ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

#AtoZChallenge - BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! - O is for Ojo, Adura Ojo of Adura's Eyes.




Hello!

Regular followers and visitors to this site will know I'm using BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! for my theme this year. I hope you're enjoying reading about bloggers, some you know and some you may not yet know, as they respond to some prompts I sent out. I've been so grateful for their responses as it helped me to get to know them better, admire their stunning cuteness as babes, and delighted me with random facts.

Thank you Adult Bloggers for your heartfelt responses. Thank you readers for visiting my posts. I hope you'll leave a comment and if you'd like to follow the link to my respondents' blogs they'd be delighted to meet you.

Rock on A- Z Challenge. (Visit more posts here).

Today:

O is for Ojo (Adura Ojo)







I WAS BORN IN
:  London, England UK of Nigerian middle class parents. My parents came to study in the UK, in the swinging 60s. They had my sister and I while in the UK and took us back to Nigeria years later. 
  
I GREW UP IN: Lagos and Ibadan (Nigerian Cities). Lagos used to be the capital of Nigeria until it was changed to Abuja. Ibadan is home to Nigeria's first university, which is my Alma Mater. I had a happy childhood with four siblings. I attended a catholic primary school and went to boarding school for my secondary education. Our house was always full with friends and cousins coming over during Easter, Summer and Christmas vacations. 

MY FAVOURITE HOME WAS IN: Ire-Akari Estate, Lagos, Nigeria. It  is  in a surburb of Lagos and was newly built in 1970s when we moved there. Although we were not there for long, I have very happy memories of our home there. It was a beautiful estate with neighbours from different ethnic backgrounds (Italians, Germans, Indians, Americans) - which kind of opened my eyes to the world around me. Our next door neighbour was a German expatriate. Not the friendliest man in the neighbourhood at the time. He would scowl at us like we were going to come through his gate and wreak havoc or something. The hustle and bustle of Lagos is unlike anywhere else I've ever lived. Lagos is hard to describe, a melting pot of sorts. It's like any big city but perhaps with a bit more hustle. Got to have your wits about you.There's a famous  Lagosian quip: If you survive Lagos, you can live anywhere!

MY BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY IS: Going with my parents and sister to Bar Beach in Lagos. I remember going on a boat to somewhere called Torquay Bay and visiting family friends in a creekside surburb of Lagos known as Maroko. At Christmas, we would all dress up in our identical traditional attires, hair plaited, women in the backyard cooking up a storm on firewood, the smell of which adds authentic flavours to Nigerian staples: Jollof Rice, Pounded Yam, Plantains, Moin Moin and a whole array of delicious stews. I also have lovely memories of listening to ABBA, Boney M, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jackson 5, and Shalamar. I remain an ABBA fan to this day.

MY WORST CHILDHOOD MEMORY IS: Having my hair plaited by local 'hairdressers' who were elderly women you did not mess with. They carried fear in their combs and their hands on a child's scalp. If a child spoke out about feeling pain, it got worse.

TODAY I LIVE IN the UK - with my two children and partner

PROUDEST WRITER MOMENT: A performance of my poetry in London last year.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME: I can smile like a fish - shape my mouth like that of a fish and smile. I'm just not sure that fish do smile:) 


Adura says: I am a Writer, Blogger, Poet. I have three blogs. I share my own work on "Adura's Eyes." You're welcome to visit:) 

Check out Adura's marvellous work @




I hope you've enjoyed meeting/learning more about Adura. Please come by tomorrow for something completely different - we visit with Peter Olson from Peter's Paris.




32 comments:

  1. What a fascinating childhood! The bit about fearing the old women with combs made me smile. :)

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  2. Awesome post. I'm sure if fish could read your interview Adura, they would smile :)

    Wagging Tales

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  3. I hadn't met Ojo before. As someone who grew up with tangled, curly hair, I cringed about the hair ladies!

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  4. I had my hair braided while in the islands once when I was a child. You are not kidding, those woman hurt and they are scary.

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  5. Adura, it's wonderful to meet you and hear about you interesting life. You've got some interesting stories to tell. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. What a cool life you have led, Adura. It's nice to meet you.

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  7. Hi,

    Oooh, hair combing can be the bane of a child born with curly hair! And sometimes the memory all too real. ;)

    best
    F

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  8. If fish don't smile, maybe they should.

    Nice to meet you, Adura. I like Abba, too.

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  9. Loved hearing about Adura's fascinating life. My hub's been to Lagos and says it's, like Adura said, a bustling city beyond words. When we lived in Nairobi, a neighbor said pretty much the same about the hairdressers, except she added, "It would be less painful to boil on the juko.

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  10. What a lovely post Adura. UI enjoyed hearing your journey and congrats on the poetry reading. Awesome!
    I had a lovely friend called Aderinola (Dee) who had nigerian parents though she was born in the UK. We lost touch though, which is a shame.

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  11. Hi Denise,

    Thank you for hosting me on your blog. I'm truly honoured. I do apologise for the lack of pictures and hope to make up for it in some way, when I finally gain access to those elusive pictures I can't lay my hands on at the moment.

    Many thanks to everyone for their comments. I feel privileged to received the warmth shown in your comments. Thank you so much!


