Monday, 25 June 2007

Bush Doctor in The City. Vol 12

Bush Doctor in the City. Vol 12
The Bush Doctor was in a bad mood. He had just returned from a meeting with the new health commissioner who was brimful of heady ideas and ambitions. Eradicate Malaria in 10 years and Leprosy in 2 years.
‘Eradicate my nyarsh’ said the Bush Doctor on hearing this.
Though he hated Leprosy and was keen for its eradication, he wasn’t convinced of the commissioner’s credibility or sincerity.
The disease evoked horror and fear. You ran when you heard of Leprosy.
Many people had wives infected with HIV , Hepatitis and various other Viruses but no one wanted to kiss a leprous bride. The sixth year itch was who how the Bush Doctor referred to Leprosy. The Bacteria lives silently in the body for six years before manifesting as a numb pale rash.
The older Doctors were not bothered. They had seen many commissioners come and go.
‘Youthful exuberance’ whispered Dr Arugbo. He was the oldest practising Doctor around. To him everyone below 65 years was ‘youthful’.
The commissioner’s rhetoric was merely for the journalists present. Sound bites for the few people who read newspapers. He thanked the drug company from heaven as he called them,( Norvatis) for giving him the tools to do the job. They had provided trunk loads of MDT (Multiple Drug Therapy) to kill off leprosy (a task that must be done).
Suddenly, there was a presentation. The graphs showed that the highest density of Leprosy was in the Bush Doctor’s area. Everyone looked at him like it was his fault.
‘Twenty cases in that small Bush?’ asked the commissioner.
The speaker asked the Bush Doctor for a response.
‘I have only been in post two years. There were only twelve patients in the small leper colony we supervise when I started. Now we have twenty because eight joined after hearing about the excellent care we provide’.
‘You call having the highest prevalence of Leprosy in the area excellent care?’ asked the commissioner sarcastically.
It hurt. Here was a Doctor who three years his junior in Medical school lording it over him. And more so, this Doctor turned politician hadn’t practised clinical medicine of over 10 years now.
The Bush doctor almost screamed, why blame me for Leprosy? Is it my fault that after 4 years of taking Dapsone which proved ineffective, the patients have given up on western medicine all together?
‘Dapsone resistance has lead to poor compliance…’ the Bush Doctor began to mumble.
‘That is not good enough. You are failing in your duties. You should educate your patients about the new Dapsone, Clofazimine and Rifampicin therapy. Tell them I said Bang, bang, bang- Leprosy dey go’ said the commissioner beating his barrel shaped chest. They whole conference fell on each other laughing. As the Bush Doctor made his way back to his sit, he knew his heart had left the job. Given time his body would follow.
The Bush nurse walked into his office without knocking.
‘Why the face of thunder?’ she asked
‘Africa dies at the hands of Viruses yet they want to pursue Bacteria’.
‘Oh. This Leprosy thing. I saw the supplies you brought back’
‘Yes. Must be eradicated in two years. The jokers wouldn’t even take the medicine’.
The Bush Nurse walked across the tiny office and stood behind his chair. She massaged his neck.
‘Relax. I have an idea. We will get the Witch Doctor to dispense. Yes. Ground the tablets to powder, mix with palm wine and tell the Lepers the ancestors have decreed that they take this potent portion. They are mostly men so he can say their testicles will drop off in two weeks if they disobey the ancestral spirits. That should get their attention!’ said the Bush Nurse.
