how many of you fit into the category above? How many of you have concluded that it is only bad things that can happen to you because life is unfair to you? Well, that’s life for you. At times, life sucks. It’s absolutely normal, however, I have good news for someone who knows I am talking to him/her: never give up on your expectations of good things.
Before I commence with my talk properly, I wish to know how many of you are conversant with seasons? If you are, you would agree with me that the month of May is the month of flowers and as such, it is the most romantic month in the year. Do not be deceived by people that the most romantic month in the year is February. Do you know why? In May, the flowers guys present to we ladies are real, recently plucked and still very scented and when we ladies perceive the scent, we would unintentionally fall in love. However, in Febrruary, guys present plastic flowers and so, we ladies have to pretend like they have done something worthwhile, when they ‘surprise’ us with flowers where the gum holding the petals is still very visible, and say “Tada!!!” There’s something interesting I want to point out from this illustration and it is that the abundance of flowers in the month of May are ONLY available due to the heavy rains that fall throughout the month of April. I am quite aware that in the month of April, many of you always have a handy umbrella so as not to be caught unawares in the showers because to you, the idiom “Save an umbrella for the rainy day” is taken literally in that month.
I am therefore hoping that my story would be a great source of encouragement to someone here.
Several years ago, my friends and I were single and searching, in fact, we were ‘husband-hunting’ because the five of us, between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five still had no ‘reasonable’ person we could comfortably identify as our boyfriends. In my opinion, I was a wife material, even one of two hundred yards because you can imagine me being a graduate, a working class lady, still an entrepreneur, a beautiful, hot, respectful, God fearing, prayerful, etcetera, all in one woman, yet I never heard a gossip that any man told his friend “Hey, I like that girl and I want her to be the ONLY woman in my life.” Notice that the world only is capitalised. This is because nearly all the guys my friends and I came across were in for fun, they just wanted to knack-and-pass, boasting to their friends over several bottles of beer n bars, ticking names of girls they have successfully laid, and having no intentions of taking our relationships to the “permanent site.” Seriously, you gentlemen should delete that mentality from your minds, the one where you believe being in a relationship is only to get under a lady’s skin and when you’re satisfied, you disappear into thin air because in doing so, you are only making we ladies to contemplate “Is this the one?”, our final bus stop and then give youu our whole being, only for us to realise later on that you worth less than a bag of beans in our lives.
Then, in the twenty-two years of my life, I had said more ” God when?”, than I had said “Good morning.” As you can see, I am still a very beautiful and hot lady, so you can imagine how I was right year’s ago. If some of you younger ladies were as beautiful as I was then, you would scream “Omo, I be spec ooo!!!”, to any good-for-nothing guy who approaches you with raps, spitting punchlines, spinning your head, telling you how you are the most beautiful lady in the world and how you are more beautiful than _mammy water_. Trust me, there’s no rap I have not heard. One guy even told me he could beat up his mother for my sake if she didn’t consent to our marriage. Can you imagine the stupidity of his claim? He will beat up his mother, his OWN MOTHER, because of small Lola. The funny thing is that I was gullible and actually fell victim to the lies of such men, using money and sweet words as tools for spreading my legs. In just three years, I dated more than eleven men. There was Ayo, after that, Emma, then Pere, Chibuzor, Hamid, and a whole lot of horny men, each being only worse than the previous one, but initially pretending to be an angel of light, but was in stead an angel of darkness. You see this my heart, it was and is still very fragile and you can imagine how shattered into millions of pieces it would have been then; how when I thought have recovered and thought that “this one looks God-sent sha”, the demon in human flesh would prove me otherwise and show me his horns, his real color after shattering whatever fragment of my heart was left.
I don’t think anyone has had more painful heartbreak stories than mine; if you think otherwise, that you have had a worse heartbreak experience than me, please come, I will be here waiting. Someone told me we weren’t compatible; another said his mummy doesn’t approve of me; another said I was too short; one said I eat like a cow; one said since both of us are dark skinned, he wouldn’t want people to look for his children with torches at night; one said I was flat because I didn’t have a figure-eight shape, each gave his own excuse after getting tired of enjoying my satisfactory services. I didn’t blame them though because I didn’t think there was any normal guy who knew me then that didn’t want to bang this hot chic speaking with you today!
I never knew that all the previous heart breaks I had encountered were just rehearsals for what Daniel planned to do to me. May it never be well with his soul!!! So, Daniel, my one-time secondary school through University part-time boyfriend approached me, promising to marry me. At first, I was skeptical about the whole idea because the tell-tale signs of his cheating were evident but I decided to ignore them. I was desperate to get married and my desperation made me get myself hooked up with Satan himself in human flesh, who wanted to finish me _kpata kpata._
Can you imagine that Daniel stood me up at the alter, just before he said ” I do”?! He claimed that his action was a payback for hurting him in SS1, the time I left him for one fair, handsome, athletic
SS3 boy who was the then Labour prefect.
