BY CHRIS IHIDERO
How is heaven today? Trust you’re good.
How can I be asking sef, as if you will not have found a way to put together a performance if heaven ever turned out to be boring…is it not you?
So soon it’s been two years. Okay, I can’t lie; time hasn’t made losing you any easier. But somehow, I think I am coping better these days. Or something like that.
Anyway, I am writing you today because I have loads of gist for you, and I remember how you loved gists! So, where do I start?
So, we had a Bomboy. We call him Izzy. He’s so fine! And playful. And stubborn: he abandoned breasts at 14 weeks, a child of mine o, can you believe? And he didn’t crawl; he just stood up one day and now he has started taking first steps. I wonder where he got all of that from.
You know the name would have been Audrey or Amaka if he had been a girl, right? I’ll never forget how you were there for us for the one that didn’t stay.
So, more gist! Went to see Roo in school the other day. So so proud of the young woman she’s turning into! We spent the day gisting and eating scones and other medemede in a pub. She’ll make herself proud; she’ll make you proud. Have no fears ma’am, you raised a good child. I haven’t seen much of Papi and Danny boy but have no fears; they will be fine too.
I told you about MTVShuga the last time, right? So guess what I’m doing now? I’m working on an M-Net production, can you believe it? I kept feeling somehow at first, like I was betraying you or something. Remember all your quarrels with them and how in spite of it all you still remained friends? It’s good work, ma’am, and I hope you’re watching and I hope I’m making you proud. As I write or break stories I always remember your words: “Drama for Nigerians must be made like Igbo soup: it must have stock fish, dried fish, smoked fish, different kinds of leaves because that how we are. You must create something that everyone can find the one they like inside.” Guess what, your guy, RMD, is playing the lead role! So, you and me have now been involved in productions with RMD in a lead role. *Hi five*
It would be nice to hear from you. I know I have made the right calls; I can feel it deep inside me. It would just be nice to have your confirmation.
You remember my dad also left a year ago last week, right? It’s tough not to have both of you around at the same time. You were both my rock. But I’m good. Getting used to being the one there for others now…I guess that’s the way life goes.
So I started Chris Ihidero’s StoryStory last year. Okay, let me confess: that’s in your memory. It’s the least I could do. No jor, I’m not trying to pay back. I can never pay you back. I just thought to continue from where you stopped and since we both agree that storytelling is what the main problem is, well I had to go that way. I started the workshop by telling them all about you. I think I mentioned your name like 1 million times in the three days the workshop lasted…your ears must hurt. Sorry! We are doing the 2nd edition in the last week of May.
Ugochinyelu Umuaba, I will honour you, as long as God gives me breath.
Thank you again, for everything. And I still miss you daily, but I’m coming into a good place now, a place of acceptance and submission to God’s will.
Come to me sometime, will you? Perhaps in a dream or something? Tell me that I am right by dismissing people’s fears concerning your legacy. Tell me that I am right in insisting that your true legacy was always in people and not products. Tell me that my conclusions that it’s unimportant whatever has happened since you left are the right ones, that in the end all will be well and that as long as all isn’t well, then it’s not the end. Please come soon. It would be nice to hear from you. I know I have made the right calls; I can feel it deep inside me. It would just be nice to have your confirmation.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry this year. I want happy memories on this day henceforth. So I am not crying.
Take care of yourself, say hi to Uncle Efere; I am sure he’s troubling heaven somehow.
I will talk to you again soon.
I bow in eternal gratitude to you, Uzoamaka Audrey Igwe (Nee Isaac-Ene) Boss, Teacher, Friend, Big Sister, Paddy of Life!
P.S: Your MOPICON people have come again o! All the usual suspects are involved but don’t worry about it; we will fight them just as you did.