‘Ehen! Not only do you have magical fingers, you have a brain that works wonders. Mycobacterium Leprae; Bang, bang, bang, you don dey go’ said the Bush Doctor.
No such problem for the Bush Doctor in the City. None of his patients have Leprosy.
22-6-07. I.D. 50 year old female. Feeling low. Not going out. Anxiety. We discussed her thought patterns, moods and resulting actions.
I told her there was a relationship between Depression and a smaller than average Hippocampus (part of the brain that deals with Spatial recognisation). The significance is unclear though. Do you have a small Hippocampus because you are moody and sit indoors all day or do you get depressed because you were born with a small Hippocampus.
Incidentally, taxi drivers and migratory birds have large Hippocampi. (And we all know Taxi drivers are never depressed; they just keep on talking!).
Going out is an act of faith. An exercise in hope. A risk. A running attack into the future. The depressed have low hope and expectations for the future (short and long term) and so go out less.
If asked to go to another city for a party, the answer is No. They say No to everything and soon no one asks anymore.
Dressing up well is an act for the future. In the present there is the need for prophylaxis against nakedness and cold but in the future, there is the potential for the nice fitting clothes to get noticed and attract positive feed back.
Hope is needed to dress well and hope goes in depression. (Of course there are exceptions, so please don’t e-mail them).
The question is, should I ask depressed people to jump in the car, drive to a city they do not know, without a map or satellite navigation system, and go watch a comedy film? All this in the hope that their hippocampus might swell up.
I think I talked too much to this patient.
22-6-07. 40 year old lady. ‘What is wrong?’ I asked. ‘Everything is wrong’ she replied.
Issues in all departments. Lost son 14 years ago aged only 4 days. 2 daughter’s being difficult, husband upped and left two years ago and set up home with lady and now has a baby. Cannot loose weight. Low mod. Anxious. Ill mother. No time to enjoy life.
Life is hard.
She looks at me expecting to hear something.
‘You see, our memories are like a well arranged CD collection. Different genres of music are arranged together. No matter how long ago the track was recorded, when the CD is played, it sounds as clear as the day it was originally recorded. And once you start playing one country and western, you keep on playing other country and westerns’. Same with moods. Think about how rotten it is now and you remember how rotten it alway was.
Think about how good it is now and you remember how good life has always been.
Without trivialising you pain, I would not agree with you that ‘everything is going wrong’. I think, may be you just might be dipping into that memory store, feeling the shapes with your fingers, and picking out only a certain kind of ball’.
She wasn’t interested in anti-depressants. Wasn’t interested in counselling. ‘I will fight this myself’ she said. ‘Oh, no you wouldn’t’ I said in my mind.
She agreed to see the Community psychiatric nurse for at least one session of Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
I think I have talked too much again.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

