I am not that musically inclined to certain genres or even poetic cultures but I have heard stories that set some artistes apart from others. Some of these speak so fast on their tracks that I cannot hear a word they say. Sometimes it is not speed, it is the language. They say of some of these wordsmiths that they, do not write their lyrics. They will hear a beat and if they like it, they will enter the booth without notepad or pen and speak lines in rhymes never heard of before. After a little while in there cooking, they will walk out with a masterpiece. After a few adjustments, tweaks and mastering, a banger and a hit is ready to be served to the world. What takes other artistes in the same field two weeks to write one verse, they make a world class album that breaks a record in the same time. Their contemporaries have to fly to get something they only need to walk to. This is mastery. 

I do not rap. I have never desired to rap. I never saw myself as a record-selling artiste. Not once. However, I have always had a penchant for sharing stories. This is not just the telling of my stories but hearing those of other people. There is something uniquely different about each one of us. Interwoven in our intricate being are thoughts not yet communicated, words unspoken, dreams unrealized and hope we look forward to standing over those that have died within us. I like knowing these things. 

I have a friend who likes knowing people’s last words before they die. He is obsessed with that. We think he is weird for it. He thinks we are weird for not wanting to know what that parting shot is for everyone that has transitioned. He wants to know the last thought they shared. What is it they did not want to leave the word absent mentioning? These words are not for heaven and they make it a point to leave them on earth. In a way, I relate with his quest but not directly. For me, before you get to the last moments of life, sit down with me and tell me what makes you you, where you came from and where you see you going. Peradventure, our dreams may meet somewhere and I would have never known if I had never asked. Maybe I can be an addition to your aspirations and facilitate a dream in some shape or form, God being my help. 

I have always been inquisitive. I like to know. I do not see anything as beyond knowing. If I need to know it, I will. Somewhere along the way this hunger has led to things I never should have known but at least now I know what I should not have known.

I needed a vehicle to have these conversations. Being a solution architect, I decided to write. It is not one of those things that come as easily to me as those rappers I spoke of. On the spectrum, I share places with those who carry a myriad of ideas and their fingers freeze when it is time to pen them. Thoughts, by the thousands, swirl in my mind about all the things I want to write about. Valid things, to me at least, that I care about and think are worth sharing. For the life of me, I do not know if it is you lot that scare the hell out of me because once I write it and share it, all and sundry can judge me however they please. It has gotten better though. Challenges like these make it easier notwithstanding the ‘challenge’ part of it coz phheww, WinterABC does not joke with its daily topics. Look where we are – the day before last. If you see me, rub my upper back gently. I will know you read this. I appreciate you. 

Because writing can be a struggle, I picked another vehicle, not abandoning this one, clearly. After a long gestation, Qweshunga emerged. It is not a replacement child, it is one I find less cumbersome to raise. Judge me. I expect it. Talking, unlike writing, is a lot easier. There is room for edits, multiple takes and I get to apply myself in some other aspects of my life that I hold dear like fashion and set design. Much of what we discuss on there I could have written about but when you check it out (which I beseech you to), you realize quickly that it is better that way. 

When you ask what fuels my creativity, the answer is life itself. We are complex beings in a complex world. The one sure way I have found that we can try to make sense of all of it is through conversation. When I ask you to “stay with me, let’s jazz”, I crave your answers and replies and comments. Do not get it twisted, I am not asking you to agree but be respectful with your divergent opinion. I am not asking you to like because if you drill down, you have found yourself advocating for peace talks between warring factions for nothing else but a little understanding and harmony. 

It might be your story that alters the course of someone’s life for the better. Your story and the telling of it might change you first before anyone else. I know a thing or two about the impact of narrating a personal tale (written or said). It makes demands of you and takes you places you did not imagine you’d go or had been avoiding. It leaves behind a relief, a burden shed off and a weight lifted. It leaves clarity, of a few things that once stood behind the fog. 

I am a story. You are a story. Let’s tell of ourselves and by that, per chance, allow others to break out from the shell and tell their story if they want to. A challenge like WinterABC is one way to start. Each day lays the onus on you to deliver on something you did not conjure up. And if you, struggle with it as you might, you will be proud that you did. And you will learn. But that’s for blog 20. See you there.