After that unfortunate incident, I vowed never to have anything to do with men. You could call me a misandrist then, because that was exactly what I was. I hated men, I believed I was the captain of the “men are scum” gang. I didn’t believe in love anymore and soon, the four of my friends in my clique left me in the group of singles and tired the knots with their better halves. I also hated attending weddings because my function had shifted from being the bride, the centre of attraction to maid of honour to regular bridesmaids to being an usher. I hated everything about weddings because it reminded me of the trauma I was made to face in the hands of Daniel.
Light once again shone in my direction when Sylvia, my childhood best friend asked me to be her maid of honour at her wedding. Although I blatantly refused initially, I had to succumb later on due to her constant persuasion; and I am glad that I did. However, things didn’t become rosy immediately. Firstly, the seamstress did a good job in sewing an oversized gown, something similar to those Pentecostal evangelists, who preach at markets with megaphones. Then, the make up artist complemented what the seamstress started. I was literally “the Beauty and the Beast” in one body. If you looked at me with only your left eye open, I was Beauty; but with the other, I was the Beast. I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the strap of my high heel shoes cut during the procession of the couple and when I bent to address the situation, I heard a loud _”tyaaaaaa”_ sound coming from the back of my gown. I felt frustrated, really and I wanted the ground to just open and swallow me.
However, as I counted my woes that day, I also made sure to count the blessing I received that same day; one I am still very grateful for till tomorrow even. That day, I made a lifetime friend, Yinmi. He happened to be the best man to Susan’s husband and so, we were made to pair. Ladies, I am sure you can imagine how awkward it would be walking side by side a guy who looks so handsome, perfect and all whereas you look so untidy. That was my predicament. What surprised me is the familiarity Yinmi showed towards me like we didn’t just meet that day, he was so caring and he made efforts to conceal every of my shortcomings in my appearance by letting me sit in one place while he attended to any task that required my assistance. He was and still is a gentleman indeed!
After we exchanged contacts that day, we started talking very frequently. I noticed that we had a lot in common, he had a strong vision and was goal-oriented. He told me of his plans for his future; being the leading fashion designer in the world and jokingly include me, being his top model. He made sure to reveal his multi talented nature to me, he was an accountant, a fashion designer, a graphics designer and video creator, a musician, a guitarist and a good cook. He wasn’t so rich but he sure knew how to complement the lack of money with punch lines, one which could make any lady catch feelings instantly.
Due to the tightness of our respective schedules, we didn’t have frequent dates. However, he opted that we spent our weekends together, attending weddings with matching outfits, pretending to be a couple initially because he claimed to enjoy the match we made at my friends wedding, but later on, I realised that we had already long been a couple. Some other times, we would just hand out at the home of either of us, doing regular stuff like washing clothes, cleaning, reading novels, cooking together, telling each other stories, watching movies and finally, making love.
I had even forgotten about this experience until I stumbled upon a photobook in our bedroom, four years ago. It contained several pictures, ranging from my single and searching period to my depressed and angry period to the embarrassing wedding to the numerous hangouts Yinmi and I hadand finally to our wedding. I couldn’t contain the laughter in my system. I picked a picture and remembered how he held my waist like a fragile egg and I, his shoulders, looking straight at each other, lost in the orbs of the other and then at another, where we stuck out our tongues in a selfie mode, he behind me and with his hands resting calmly somewhere below my waist. The funniest was our wedding photo. I laughed at how hilarious it was, we looked like we were going to swallow the other’s lips, and I actually was. I even thought of asking the officiating priest to just get a foam because _we die there!_
Tears of joy flowed freely down my cheeks and I held the bump on my tummy and said to myself “Let’s go to the kitchen so that when Daddy comes home from his meeting with his foreign clients, he would be so proud of his junior and senior baby girls.”
My story thus points out the fact that every disappointment is a blessing and as long as there’s life, there is hope. If my story didn’t encourage you to keep on expecting good in life irrespective of whatever ills you have faced, I don’t know what else would.
I would live to stay longer but I have an important duty to attend to. I know many of you would have questions to ask and I sincerely apologise for not being able to do so now. However, you can always reach out to drwaters who would be glad enough to pass your questions across to me.
Thank you once again for having me.
God bless you all!!!
ARINZE DANIEL UDOYE
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, NIGERIA