London Marathon 3

At 12 miles, it was time to cross Tower Bridge. I saw Colin Jackson interviewing a runner on the bridge. (The only celebrity I saw). I began to drink like a camel, but unfortunately didn’t have a bladder like one. We were peeing in the bushes. It was like everyone had a full bladder but marked their time to see who would go first. Once a chap made a detour for the bush, any bush, it gave everyone a licence to urinate. There was no shame. If the bush was high enough the women joined. Not so for the elite runners though. We heard they just did the business down their legs. With over £100,000 at stake I don’t blame them.
If no spectators come, there is no race. The noise from the crowd is like a petrol nozzle up your engine. It fires you on. There was a slight problem though. Babawilly doesn’t translate well into English.
One woman shouted ‘come on Babawilly, prove it!’.
Next year, I will have BABAWILL on my T- shirt.
Some spectators brought sweets, water, fruits and music. Some church bands sang along the way. For slow Virgins like us, the encouragement is vital. Large noise and cheering is like an adrenaline transfusion. I have seen with my own calf muscles that with the right encouragement, Impossible is really nothing.
Slow Virgin
Like a slow train
through London
We run and perspire
Number on our chest
Our goal the finish line
For miles on a full bladder
Each tree looks inviting
The crowds cheer our
heavy steps
It is the story of life
many start
not all finish
An ocean of heads
A meandering train
First class is up front
The lesser talent at the rear
A medal awaits
Each one from each carriage
On account of the speed
This is the slow Virgin
Dr W Orhiunu
My Time
(Virgin trains operate in the UK)
The Wall!
I hit the wall at Mile One! By Mile 20, I had hit a planet. I was so hot; I smelt like Suya on a grill. Then the hamstrings went into cramp. Next thing the muscles began to talk to me individually. Right Peroneus longus and Brevis said ‘Babawilly, Persin wey said Peroneus no go sleep, im sef no go sleep’.
Quadriceps Femoris, Semimembranosus, Latissimus Dorsi and Trapezuis, all started doing a national conference with me. Muscles I hadn’t thought about in ages.
I was glad to queue for the toilets and rest. Then there’s the friction burns. The thighs rubbing, the buttocks grating, the toes on the trainers, blisters on the heels, the nipples being sand papered by the T-shirt, the arms against the arm pits and the scrotum against the thighs. And once the skin gets raw, that salty sweat stings up the whole place. I guess that’s why we apply so much Vaseline for the moving parts and plasters over the static parts.
Mile 24
Running along the embankment, you know the end is nigh. My whole body became on massive lump of cramp and I had to walk to the finish line. From here on, no toilets. There are crowds everywhere, so no chance of Bush action. I just couldn’t pee on myself so I suffered. This must be the closest a man could get to labour pains. Cramped up body, six hours of Sun, full bladder and I couldn’t cross my legs. I was about ready for my Caesarean section!
All runners are happy to see Big Ben and at 26 Miles you are grateful to see Buckingham Palace. I suspect this race course has been designed to psychologically programme you into associating all good things with the British Parliament and the Royal family. Boy, was I glad to run past the Palace. When I finally went over the finish line I begged them for two medals as I felt that my efforts deserved two.
She smiled and gave me just one.
(One man, one medal. No rigging, no shaking!)
The End.
(For Pidgin English Dictionary and Kilimanjaro Travelogue)

London Marathon 2

22-04-07. 6.30am
D Day. Lazy in bed. Felt stiff from all that driving from Birmingham to London. Shower, and then adjusted my coral beads. (My latest fashion statement- the South-south look). The necklace had to be shortened and held down with safety pins to make running easier. (See photo). At this point, I thanked God that I didn’t have breasts.
Was getting late. Left by 7.10am with cousin who had now returned from night shift. He didn’t have a clue how to encourage someone about to undertake a big task (or perhaps was too tired to care).
At Sutton station there were no trains (Up British Rail!) and I was soon on a Coach to West Croydon to arrive 8.10am.
I was late and sweating. The race starts 9am for elite women, 9.25am for the Wheel Chair Marathon and 9.45am for elite men and the masses (me). And you sabi say the only African time that will be on display will be the victory times of the Black athletes. I began to calculate and pray at the same time. A skill all Nigerian have acquired while driving on Nigerian roads.
I had hurriedly put just £5 in my pocket and left my wallet and credit cards back in my cousin’s place. Train transport was free for all runners who display their running numbers so I thought I didn’t need money. I began to rehearse how I would convince the cab drivers to take me to my Blackheath starting point on credit. I began to blame myself. Why was I late? Why did British rail close Sutton station. It will be sad to go home without a medal.
As I came off the bus, a chap called me. He was looking lost. Was from Northampton and needed get to the Marathon starting point. I on the other hand had lived in Croydon before. Off to the cab office. £23 to Blackheath. His mum brought out the cash. Hallelu..Halleluyah.
God said I will go ahead of you….
Race. 10am.
I ran for ages and got very angry at the first sign. ONE MILE. Only?? With all this sweat and thirst? 25 miles to go. God help us. At 3 Miles I saw the Vittel water sign. The shock. The water had finished. Na lie. People started looking on the road at the empty plastic bottles for remnant water. Some spectators were tipping water into bottles to make up a good quantity for drinking. God alone knows what mouths had been on the bottles before they got thrown on the dirty road. Omo, I rush the bottle. Disease no dey kill African man; (only poverty and Aids).
Where are all those Lagos street hawkers selling ‘Pure water’ when you need them? Make dem give dem Visa now!
I even wrote a poem for them in my book- My Time and dem come let me down like this.
Pure Water
Pure water, pure water
The little boy said
Will quench all your thirst
And cool down your head
It is good for madam
Perfect for Olga
Pure water pure water
The little boy said
Dr W Orhiunu
My Time

