Friday, 14 November 2014

Seem missing: Ufuoma Stacey Ejenobor

This beautiful actress that had thrilled us in her movies with her awesome performances seem to have been no where to be found lately. Speculations have it that work is affecting her marriage hence her need to stay clear of. But the beauty queen insisted in an interview that her marriage has no influence in her career as she has done movies that are yet to be released. Presently she is working on producing a television programme. She recently featured in 'Hear Word', a stage drama directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa. The stage drama was Ufuoma's first stage drama performance and she acted alongside super stars such as Joke Sylva, Iretiola Doyle, Taiwo Ajai Akande, Kate Henshaw, Rita Edwards and others.

The Benin City born, Delta origin Ufuoma was born on 23 April 1981. She had been a lover of the screen as a child. She had her secondary education at Federal Government College Odogbolu, Ogun state, where she graduated as Head Girl in the 1998/99 session. She went on to bag a degree in French from the University Of Lagos, Nigeria where she also did her Masters in Public and International affairs. Ufuoma is married to a European man Steven McDermott with whom she has a son.

Ufuoma started as a photographic model in 2000 and later moved on to runway modelling and then to pagentries. She was first runner up Miss Nigeria 2004 and that qualified her to represent Nigeria in Miss Earth World. She was also first runner up Queen of all nations pageant in 2003 and Queen Afrik in 2002. She won Miss Congeniality in Miss Commonwealth pageant in 2002 and winner Miss Ebony in 2001. She however has bowed out from modelling.

She played a Detective role in her first movie 'The President must not die' where she acted alongside Late veteran actor Enebeli Elebuwa and the current Actors Guild of Nigeria President Ibinabo Fiberesima. The movie was directed by Zeb Ejiro and released in 2005. The last movie she was seen in, 'Private storm' was directed by Lancelot Odua Imasuen and released in 2010. Ufuoma acted 'private storm' alongside Ramsey Nouah, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, John Dumello and others.

Ufuoma has got several award nomimations. She has won the following awards- Go Red African Best Model in 2007, African Youth Society Role Model Award in 2009, She represented Nigeria in Miss Earth World in 2004. She also won 'Fille Africaine' at the Nigerian French Village in 2003, Best Model Award at the African Fashion show by the African heart foundation in 2007.

Ufuoma has tried her hand in presenting as she has hosted and anchored several events. She also featured in Lagbaja's music video 'dream come true' in 2006. She has also featured in Wale Adenuga's super story where she acted Joke in 'Everything it takes'. She played Lilian Wright in 'My Mum and I' television series. She also acted 'secret and lies' and 'Edge of Paradise'. Let us still wait to see her movies but till then she is still missing in her roles.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fair is more beautiful...

I and five of my course mates: Collins, Desmond, Emeka, Nonso and Okwy were chatting near the entrance to our department when a course mate, Ngozi greeted us as she passed and became the topic of our discuss.

Okwy changed the topic by commenting on how ugly Ngozi has become. Emeka concurred as he remembered how Ngozi used to be the most beautiful girl he ever known. Desmond who has a record of having dated almost all the fine girls in our department said he couldn't believe he once had a crush on her. Collins expressed surprise on how guys used to flock around Ngozi and think her the most beautiful girl in the department while Nonso called her 'ashawo'.

I was the last to speak, and have to hide a grimace at my friends surprised look even with my known habit of opposing the general view. I used their silence to drive home my point and showed them two different pictures of Ngozi on my phone; she was dark skinned in one and fair skinned in the other. I told them that they didn't allow themselves see that Ngozi is better with a fair skin because they were used to a dark skinned Ngozi.

This raised a heated argument as Okwy and Collins were almost won over by my point while Emeka, Nonso and Desmond maintained strongly their Ngozi-is-now-ugly opinion. Desmond retorted on how I allowed pictures fool me. Nonso asked them not to mind me as I always side bad things. Emeka called me unbelievable while Okwy and Collins were described as foolish and confused.

The argument continued till Dr. Okonkwo, the lecturer we were waiting for, drove into our department packing space; we rushed into our classroom still arguing.

Ngozi is one of the popular girls in my department. She was very dark, the kind of dark called ebony. She was my school's beauty Queen in my year one and was meant to contest for S.U.G Vice Presidency but was disqualified two days to the election because one of her opponents wrote a petition against her. Her opponent claimed that Ngozi was a prostitute hence her need to bleach. The department responsible for screening the contestants were convinced by the claim, while Ngozi's reasons for bleaching wasn't considered good enough even though she was more beautiful with a fair complexion.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

In their World...

I grew up under the roof of parents  who loved their children. Parents who were comfortable enough to get their children almost everything they needed. Top in my demands have always been toys and pets. In our home were various toys and teddys but pets were never there since  mum hated cats and dad hated dogs. This however didn't stop us_the children_ as we loved birds, fishes and other pets. Our parents didn't see the need to have birds caged up and call them pets or grow fishes in the sitting room.
Toys and teddy bears on the other hand, were never denied us, hence their abundance in our home.

I was the one who was obsessed with the toys and the teddys. I was the only one who took time to name all the toys and teddys and insist they were called by their respective names. I celebrated birthdays for my own toys and sometimes for my siblings'. My mum would call me 'nna nwa' and say I would one day make a good father.

By the time my elder brothers were twelve, they were already bored with toys while my obsession for toys only increased as I grew older. My mother had to complain as she couldn't understand why after age fourteen I still asked for toys and teddys. My brothers said it was sending wrong signals and creating a gay impression. My father insisted his son couldn't be a girl who likes toys and teddys. My kid sister always praised my love for toys and how I took care of them and this got me her friends' admiration. My friends called me childish saying I ought to be ashamed of myself and went on to make me the focus of their jests. I personally didn't get the 'toys-teddys' fuse.

