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Gidi Up

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This thing called life.

Through out last week I was very happy. I found myself in a place I hadn't been in a long time...if ever. A happy place. For the first time in my life, I understood what it meant to be on cloud 9. But the thing about cloud 9 is; it's a temporary place to be. Yesterday I was brought back to reality.

I have this really great friend, Azubuike. Known him since our days as aspiring top models in the late 90's. He was actually the first and only male model to ever ask me out. But in those days I used to think no man in real life was good enough for me. I had my eyes set only on the guys I saw in hollywood movies...yeah I know! Silly!

Anyway, Azu and I became best of friends after his love advances failed. Surprisingly, we kept in touch for many years after he quit modeling and started working as an artist. In the last few months we grew extremely close. Mostly because he found love through me. He came to the office one day when a casting was going on and saw a model he later told me was love at first sight. I made the introductions and the rest like they say...is history.

Azu was the first person to tell me I might be in love. He was with me one day when O called and after talking to him Azu said you're in love. No, I'm not I argued. So why did your eyes light up? And why are you quivering? he said. I didn' argue with him. The thing about Azu like everyone who knew him well will tell you, he loves love. He breathes, eats, talks and dreams love. Love was the only thing that made sense to him, the only thing that explained the beauty of life. The only thing he cared about.

On Monday February 11th, he called me on the phone to chat and during our conversation he asked me when O was coming again. I told him. He asked "Are you going to let go this time?" "No!" I replied. "I want to take my time. Be extremely sure before anything happens..."
Azu replied "Unfortunately, TIME is something we humans don't have. If I were you, I'd go for it. Take a risk, be happy. Talk to you later" He said and cut the phone.

Later never happened. That was to be our last conversation.

On Valentines day, Thursday February 14th, in his usual adoration of love, Azu took his girlfriend out to celebrate the day. At 10:15 pm, Azu went to drop his girl at home at Anthony Village. For those familiar with the structure of Anthony village, you will agree that the roads aren't very wide and most of the streets are enclosed.

After dropping the girl, Azu made to turn his car to head back towards the direction he'd come from...while trying to manoveure his large car in the narrow street, unknown to him, four armed robbers who had just robbed two streets away were heading towards his direction, trying to make their escape through the street Azu was. Seeing his car in the middle of the road and thinking he'd been trying to block their escape, one of the armed robbers got out of the car and shot Azu point blank in the chest.

After shooting him, the robbers reversed their car and found another escape route.

Azu died instantly. He was just 33 years old.

This thing called LIFE. How fragile it is. One minute we are here making all this plans...the next minute, it's all over. And we can never get it back.

When I think about him...I smile. Even though death snatched him so young...Azu lived his life to the fullest. He did every single thing he wanted to do. If he had lived another 30 years he only would have done the things he had done before over and over again.

He grabbed life by the horns and was never afraid to take risks.
He never forgot how to laugh.
He was never too proud to cry.
He wasn't too stubborn to smile.
Azu lived life in the moment. And he lived it to the fullest.

Shame to death!

I heard about his death on Sunday and I have been thinking so much about life since then. There's so much we take for granted. So many things we don't understand. So little time we have to do the things we want to do.

When I talked about O on my blog last week, a friend of mine called me from the US and scolded me for talking about and mentioning his name. What if it doesn't work out with him? she worried. I remember exactly what I said to her. If it doesn't work out with O, I will move on to the next one. If that doesn't work out, I will move to the next and keep moving till it works out because I'm not afraid to love, I'm not afraid to live and I'm not afraid to take risks.

I always go after what I want. I wanted love...I went looking for it. I wanted a magazine...I started it. I wanted my own company...I started it. I want a modeling reality TV show...I'm already working on it. I want a talk show some day...it's going to happen. I will never quit believing in myself because I know that as long as I believe I can, I will always have a reason for trying. Not just trying to find love or success, but also trying to find the meaning and essense of life. My ultimate goal is to say one day...I lived my life to the fullest.

Who has seen the movie 'Life is beautiful'? Remember the huge smile on the face of the lead actor, Roberto Benigni, when he was being to led to his death by the German soldiers? People say he had that memorable smile on his face because he didn't want his young son, who saw him being led away, to know that the soldiers were taking him away to kill him. Maybe...but I also think he had that smile because he had defeated death. In the middle of war, hunger, degradation and death, he smiled constantly. The movie is titled life is beautiful, and seeing that you'd think it would be about happy and beautiful things but it was set in the middle of war when the Germans tried to wipe out all jews from the face of the earth. Despite being surrounded by all this all, life was still beautiful to him...and he wasn't afraid to die. That's what happens when you've lived your life to the fullest

Sometimes we fail to realise what little time we have on earth. And we go through life with no purpose or meaning. We blame everyone else but ourselves for our sadness and misfortune instead of realising that life is an accumulation of our very own choices. Both the good and the bad things are as a result of repeated choices over a period of time. But whether good or bad, the beautiful thing about life is that it's never too late to turn it around. Every single minute we are alive is an opportunity to start all over. Decide NOW to make every second of your life count because when you really think about it, the only thing that is assured in life is this moment and death. So cherish every moment of life and make it worthwhile.
Don't run away from love but towards it, because love is the deepest joy. A lot of people tend to hold back after they've been hurt or let down. They say, I'm never going to love again. How dare you give another human being that kind of power over you? Don't let anyone hold your happiness in their hands, hold it in yours, so it will always be within your reach.

