I was posted to Nnewi in Anambra State where I got acquainted with a young man named Onyedikachi. I called him Onye for short. We were lodge mates and pretty much became good friends. He was the most optimistic being I had ever seen. In the face of whatever difficulty, he saw nothing but blessings and glory.
He wasn’t much of a singer, but I guess that ‘show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are’ thing came into play. We both had everything in common. We shared ideas, pursued happiness, and hoped for better days to come. Until that very moment, FOREX was my only source of income, and that weighed me down a whole lot because I had thought that I would make it in life before graduating from school. The only thing that had power enough to lift the burden of such thoughts from my shoulders was Ogechi’s call, which didn’t come in often. And if I called, some guy would pick up and say he’s her manager and that she wasn’t available.
Hmmm. So I moved the good old days to the present and revitalized my Christian living. I and Onye went to church and prayed a lot. We became church boys. We even joined a drama unit in church where I got to discover more about myself. More gifts and talents of mine emerged from my inmost being. This was really good for me because I got to know what I needed to do and how to do them. I did a lot of creative writings, some of which I documented in my blog, and others far away from a second party. However, I made myself known by people as one who does such writings. After youth service, I worked as a broadcaster in a radio station and was a bit fulfilled.
Onye, who was more of a business man, began communicating with a relative abroad, urging her to keep her promise to send him some cars to sale and start life after graduation. He normally communicated with her via Skype. One of those days he introduced me to his relative and we got talking. Our steady communication built some sort of relationship between I and Onye’s relative, who was an unmarried lady in her early thirties, and she fell in love with my writings, music and poetry. She said I couldn’t afford toend as an ordinary university graduate working as a broadcaster in a local radio station. She asked if I would like further my studies abroad. I was so excited to hear that. She made necessary arrangements and made the funds for me to get avisa and fly abroad. I testified in church and everyone was happy for me. Onye went well with the idea of studying masters abroad and as such, dropped the idea of business and joined me.
We were set to leave, and a couple of folks accompanied us to Enugu airport where we boarded a flight to Abuja international airport. Our flight was delayed for a little bit. While we sat there talking and waiting for the flight to be ready, shouts of celebration right outside the airport caught ours and everyone else’s attention. We moved out to see what was happening and found that there was a crowd around an unknown personality, probably the governor or something. We went back and took our former positions on our sits. But the shout just wouldn’t stop and as such, we couldn’t enjoy our chat because of the noise. The noise kept drawing nearer and nearer unstoppably. I wondered what sort of person could pull such crowd. So my curiosity led me outside to see who it really was, and guess who it was; OGECHI.
This girl is a bomb! Mehn, she was becoming like Michael Jackson. I was amazed at this coincidence, but that was just the beginning of my amazement. Well, I would have loved to say a thing or two to her, but for the crowd I relented and let go. I found myself a spot from which I could view her clearly. She was signing autographs, responding to the press and doing all the superstar stuff. When I looked at her enough, I returned to Onye. He asked why I went to that extent just to get a clear picture of her. I told him I was her fan, and had wanted to see her for a long time now. Our discussion continued, but I wasn’t a part of it anymore.
I was thinking about so many things at the same time. As a matter of fact, I mind travelled. What brought me back was the crowd, which seemed to be drawing close to where I was sitting. I snapped out of it and tried to understand what was happening. I saw some people pointing their fingers at me and saying things I couldn’t hear. Then it dawned on me that Ogechi had seen me. But why all the talk and finger pointing? I couldn’t comprehend. Next thing that happened was that Ogechi screamed on seeing me, ran towards me, and jumped on me. WHAT THE HELL? I m..i..s..s..e..d.. youuuu, was the first thing she said to me. I was FLABBERGASTED! Ogechi! I called out in utter amazement. Yes dear, she replied all happy and smiling.
