Friday, July 11, 2008

Mother Love

They’ll love you in L.A Mum, I just know it. The City of Angels will finally have a genuine piece of the divine. You will get an agent, and a trainer, and a bunch of lawyers and a business manager and a publicist. You will get a personal assistant and bodyguards and a personal stylist. You will have an accountant and a yoga coach and a number of charities you support. You will be a celebrity.

You will go on the Oprah show and talk about how great it is to hit the limelight after 50, and you and Oprah and the one billion or so women watching will have half a dozen Aha! Moments and then you’ll sing. You will teach Martha Stewart how to cook an African dish on National TV. Please Mum, keep it simple. Fry dodo, or if you must cook soup, let it be egusi. Oh, and small balls of eba for the swallowing Mum, small balls for the swallowing.

You will move into a big house with a pool and a history. You will remodel the house and reinvent yourself. Inspite of your strongest urges, you will become a vegan. You will finally lose the weight you gained from bearing three strong sons, and from gathering for yourself the largest chunks of meat and fat from every dish you cooked. You will live on the treadmill until you are thin enough to jog on the beach with your trainer and your bodyguards, and the paparazzi.

You will get a famous yogi-to-the-stars and dabble actively in Pilates. You will do your best to get your body in its best shape Mum, and then you will use other procedures to add and subtract as you see fit. But all things in moderation. do not forget Kanye's mother and our very own Stella. I trust you will exercise your judgement as you always have. And don't worry, there are surgeons who can be counted on to do a good job on the down low, very hush hush. They say discretion is the better part of L.A.


Even though you are an L.A-based celebrity, you will not forget Nigeria Mum. You will speak of the country of your birth with nostalgia, but not too much. Measured wistfulness, Mum. You will romanticize your childhood: the 10 mile, barefoot journey to school, your struggling mother, your days in the village choir, especially Sunday services when you would unfailingly bring the entire congregation of quasi-heathens to tears with your gospel solos. Mention as often as you can how grateful you are to be in the Land of the Free. Stay away from those Naija people in Houston. They are bad news. Speak favourably of Nigeria, but do nothing to shatter Western myths of impoverished Sub-Saharan Africa; the junkyard of pity, and aid. The bastion of famine, and conflict, and AIDS.

You Mum, will be the continent’s brightest export, brighter even than blood diamonds.

You will take a leaf from Hip-hop. You will ‘have a beef’ with an established and successful female singer, preferably black. I would have suggested Whitney Houston but it would be a waste of time. In short, forget all the African American singers. Forget Mariah, forget Diana, forget Patti, never mind Mary J. and don’t even think an uncomplimentary thought about Tina or Beyonce. You do not want to offend Oprah (way too powerful), and Jay-Z has been known to stab people.

Call out Makeba (for her perpetual mama-ness), or Sade (for her irritating sultriness), or Kidjo (for her suspicious man-ishness, and also for that nasty haircut) -in short, whoever has an album that’s showing up on the charts. If you go to France, be sure to say something really mean about Asa. If you are in London, try and record a song with Amy Winehouse, but make sure Mark Ronson produces it, and keep a bodyguard and a can of pepperspray close. That girl can be a handful. Then when you are safely back across the pond, tell a magazine or E! Entertainment news how horrible it was working with Amy.

Beef can do wonders for careers. Just go to Lagos and ask Ruggedman, that's if he's not in London performing. Don't listen to that crazy Afeni Shakur and Marsha Wallace telling sob stories they've been telling for many many decades. Since the 90's.

Then there will be Vegas and Broadway. I can see it now: your being approached to have your own reality show. We'll have giraffes and Zebras on the lawn, and there'll be constant bickering among us, your sons. Who knows, you may be seeing a nice gentleman at the time, and maybe we'll lety him feature on the show as well. Whatever you do in L.A. Mum, don't act like Mariah Carey and have a marrige that will be an embarassment to your boys. Don't carry on like Hulk Hogan's wife or Ivana Tramp.

We'll be instant stars, all of us. But first you'll have to get the Network to talk U.S Immigration into forgiving my past deportations and letting me back into the country. I look forward to my first authentic U.S visa.

I will tell you more later Mum. But you better believe it. Your time, our time has come. I guess all that tithing and praying and fasting has finally paid off. I hope you renewed your pasport as I told you to months ago. I swear on my mother's life, mum. They'll absolutely love you in L.A.