    Talli: I had no idea when I wrote that it would strike a chord with readers. So I'm smiling too:)

    Charmaine: Awww...I hope they do. Thanks.

    Theresa: 'Nice to meet you:)
    I know what you mean. Perhaps the women don't mean to be cruel and it just comes across that way.

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  12. Ciara: They are - but maybe they don't mean to be. I have to do my daughter's hair now and again and it is the most stressful thing. I think children's scalps are particularly sensitive no matter how careful one is. And when the hair is tough, it's mayhem for everyone involved.

    Zan Marie: Thank you so much. Nice meeting you too.

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  13. Francine: Hi Francine,
    Nice to see you again. It's been a while! Hope you're fine.

    Talking about memory, I'm reliving that reality through my daughter's yelps of pain, lol. We both can't bear it so we've got a system in place to plait her hair once every six weeks. So far, it's working!


    L. Diane: Thanks, Diane. I hope fish do smile:) It's always a pleasure to meet fellow ABBA fans. I need to update my collection of ABBA albums. Would be glad for tips on best websites to buy from, if you do know of any.

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  14. Kittie:
    Nice to meet you, Kittie. Sounds like your husband enjoyed his visit to Lagos. Lagos is like Marmite really. People either love it or hate it. Most lovers of Lagos are lifelong lovers.

    About the hairdressers - not sure what 'boiling on the juko' means but it sounds humourous because it seems to describe just how painful plating hair can be, in comparison.

    Madeleine: Hi Madeleine! Nice to see you here and thank you. Hope you're fine and not minding the dreadful weather we've got currently, in the UK.

    Your mention of Dee reminds me of friends that I've lost contact with too. I do feel a twinge as I recall two friends in particular. And you're right, it is a shame. I guess life gets in the way.

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  15. Living all over the US and several foreign countries gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons by meeting people of other cultures and countries. Glad you found that in Lagos!

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  16. Great post, Adura. I had to laugh too about the ladies and their combs. I have similar scary memories.

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  17. Hello Adura.
    As you know I'm very fond of your work and your "tell-it-like-it-is style". You certainly had a colorful upbringing as did I (having been born in the Caribbean and migrated to the US when I was in my teens). My grandmother was one of those same women who had a heavy hand when it came to plaiting hair...thankfully, my sisters lived to tell the tales! (LOL) Nice to learn a bit more about you. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for another fascinating post Denise.

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  18. So glad I made it over here, what a lovely post. I look forward to reading some of Adura's poems. Thanks Denise!

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  19. Aduras childhood doesn't sound all that different, even though Nigeria is far, far away. Sounds like it was carefree and happy.

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  20. Alex: Hi Alex. Big cities seem to share that in common. I find a lot of similarities between Lagos and London in so many ways though they're quite different too.

    Kiru: Hey sista - we both know, right? Lol. Have a lovely evening - Hope you're not feeling the chill of our strange April weather.

    Andy - My dear friend: Thank you so much. You know I'm a fan of yours too...the way you wield that pen! The mystery is solved...now I know you're from the Caribbean. I can see where all that soul and exotic leanings come from:) A very good evening to you and your beloved.

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  21. Catherine: Many thanks for being here. I've made many friends here tonight and I can't wait to visit all your blogs. I look forward to reading your work, also, Catherine.

    J.L. Campbell: Awww...Thanks, Joy. It was indeed carefree and happy. I am blessed to have wonderful parents who helped make that happen. I am forever grateful. The gift of Childhood is truly priceless.

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  22. What a lot of lovely comments and I've learned more about some of you too. Thank you for stopping by and reading about Adura's childhood.

    Denise

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  23. Oh, what a mess! Blogger considers my previous format history. Search inquires to get the header photo like yours aren't up for the new format...or, er, it's more likely my skills are a disaster. How did you go about your header, pleeeze!!!

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  24. Thanks for coming by today, Denise. I've been so busy meeting new bloggers, I've missed my old friends.

    Your A to Z theme is marvelous! I enjoyed reading about Ojo's life. Thank you for sharing this with us!!

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  25. yikes! Your worst childhood memory has me cringing.

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  26. What a lovely interview and I learned new things about Nigeria.

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  27. Fantastic interview. It was great reading about Adura.

    I like that selection of music.

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  28. Great to meet you Adura!! Thanks for posting Denise :)

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  29. Hi Denise and Adura - fascinating story you've given us .. I gather Lagos is a hub for many things. Having spent some time in South Africa I can 'feel' a little of the Africa .. and a cousin's daughter has married a Nigerian .. so the interest is still there. I have some friends myself from there too - once you travel the melting pot of friends grows ... then blogging adds to that pot!!

    Cheers to you both .. love the thoughts you expressed here - and am very glad I don't have long hair!! Hilary

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  30. Nancy: Thanks, Nancy

    Lynda: Sorry about that. Totally unintended, Lynda.

    Jaye: I'm always glad for the internet when I read comments like yours:)

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  31. Medeia: Thanks, and for liking my musical tastes too.

    Hopeful Romantic: nice to meet you too.

    Hilary: Blogging certainly adds to that pot. Simply incredible - and I'm so pleased to discover your blog.

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  32. Denise, thanks once again. It's been a lovely experience meeting your fabulous readers. Have a great week ahead.

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