Last week was the inaugural anniversary of Itualive! A blog I am proud to be a part of. Blogger Itua had captured some of the things that had gone into the making. But perhaps I can shed some more light on the beginnings of the blog and on some pieces.
Itua and I like to think we have some stimulating discussions on several topics stretching into the night some times, if it’s an argument it is mostly the case that we sleep off with no resolution, both of us certain we have each won by presenting compelling points, though uncertainty hangs over our beds like a shroud. There are times when I see the pieces on his blog like a continuation of our late night discussions but this time the blogger, (the bugger) has the last word, leaving no chance for me to get in my very reasonable objections. I have been lucky just once when he allowed my review of Tango With Me on the blog- the only time the tyrant has permitted dissent.
Sometime last year he came up with the idea of blogging, putting his thoughts out there. I supported him not knowing that soon I would be robbed of sleep as every post comes with a call or text to read- yet the man had the nerve to urge readers to blame me for the grammatical errors and typos.
Still I would say it has been a rewarding experience gracing this blog and vetting the pieces. It has given me a perspective on the language and I have come to understand that beneath every young Nigerian’s (apparent) mindlessness, there is a heart that beats for the country as you would hardly be able to tell from the blogger’s demeanour that such thought provoking pieces can come from the same person who by day and in real life- whatever that means online- is a fun person. It did not even seem like he would be able to keep it up. But cometh the hour, cometh the man…
By now, it’s a cliché to have a blog and it had seemed like Itualive! was just going to be one of the several vanity driven projects out there- if you know the blogger personally this would make more sense. But the posts so far have managed to put the issues on the front burner while the man himself takes a backseat. I consider it remarkable that such is possible, that moment when you realize that the angry, insightful, witty, sad piece you have just read is from someone who you have ate concoction rice from same dented pot, sometimes without cutlery! It is perhaps the most shocking thing about writing and writers looking from the inside- that moment when you realize that the ordinary guy you have always known has these strong feelings and can put it down clearly. There are times it feels like a miracle.
The blog has had several hits as the blogger pointed out in the piece making one year. But beyond the numbers, it is the arguments that some posts have elicited that I find most gratifying. I take it personally when these posts cause a ruckus and there is a debate and I mean that even when most readers take the opposite view. I function on the periphery but I find it pleasing.
As far as topics go, the constant reader (a la Stephen King) would notice that while the blogger writes politics and some social commentary, my pieces have been primarily about art. Movies, music and books have been my focus and it isn’t because “politics is a dirty game”. But the blogger has it covered and I have been ‘commissioned’ to do reviews, same way Colin Obaitan does sports and Ladi Opaluwa can pretty much send in whatever catches her fancy. I would ignore her astonishing ability and say: Yes, there seems to be some sexism going on, but I won’t say anything about that…
So far, of the guests on the site, I have the highest hits- a position I take much pride in. I should rub it in their face but I am much too nice, thank you. That piece of fact is also another thing the blog has given me- the chance to get my own thoughts online and reach out to the internet demographic. Therefore in a way, I get to pay for this chance with those midnight calls asking me to read and reread.
Lest I bore everyone and unearth any more “company secrets”, this is a thank you, a congratulatory note and perhaps a plea to reduce the midnight entreaties.