Don't blame others, and don't walk around waiting for someone to apologize to you.
Don't let go of hope, because hope gives you the strength to keep going when you feel like giving up.
Don't be afraid to take risks, don't be afraid to love, don't be afraid to say sorry, don't be afraid to ask, to cry, to smile, don't be afraid of happiness, don't be afraid to dream, don't be afraid to achieve, don't be afraid to say how you feel.
If you're not happy in your job...you can walk away.
If you're miserable in your relationship...you can walk away.
If you want a baby...have one.
If you want love, go look for it.
If there's someone you want, something you want...go for it NOW! 'cos now is all we really have.
No one says it will be easy...but even if you fail, at least you will definitely know that you tried.

Take a day off and the do that thing you've always wanted to do. Live free, fly like a bird, take every single happiness you can get. Make the most of what you have and don't worry so much...living a life of worry guarantees a sad life. If you're going to die one day and never come back, why live life SAD? Don't let life cheat you...embrace everything good about it.

Cloud nine might be a temporary place to be...but the clouds could be a permanent place to be...it's up to you. In sadness, in sickness, in hunger, in all that is bad and evil, you can always be in the clouds, by not letting life defeat you and making the very best of every situation .

Like Albert Einstein said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

And like Azu my friend said..."Time is something we human beings don't have"

Do what you want to do now...because when you really think about it, there's no guarantee you'll live to see the next minute.

Azubuike, rest in peace! Thank you for teaching me how to appreciate life. You'll always be remembered.

Linda

62 comments:

AdaOmega said...

Ain't that a shame. My heart bleeds for his family and people he has blessed with his exuberant being. He has passed through his life journey although pretty too young. Aint gonna be easy 2 get over. As time goes on it gets better ie better understanding and acceptance. His existence is external. May you find Solace in his presence while on earth.
Linda, I love ur philosophy almost close 2 how I live mine. When I live in joy, sadness, anger, blist, uncertainty; I live it endlessly and dwell in it 4 as long as reality will allow.
Life and Love is not a power struggle - its either this or that. Like I told you take care of Love by living Love. No pretences dont hide ur feeling let it be known to the world and it shall ber returned 2 U. Keep living ur life and being you (Remember that is one thing people cannot take away from you) and the rest of the puzzle will reveal itself as we sail through it.
Keep on Keeping On Girl
Stay Right and stay d course ;).

wienna said...

As Obey sang,...."a omase, ile n j'eniyan.

Pls accept my condolences. You've definitely taught me a thing or two about life.

Anonymous said...

Well written Linda. This resonates well with me as I lost a friend myself who was full of life and a go-getter and lived like every minute was the last.

Definitely going for all the things I have ever wanted...if only we all knew the day, time and hour...surely, people's reaction and decisions will be different.

Sorry for your loss and I pray his soul rests in peace! Amen

Slim

Lulu said...

writing about death is to say the obvious, emotional , but baby girl, you captured the essence of losing someone whom you love and whom you know has had great potential brought down. Sad, but great writing.I always read your blog, especially when im out of the country like a touchstone kind of thing and i KNOW you will go places. On a lighter note, why all these 'abroad' based guys dey steal our brightest and best babes? O , you try, or is it beacuse most home based guys are more like rappers who like thier women thick? just kidding..or am i?

Anonymous said...

I'm always vexed when i hear about people going this way. We all ask what this world is turning into, when gun totting criminals snuff the life out of innocent people. it's really sad. I feel for his family and friends and do send them my heartfelt sympathy. God!!! I do wish something can be done about the rate of crime in Nigeria. Really, we can't continue in this manner. if the government can't make effective the police. They are calling for the public to start organising a private police setup of their own.

May the Lord strengthen the hearts of his loved ones.

Anonymous said...

That was a very inspiring post.May his soul rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

this is just simply beautiful!!!

londonnaijachic said...

I celebrate the life of your friend because even though he died young, he understood wat life wasall about and lived it to the fullest. I have a new appetite and fire in my belly to live life and have no regrets, cut off everything that holds me back and really embrace the way i am, love the people around me and pursue the dreams i have with passion. Thank you for sharing.

james kwasi said...