London Marathon 1

LONDON MARATHON – 22-04-2007
Julie Andrews (Maria) sang in the Sound of Music; let us start from the very beginning, a very good place to start. And so I proceed to 490 BC.
There was war between the Greeks and the invading Persian armies. The Greeks won the battle of Marathon and Miltiades (Greek Army leader) sent word of the victory to the King via a runner Pheidippides. (You might wonder why he didn’t send a text message, or flash (Naija style)).
Poor (or patriotic) Pheiddippides ran the full 42.2Km at full speed to the Palace and promptly died after delivering his very important message.
If na Naija, e for climb Okada. E fit even branch Mamaput for pounded yam and pure water. Between ‘swallows’ he will surely mutter, ‘man pickin no go die for government work’.
If na mai village Pheidippides die, dem for ‘forbid’ running that distance. But Europe different. Na that 42.2 Km na im we dey all run till today; so God help us.
Back to the present. 21-4-07.3.30pm
I am driving down the M25 to the Excel Centre to register for the race. Paul Play’s Angel of My Life is playing and I cannot help wondering. Has Paul in all his playing considered that women like Angels can grow wings and then fly away? One has to call his babe Angel with some trepidation!
All my people are voting for our next Nigerian president back home.
At the Excel centre, I join a queue and hand over my letter bearing my running number 15900. I get handed a bag, which contains a computer Championchip, and running numbers for my bag and vest.
Everything went smoothly. Well, they wrote my surname incorrectly but hey, what’s new there?
For those who don’t know, the chip is what makes ‘rigging’ the race impossible. For starters you lace the chip to your trainers for the race and your progress can be tracked as you run across various sensors that have been placed across the road. If not sharp guys fit enter train, empty bucket of water on im self and appear at the finish line as winner.
Cousin’s House .7pm
(Not quite. Every family friend in Nigeria is a brother or cousin and every mansion, flat or rented room is a house)
Eat dinner with cousin. Was working a night shift so left me at home to sleep. But not before he wound me up. ‘Wilson, abeg on your way back from the race tomorrow buy Malt and canned drinks. You need to replace what we have drank’ he said.
I could believe my ears! After 26.2 Miles, make I go shopping?
I did some breathing exercises.
‘Look, you should get yourself to the finish line and help me home. Am I not your guest? I am buying nothing’ I said.
‘Abeg buy the drinks’ he said.
I was perplexed. We grew up together. Our fathers entertained each other in Lagos. Is this what living in England can do to a man? Too much night shifts and too little social interaction. Na wa!
The weather forecast was hot, hot, and hot. I begin fear.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Love Poems

Lip stick Pregnancy
Her lip stick dey bright
Mai throat come enta
I kiss am sotey
Lip stick finis for im lips
She rub am again
I kiss am comot
She tell me say I go buy market

I reach haus refuse eba
You chop outside?
I say yes mama.
Wetin you chop?
Palm oil stew
E belleful you?
Yes o. I don get belle.

Philomena Ibe
Will not look away
When for her Emeka is searching
She’ill quicken her strides
And soon be beside
Emeka, and start Imo kissing.

Imo kissing, Imo kissing
Philomena loves Imo kissing
The taste of his lips and
The warmth of his love
is what Philomena calls
Imo kissing.

It Does

Don’t ask how
That bird flies across an ocean
It does
It does

Don’t ask how
The baby knows its mother
It does
It does

Don’t ask how
The earth just keeps on spinning
It does
It does

Don’t ask how
My heart could love you so much
It does
It does

In Love

Like a gentle water fall
To my soul
She soothes me
I experience the impossible
She tells me I am her man
And I believe

Butterflies flutter in my spine
Molten love transcends
My being
Is that a loin I see
waving at me?
Is that crocodile really
Kissing the Zebra goodnight?