Suddenly the whole attention was on me. The press started commenting and asking questions immediately. I was live on AIT answering questions I hadn’t planned to answer anytime soon. Oh, what do we have here, said the press woman who headed the press team. ‘This is more like a happy reunion’ do you mind letting us in on what’s going on now? She asked Ogechi. And Ogechi began talking;
‘Well, I’ve been in the in the United States for the past fifteen months. I definitely missed a couple of people at home, and prince charming here happens to one of those I’ve missed the most.
‘Wow! I’m sure he’s glad to see you too’ said the broadcaster
‘(Confused) Definitely! I replied.
‘(To Ogechi) I heard you say something like ‘Prince Charming’; can you please say more about that?’ The broadcaster asked
‘W..e..l..ll.., I will, but definitely not today. Some other time I guess’ Ogechi replied smiling joyfully.
‘That seems to me like something private’
‘Apparently, prince charming here and your fans in Nigeria are glad to have you back in the country, and probably wish you wouldn’t leave again, which is not likely to happen. So can you please tell us how long we should expect to have you around?
‘On the contrary, I have come to stay. You see, my contract with my recording label abroad just expired and I refused to renew it because there are some people I really need to be with in Nigeria. If I had renewed that contract, that wouldn’t have been possible because I would still have to stay abroad. (Turns to the camera) So to my fans in Nigeria and Africa, it’s you me together forever.
‘You said there are some people you really need to be with here. Can you please name a few of these people and the roles they will play in your life which is more important than that which your recording label would have played? I know for a fact that they would have funded your account with some cool dollars. So who on earth would you forgo that for? The broadcaster asked.
‘Sometimes, our determination to excel in life can be outweighed by our willingness to accept our destiny’ Ogechi replied romantically.
‘So you’re saying destiny brought you back to home? The broadcaster continued.
‘Exactly!’ Ogechi replied
‘Well, that explains a lot. We’ll stick around and see how this turns out. (The broadcaster turns to me) So prince charming, would you say Oge’s sacrifice to leave the United States for the sake of some set of people, or should I say, destiny, is worth it?’
‘(Stammering) Y..e..a..h.., I would say it is, considering the fact that she left a lot of people who love her behind when she left to America, and some of those people have really longed to see and be with her all these years. Luckily for them, she’s back here to stay’ I replied with an attitude of less concern.
‘Do you in anyway happen to be one of such people?’ The broadcaster inquired.
‘(Stammering) Y..e..a..h.., I am. I’m one of her greatest fan. I’ve followed her right from the start’
‘Wow! That’s obvious enough. But isn’t there a little bit more to it than just a celebrity and fan thing? Judging from the look of things, I mean, her excitement on seeing you, the hug, you being here to pick her up, it seems there is. I bet she would have kissed you if not for the camera.
‘You know she’s been in America for a while. Judging from the Hollywood movies I’ve watched, kisses and hugs are like handshakes over there’ I replied.
‘That was a smart one prince charming. Can we know your name?
‘What is that, a name?’
‘Yes oo, a name. My name’
‘Why do you call yourself Jesusboy?’
‘Because Jesus is the One I claim’
‘Interesting. I guess you’ll have to pray for us then. (Turns to Ogechi) Well, we are set leave you to your fans now. It’s been a wonderful time out with you, and once again, welcome home. Any lasts words for our viewers?’
‘Yeah. (Ogechi turns to the camera) Thank you everyone, I love you all, I’m proud of you, believe in yourself and trust in God.
‘Well viewers that was one of Nigeria’s most talented singers landing all the way from the United States not to visit, but to stay. You can see her fans showing her the love she needs to keep going higher. I believe you all out there watching have in one way or the other joined to welcome her home. We’ll keep you posted on more celebrity talk as you stay with us. My name is Shola Ade, AIT.
Ogechi signed a lot of autographs afterwards. All the while, she didn’t let go off me. Anyone who saw the way she clung to me would not be mistaken to think we had something going. Indeed we had. But was it still alive?
TO BE CONTINUED…