Clear the Cobwebs

1999.

The New Year eve, December 31, 1999 was different in our home.

I had been raised to be as excited for the new year, but not with activities that surrounded my later years.

Red was my favourite color, and the morning of January 1 met me with a new dress to glow in, and prepare for Mass.

That eve, my father didn’t let me sleep into the new year, I remember him waking me up around 10.00 p.m.

“It is the new millennium, you will not enter it with a dirty body.”

I was upset.

“Daddy, I’ll take a bath in the morning.”

“No, you will take a bath now.”

I looked around, my siblings had complied. I got up, feigned getting out of my clothes enough to convince him I was headed for the bathroom, then hit the pillow again.

A few minutes to midnight, my mother, the indaboski of the house, came and carried me to the bathroom. I didn’t get the fuss about January 1 2000, and so I washed my body with sleepy eyes and irritation in my soul.

2010.

It was my first new year Eve as a married woman.

I had never attended a “crossover” thing at church. My husband was convinced it was fun, so I decided to tag along.

I couldn’t find anything for my fast growing bump, I eventually settled for leggings and a big shirt with a bow design in front of it.

This made me the subject of two rumours, some brought directly to my face and others behind my back: that I was too broke to afford maternity gowns and the second, that I had refused to let go of the ‘single woman’ sexiness and wouldn’t dress like a respectable married woman.

The first group have had to watch me wear whatever clothes I like through two more pregnancies, and I am convinced that they didn’t die. The second are repented and constantly besieging me for tips on retaining that figure and sexiness.

I liked the happy new year screaming, and the palpable hope in the air. I think sometimes, that a crossover church activity is one of the most positive energy laden space you can sit in.


2017 – 2018.

A handful of incidents created a shift in my life, church no longer meant what it meant to me. I had been pushed to the wall, and then the wall broken, so that I could fall off.

I stood in my room one day, desperately desolate and very broken at the reality that I had placed more emphasis on the building and people in it than was necessary.  I had asked God to let me find him before I went back.

With this request, came a tearing apart of everything I had ever known as the truth, came a confrontation of self, came a dismantling of belief systems, came the cure of existential myopia, came a broadening of mind, I was like a snake shedding off every particle of old skin.

With this, came the first realisation for me, that new years, new beginnings, didn’t have to be on January 1.

2021.

Sometimes, the things that we seek have been given to us in the past, but we have kept them aside, allowing dust and cobwebs to make a home of them.

So I have sat here, reading prayer requests and wishes on my social media platforms.

I began to wonder if I had new prayers, or new wishes. For every new thing or desire that I came up with, there was an instant impression in my spirit, that I had been given the wherewithal to get it a long time ago.

I said ahhh, my Chi is playing games with me, so I decided to open an excel spreadsheet. In no time, I was confronted with same -unfinished explorations of granted heart desires.

I sulked.

“Clear the Cobwebs.”

“I have heard!”, I mutter under my breath.

So may be this is you too, I hope there’s that small warmth and peace that comes with knowing that you are not alone.

And just so I wouldn’t be left out, I threw in a new year resolution -to drink more water.

Welcome still, to 2021.
Mask up,
Achalugo



_______________
On a recap note;

Here’s a few links to a bit of my Literary journey for 2020

My debut novel, Mmirinzo: the ones who are rain, was my best gift of 2020.

Mmirinzo: the ones who are rain
Here is a link to the unveil video: 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAShZEvFXxG/?igshid=1d2q96hvmplj2

It was first reviewed by Nze Sylva Ifedigbo here:

https://thelagosreview.ng/dancing-in-the-rain-a-review-of-achalugo-chioma-ezekobes-mmirinzo-sylva-nze-ifedigbo/



Flutterwave did a feature:

https://www.flutterwave.com/us/blog/how-to-sell-200-books-in-just-over-a-week-right-in-the-middle-of-a-global-pandemic-the-mmirinzo-story

Olaoluwa Oni wrote something:
Author of The YNBA, and finalist for the SpriNG women author prize (Yes, rooting for her), had a medium article:

“Bastions Butting Heads: On Reading ‘Mmrinzo’ and then Re-Reading ‘The Bottled Leopard’”  https://link.medium.com/wsoPwdukNcb


And then, my stage play –Daughters of the East, made me the first female winner of the Beeta Playwright Competition :

https://www.bellanaija.com/2020/07/beeta-playwright-competition-3/

I woke up to a fabulous article one day, I found the title very amusing and endearing:

https://bookartville.com/feature/ezekobe-novelist-and-playwright-sweeps-the-pandemic-aside/

Youtuber, Neztelly, gave us a lot of smiles with her review here:

https://youtu.be/RTZIDFsSO-0

Another YouTube review by Linda Binos reads :

https://youtu.be/0MXUw8DPoTA

Mmirinzo is available via:

Roving heights:

09092158968

https://rhbooks.com.ng/product/mmirinzo-the-ones-who-are-rain/

The Talent Booth Bookshop:
https://flutterwave.com/store/ttbbookstore/8ofwth3nxrmb

Ireferng (Lagos, Surulere pick up) option: 08106577279

Bookpeddlerng

08095925561

https://bookpeddler.ng/books/mmirinzo-by-achalugo-chioma-ezekobe/

Abuja:

The Bookmarketng: 08098826657

https://thebookmarketng.com/product/mmirinzo-the-ones-who-are-rain/

Anambra/Asaba
07033888403

Port Harcourt: Bookville world:
08165235460

https://bookvilleworld.com/product/mmirinzo/

So now, the question I have had to answer since the book was released -What is your next book about?

I don’t know yet, lots of story folders on my laptop. My daughter complains that I wrote a book that she cannot read because they say it’s for adults.

So maybe, my answer is a story for them.

Keep reading.


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