Love is everywhere
I see stars and moon dancing
Dancing with the sun
Is it noon
Or night
So hard to tell
when you are in love


Good has come to me
Dressed in colourful apparel
Good has come
With long hair,
a big smile,
lovely perfume

Good has danced with me
we moved as one
Like partners from another life
Good is a girl
I met today
A girl called…..Omoge

Bush Doctor in the City. Vol 11

The Bush Doctor knew he was in a crisis. The whole Bush knew he was in a crisis. It was so bad that last night he referred 12 patients to the witch Doctor. The wards were overflowing.
Lassa fever had struck. Unmistakable rashes, sore throat, bloody diarrheoa, bleeding from the nostrils and lymph glands popping up ever where like Bush rats; Bush rats called Mastomys natalensis.
The Bush Doctor had warned them not to drink garri.
‘Make eba with hot boiling water. The rats have been feeling on the garri spread out in the sun. Their saliva carried the Lassa fever virus. Boiling hot water will kill the virus’ he had warned during his health education classes. No one listened.
‘We have been drinking garri long before you came here’ Mumu had said.
There was no need to say ‘I told you so’. The patients all said it. They should have listened.
The big city hospital had been informed of the outbreak and they were ‘looking into it’ from a distance. The courier brought two courses of Ribavirin tablets with a note to say more was on the way. ‘Tell them they should know I need intravenous stuff here!’ he screamed at the poor messenger.
The Bush Doctor put himself and the Bush nurse on the treatment.
‘Someone has to be alive to look after this lot’ was how he justified his actions to the Bush nurse. She took the course willingly.
No scarcity of Anti viral treatment for the Bush Doctor in the City. He has a Specialist for every Virus.
12-6-07. 1pm
Have come for my weekly dose of continuing education. A special lecture this time. The David Perry Memorial lecture to be given by Dr David Mutimer. Liver specialist at the QE Hospital. Birmingham.
At sit in the quiet hall and do what all good Doctors do at such meetings; let the mind wander.
Chief Basorun Moshood Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the Nigerian Presidential elections held on the 12th of June 1993 which was subsequently annulled (eleven days later) by the then military head of state; General Ibrahim Babangida.
And right now as I sit in this lecture theatre, Nigerians are again crumbling about the recently conducted elections which many claim was flawed.
Democracy infection leads to a carrier state ie chronic democratitis. After a few years this leads to Democratic cirrhosis and that in turns leads to Democratic failure or Democratic cancer and eventual dermocratic death and that……..
My neighbour sneezes and I am back to reality. ‘Bless you Doctor’.
Now the topic is nasty Hepatitis B.
644,000 deaths a year. Prevalence in Nigeria >10%. Chineke! That means in any group photograph containing over 10 persons at an Owambe party, at least one person has Hepatitis B.
It is also the number one preventable disease (by way of a national immunization programme) that people die of. Next being Measles; 610,000 deaths a year.
The slides of the world map, where the highly prevalent areas were painted bright red, came on. Nigeria even looked redder than most. Chineke! Or perhaps I should cream, Oghene!
Then came the slides where countries with immunization programmes were coloured differently from the rest. Cameroun stood out next to Nigeria, for having a vaccination programme for neonates against Hepatitis B. (I thought we were richer than them).
The UK has no programme as endemicity was low. However all pregnant women were screened and if found to be positive are followed up after delivery. The babies were immunised at birth to prevent infection.
Dr Mutimer noted his patient numbers have been going up in the last few years due to immigration from India , Africa and parts of Europe. These are places with high prevalence but no immunisation policy against Hepatitis B. (I suppose in Africa they have more pressing issues like Aids & Egunje abi?).
For Nigeria , it will make good sense to jab all babies with the Hepatitis B vaccine. The risk of being a carrier is 100% when infected at birth, 50% when infected as a toddler and less than 5% when infected as an adult.
After 30 to 50 years of being a carrier, the disease (Chronic Hepatitis) progresses to Liver Cirhosis and then to Liver failure or Liver Cancer). Like HIV, the replication of the virus (how many pickin di virus dey born) with determine how fast the liver damage progresses.
Rather than say God forbid three times, you need a hepatologist and some very expensive medicine.
At the QE hospital they start with Lamivudine,(Cheap but with a 70% incidence of resistance in about four years) and add Adefovir, when the Viral load starts to rise again. Three monthly blood tests are essential to keep an eye on viral load.
My mind begins to wander again.
Enemies of democracy are viruses. What drug will work for Naija.
Did I hear someone sneeze, ‘coup-divudine?!’ . ‘Bless you Doctor’.
Special thanks to Dr David Mutimer for kindly e-mailing me a copy of his power point presentation- Heptitis B. Threats! & Promises?. The David Parry Memorial Lecture. Good Hope Hospital. June 12th 2007.
Reference-Anyabolu I Oliver.(2000). Classic Publishing Company Limited. Nigeria ,Past to the present.pp158

