Been a while right? I know! And I missed you too! To compensate, how about we do one chronicle everyday of this week? Are you game? I know I am! #Letsdodiz!!
Working at Aso Radio and Television Services in Abuja was one of the best things I ever did, and apart from thanking God for the favour and strength He provided for me to carry out my duties there, I must thank Aro Leonard for insisting I go there (both in words and in deed)!
After the initial, really difficult days (especially the part about climbing up Katampe Hill that I never got used to), all of us corps members settled in nicely and began to function in our different roles.
Thanks to the large number of people at the station and their different personalities, I’ve got loads of stories to tell from the place. At a time the television arm of the station was going to start and so loads of people were employed to fill various roles, sophisticated equipment was purchased, experts in various technical fields were flown in from around the world, and it looked like Aso Television would trump even Al-Jazeera (at least that’s what we were gunning for)! Want to know what happened to that dream? Amongst other sources, google is your friend!
About the people, there were a couple offices I enjoyed entering, and a few I dreaded (for reasons best known to me and understood by anyone who’s worked there too).
One of my favourite offices was the newsroom. I used to say to myself that there was nothing happening on earth (official or unofficial) that couldn’t/wouldn’t come up as a discussion there. I remember even crafting an ad for it (that I played in my head on many occasions) that ran thus, ‘The Newsroom, for the latest and most up to date news, sizzling gossip, and accounts you can’t get anywhere else’! Do me a favour and insert the most dramatic soundtrack and effects of your choice!
Another favourite of mine was Accounts/Finance, sure you must be thinking, ‘duh, who doesn’t like the accounts department’? Well, so maybe I liked it for the reason you like your own finance department (gotcha!), but the truth is, I really liked the people there too.
Three people who stood out for me were Julius, Mr. Ben, and Ngozi Anyanwu, and for different reasons. Julius went above and beyond the call of duty in sorting out all corps members, he would help with documentation, and alert us if something didn’t look right on our sheets. And for no reason other than the largeness of his heart.
Mr. Ben always had a kind word, something encouraging to say at every time T. And even though he’s normally a quiet person, he would take the time to greet every one in a room he stepped into, not minding that we would all be his juniors (both in age, and in rank)!
Then there was Ngozi, chubby, vivacious, light-skinned beauty. From the first time I met her she had her hair cut low and had dimples so deep and sweet looking they reminded me I didn’t have any and increased my resolution to marry someone who has at least one!
And she was really nice to me, she was. I remember her small car she would use to drop my friends and I at the junction at the close of business; I also remember her endless teasing about my inability to hold my own in a conversation in Ibo. Heck, there was the day I needed to find out something that I remember had upset me even before I knew the details (of course it had to do with money). So I stormed into her office and when she saw my face even before I said anything she said, “today is Igbo Day in Abuja. Anything you cannot tell me in Ibo will have to wait till tomorrow”. I looked at her long and hard, and then I started laughing, because as my girls would say, that was ‘Jargo’ right there!
So Ngozi died of breast cancer this January. She was 38 years old, and left behind an aged mom, and siblings as she was unmarried. Cut down in her prime by cancer. I can only imagine the pain and the trauma her family will be going through if I who only knew her on a professional level feel this sad.
Ngozi, this chronicle is for you, because you were a wonderful person with a smile on your face, because you were kind and helpful to everyone, and because you helped improve my Ibo! I pray God strengthens your family at this time, consoles and comforts them like only He can, and grants you eternal rest by His side.
Now ladies, lets tell ourselves some home truths. Have you had your breasts examined? Do you know how to do the examination for yourself? Would you notice/be able to tell if something around your boobies felt different? Ignorance stopped being bliss a long time ago!
If you’re in Abuja, there’s the Bowling for Boobs event at the Dome on the 29th of January. You don’t have to bowl if you don’t want to, and it only costs a highly subsidized N1000 to get your boobies checked, and to learn to examine them yourself. Please, let’s at least take care of the things we can take care of. Do it for yourselves. Do it for Ngozi Anyanwu.
- Nigeria, 1966/World Refugee Day, 20 June 2012 (cathannabel.wordpress.com)