Within me I knew I had reasons to love my toys and teddys. I wrote stories about them and told them those stories, a habit I formed as a child. By the time I was nineteen years old, nobody bought me any new toys or teddys as gifts. Mum passed a rule banning new toys and teddys for her young adult as she would call me. This didn't disturb me as I only increased  my fondness and bond with my old teddys as such that they became part of me. I took better care of them. I saw them now as my 'helpless' kid siblings; helpless because they couldn't talk to me. Musing over the words I told them and making no sense out of them was exactly why I loved them. I couldn' t reach out to them neither could I make them understand and see things from my point of view. The desire to have them understand me inspired my love.

Often times I sit to think how I could get into their brains. I wondered if they had a life among them even as they lay lifeless, if the teddys and toys existed somewhere I couldn't reach. If there was such a place, I sure wanted to reach it. I wondered if my toys' King and Queen were really King and Queen in their kingdom. I wondered if there were other Kings and Queens in their kingdom to share their throne.

And their subjects? Do my other toys come from the same kingdom as my toys' King and Queen? Do they enjoy being led by their King and Queen in their kingdoms as they enjoy it here in my room where I give them the orders, carry it out by myself and give them credit for their loyalty?

Too stupid for an adult I often thought but it didn't stop me from wondering if my toys frown at how they are treated by my family and perhaps decided to play the silent game with me to revenge their wrongs. I apologise on my family's behalf as often as possible, then pick up my laptop and type toy stories upon toy stories and buy newer toys without my mother's knowledge such that I created a toy kingdom in my bedroom smaller than the one I have in my room in school where no bans existed for toys. Ever wondering how life is in the toys' world.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Waiting for Somadina...

I waited for him for over two hours. I was bored stiff. I had eaten, drunk and sat there for what seemed like forever, yet he was no where to be found. I decided to keep busy with my phone. Switching on my data connection, I settled down to rid myself of boredom. There was a whatsapp message from him, the guy I have been waiting for, Somadina. The message simply read, 'waiting for Somadina? Never knew I could best you at your own game, I thought you were smarter than this. Well, I'm at the extreme, you could still come up...lolx'. 

I never believed I would be counted among the millions of people who go on blind dates. Before I started using the social networks and chat sites, I thought people who used them were stupid, those who have too much time on their hands. Not like I was anything more than a serious S.S 3 student at the time social networks became popular in Nigeria.

I started thinking of facebook after I saw my brother going through his facebook profile. I later created my own facebook account and got myself a profile on 2go. I got addicted to these two platforms that I was so sure I would have failed my WASSCE and JAMB woefully had I not created the accounts after these exams.

I started sleeping very late at night which made me doze during morning devotions. I took more pictures on my phone than I had ever cared to. I stopped making night calls and rarely joined in family discussions. Becoming taciturn was part of the bargain as all my talkings were done on 2go and on facebook as status updates or chats to my friends on these platforms. The few words I spoke were 'I.M', something my mother really frowned at. I read lesser novels than I used to, laughed more to my phone than with anybody, and charged my phone more than I did just about anything.
Such phone addiction was a big issue with my mother as she always threatened to seize my phone. My big brothers would have had issues if I had been found wanting in carrying out my duties or didn't maintain eye contact when they spoke to me, so I watched it. My younger sister couldn't wait to have her own phone to join the '2go-facebook' craze and she made a habit of looking at my phone screen over my shoulder something that often got me irritated and angry at her. I was not in the least bit perturbed by what anyone thought about my '2going' and 'facebooking' as those were the only things that kept me busy while waiting for admission.

I, just like many users of these social networks started going on blind dates and having online relationships. I got my first Blackberry phone from a guy I met online and that launched me into the league of 'pinging girls'. To my mother, I sold my phone to get the Blackberry phone. My big brothers understood their kid sister played some bad game. My kid sister only knew that I changed my phone. I got myself accounts in different banks for convenience just in case any of the online 'mugus' needed to send me some money.

My school admission list came out. I was successful, so off to school I went with my mother sounding notes of warning about my phone addiction which she called a great distraction. My roommate turned out to be an 'ultimate' when it came to online chatting, I was just a 'senior' compared to her. Whereas I never went on blind dates beyond my town of residence, hers was 'inter-state' which she claimed she limited in school to avoid distractions.

She couldn't convince me to do 'inter-state' blind dates but I learnt how to get transport fares for the dates even when I didn't plan on going for them. She also taught me what she called 'waiting for Gordot', which entails making a guy wait for me under the impression that I would join him soon whereas I had no intention of doing so.

To her, when a guy fails to pay his dues of more than one month data subscription, regular phone recharges and some money, and goes on to invite a girl for a blind date, such a guy should be allowed to 'wait for Gordot'. If the guy paid some of the dues, the blind date should be attended by the girl who should at least be some two hours late. However, when the guy paid all his dues, then being thirty minutes late should be considered fair enough.

It took me no time to start making guys 'wait for Gordot' and collect transport fares for 'inter-state' blind dates. I however never forgot school as I knew I couldn't go home with just any result. To top it all, my  aunt happened to be my H.O.D, hence  messing up wasn't allowed since my mother would have easy access to my results.
I started exploiting other social networks, I loved twitter for its class. E-buddy was just there. Smiggle was boring but happened to be my waterloo because that was where I met him. The guy that made me wait for Somadina and not Gordot.