Monday, 11 June 2007

Judas- A Poem


There’s a Judas in your pocket
Cheap plastic dressed in gold
A fancy snare in your wallet
That robs till you are skint and old

Coiled up cobra in your pocket
Will pounce at each bargain
Buy now, good friend, and slave later
Brick by brick build up your mountain

At the sales will be a saviour
But cometh the judge, cometh the traitor
Betrays the secret spending
With statements so revealing

Curse the day you meet your Judas
He has a master, who is not you
Behold sharp scissors, slit its bowels
Kill that Judas and start anew.

Dr Wilson Orhiunu
June 2007

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Amazing Grace by Jeta Amata

Amazing Grace BY Jeta Amata.
Nigeria is known for inventing a few things. Four one nine e-mails, Lassa Fever, Afro-beat and to that I must add, giving the world the tune to Amazing Grace.
Yes, I have just watched Jeta Amata’s film. ‘Where have you been?’ you ask. Same question I ask myself.
The film is a gem. You must see it. If you have, you must watch it again. It’s the best film out of Nigeria ever and there are non of the usual female leads (special thanks to the requirement of being able to speak Efik).
Now, the story is about John Newton’s experiences as a Slave trader in Old Calabar. He learns about the humanity of the ‘African savages’ and indeed concludes in the end that they are all one of God’s creatures.
John Newton (24-7-1725 to 21-12-1807) penned the hymn Amazing Grace to the tune of an Efik song he heard while in Calabar and also as a result of his conversion to evangelical Christianity.
I am no film critic but persin still fit tok wetin im eye see (abi I lie?).
Film starts with a peaceful scene of communal harmony then Maria Davies (Joke Silva) starts her narration (Lovely voice). ‘It’s Titanic all over again’ I moan to myself but soon get used to her voice.
The brutality of the slave trade is on display.
A particular character, a Mr Fix it for his Oyinbo oga is Orok (Itam Williamson). He seemed always at pains to show how tough he was. Even when lifting frail little girls he huffs and puffs. A real Uncle Tom he was.
Will not spoil it for you by going into the plot.
The music was good and writing very good. Although the film was written by Jeta Amata, the credits at the end of the film read – additional writing by Nick Moran and Scott Claverdon. It showed. The English use there language differently.
My favourite dialogues was between Newton (Nick Morran) and Oliver Platt (Scott Claverdon ).
Platt was about to shoot Etim (Fred Amata) who had been wrestled to the ground and Newton says to Platt ‘Don’t shoot, a creature of such spirit is worth three of them’
‘But he is dangerous’ said Platt still pointing his pistol at Etim.
‘A civilised man does not shot a thoroughbred for folly. Chain him’ said Newton. I found that very enjoyable.(I hope I am not the only one o).
The scenery was quite good although at times you felt the camera men were trying to out do each other in filming birds and sunsets.
About the 17th scene, the slaves walked down hill in a single line (like lamb to the slaughter) and end up in a big cage. Poignant.
Soon Ansa ( Mbong Odungide) is brought into the cage and she is surprised to find her cousin Etim there. Ansa steals the show. She has a commanding presence and is the centre of attraction in every scene she appears. (Na she win pata pata.).
Like I said before, you guys should all go and buy the film.
Now for some yabbis.
About fourteenth scene; 26.12 minutes on Disc One, the camera scans the carnage left behind by the slave raiders. The belly of the dead witch Doctor is shown. It is still. Etim then wakes up from deep unconsciousness and is as fit as a fiddle. Not even a drop of blood on his head.(Ah ah, a head injury that will send you into comma should leave some wounds now. And man no fit jump up from comma begin run like Ben Johnson, no matter the Viagra or steroids as the case may be).
He sees his wife dead on a bench nearby (how convenient) he laments and sees his child dead and screams. By now the dead witch Doctor can hold his breath no longer and his belly begins to move! 26.52 minutes.(Abi the guy man resurrect?)
Etim looks around and a spear is stuck in the ground, which he grabs and then goes in pursuit of the slave traders (but not before asking directions from a strategically placed crying woman).
2 minutes later a silhouette of Etim reveals his spare bearing a cloth towards the head end. (Bros, were you buy that handkerchief from?).
Fred Amata and Nick Morran did very well, but that Ansa eh…….
Over to second disc. 10.10 minutes. I think this can be classed as a love scene. Ansa and Newton are on the deck with the river in the background. They stand face to face smiling sheepishly and I am really digging this. (That Ansa, she fine o!).
I almost expect Celine Dion to start singing. (You sabi say, man and woman on top deck equals to Di Caprio and Kate Winslet now).
Apparently Simmons (James Hicks, Oyinbo slave raider who has been punished for his ‘sins’ by being shackled with the slaves) has been giving English literature master classes below deck (that hot , smelly, diarrhoea on each other hell hole; some class room!!) and Ansa learned quickly. So quickly she can have a conversation in English and even understand Newton’s complicated sentences. Wonderful!
And most astonishing of all, Ansa’s English gets steadily better as she talks with Newton. Here are excerpts from what she says (I am meant to be talking about the film o, but I am quoting Ansa. Come to think of it, which Nigerian singer had that hit, Baby don’t cry, please don’t cry… Ansa baby… Na Tony okoroji?)
‘We go back’ Ansa says. I will not include Newton’s responses (make una go buy una own copy)
‘we free?’
‘But you serve they eat’
‘Tell me what they do’ Etc, etc. With effortless charm she warms her way into Newton’s heart.
Now for the best part of the movie.
John asks her name to which she replies ‘Ansa’. Then she asks his name. He replies like 007. ‘It’s James, James Bond’, but in this case, ‘John. John Newton’.
‘Ha! John John Newton. Good man!!!!’ she says.
From that time till the end of the film she calls him, John John Newton, so naturally. None of that obvious, garish slap stick comedy Nollywood is known for.
Hearing and thinking about John John Newton is still bringing a smile to my face.
Last scene has an English choir sing Amazing Grace followed by a rendition of the same by Maria Davies’ daughter (Chika Chukwu). She (Chika) sang with all the trimmings. It was like Ogbono with Shaki, Cow leg, bokoto, show boy, panla, efritin dey. Black women can sing sha.
At the end of the film Sammie Okposo (Una sabi say Sammie will always deliver) and Abayowa Ojuyah sang Amazing Grace while the credits rolled.
By then I had finished my Guguru and groundnuts totally satisfied.
Babawilly. (Apprentice film amebo).