dear linda, i know u have been avoiding me even though i sent u my articles with pictures, my vision and all u need to know of me just to make u know who i am. i love people, meeting people and contributing positively to their lives. we're meant for each other. am not a fraudster. i am who i am. yeah, am not troubled 'cos i have been through rejection on several occassions and am used to it, am always strong and never changing, i know where am going to. last year when i contacted you via ur mail add u said u would make my seminar known on ur blog but u never did, afterwards i mailed u when d seminar was almost near u still did not reply. i know i should not be saying dis now because d seminar has come and gone and i thanked God how wonderful it was just want to make u know dat i know u r avoiding me. it is no problem dat won't stop me from appreciating d work u r doing. i have visited several blogs but u r so unique am not flattering u, infact i don't do it. i tell people reality. u r such a good writer, after reading d azubuike, ur friend's story i felt so touched.d way u started it and ended it is so amazing to me. if i have d opportunity of meeting you, i will give u a hand shake. u r doing it so well pls CONTINUE, DON'T STOP. as for ur friend, it's sad. i pray God grants his family d heart and strength to bear his d lost. thanks for telling me never to trade who i am for what i am going through, u r lovely. i have a question for u and i really want u to answer me. u wroke about love in d azubuike's story. in ur own way or words, what do you think is love, how can u define love? pls do not turn me down dis time arround, am a human being just like u r. may be it's because am a togolese dat is driving u away. we all r God's creatures no matter where we come from. so please reply me. how do you define love ur own way? bye.

Anonymous said...

Linda am so sorry. i felt like bowling my eyes when i read this. it reminds of d fact that my own dad died at such a young age and i never had d opportunity to tell him how much i loved him.
take care ok and God will comfort Azus family and his girlfriend in this difficult time.

Juliana said...

Linda,
My dear I feel you o! My saddest day was yesterday when one of the finest gentleman i have ever met died.
The Director, Army Public Relations and one time aide-de-camp (ADC) to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, promoted to the rank of Brig-Gen just last December and was on his new post for just 5 months died leaving his wife and four kids.
Just like his saddest day in his life was when he lost his bestman at his wedding six months after in Liberia, mine will remain February when Giwa-Amun died.
I lost my mum on February 28th four years ago, so February for me is going to be full of terrible memories that I will never forget no matter how I try.
I am so pained because just two weeks back he had called me to see him after my report on the Army Consolidated salary but somehow I never found the time. There was a little tension between us and I really wanted all to calm down before I go see him but it will never be.
My prayer is for God to help his young family in this period of pain. When you have a dotting husband and father, the pain will be too difficult to handle.
Live each day as if is your last and ensure you impact as many lives as possible just as Giwa-Amun did.
Linda sorry o! I turned ur blog to my own mourning ground instead of sympathising with you. God will comfort you and his girlfriend. I must confess like your optimism and I have learnt alot from your blog today.

shola pacheco said...

eya linda, such is life ho,this morning i woke up and said to myself what a life!!! thinking of things that have gone wrong for me and the same things that have come thru,i thank God,am still alive most importantly,hope ur okay linda, all will be well,

i pray God gives his family the strenght in this trying time of theirs

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was deep. Thank you for that post, it made me think alot about somethings going on in my life too.

I don't know him, but he sounded like a great guy. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Red Puree said...

You have just said some thots in my mind- I always say a day at a time. Its good to live the moments as time cant be saved.
Nice piece. I will print and read over again.Am giving this a shout out on my status on FB today. Evryone thats afraid to love should read this. Time waits for no one.
Am sure yr friend is a good stress free place.
Nice one linda

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, this has to be one of your BEST entries yet.
R.I.P., Azu

Anonymous said...

This is long. This is beautiful. Really, you should write more of this kind of stuff and leave the Nigerian entertainment gist trash. It really does not suit you but I was just touched by what I read...

Anonymous said...

Phew!!!! Linda, where the ____ did that come from, go on preacher, you inspire me.

Sad to hear of your loss, our loss, my take is "life" is the examination we have to sit to determine our future, we all know we dont belong here, and we have the ability to choose our future. Be happy for Azu (for a fulfilled life)knowing that he has sat his exam well and passed with flying colors.

Pete

BOBBY said...

Damn Linda. I am so sorry about this.

Life is indeed short. Too too short.

Go after everything you want Linda. Nothing can ku ku ma stop you.

It is well!

Adeleke Adesanya said...

Linda, that was one motivational writeup. You were indeed inspired.

Chicagoreader said...

Hey Linda - just want to say that that was ur best post ever - ok I've only been reading for the past 3mths - but I say thank you. We all should appreciate our lifes and learn how to live for the moment and take risks. I'm indeed inspired!!!

My 2 cents said...

Hi Linda,

I had to leave a comment on this one. I am so sorry for your loss. These senseless killings has to stop! How do you cut down such a promising life.
How do you console the loved ones he left behind. This is beyond sad.

whatever!!! said...

this is by far the most inspiring piece i have ever read!!! thank u ms ikeji!!!u're a life saver!!!u just brought me out of deep waters!!!

Anonymous said...

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Miss Moi said...

Ever since your blog was recommended to me, I hv been sort of addicted, I love the way you freely express yourself without holding back. You know how to draw us into your world, perhaps the reason why people connect with you so much.
This article is one of the best you have written, I don't know Azu but I sympathise with his family and pray that God upholds them. I am glad that he was able to enjoy the short time he spent on earth (I hope he found God too). This just reminds us that we choose to either enjoy life or live in self-pity and misery...
It's a decision that your article helps to remind me to work more consciously towards achieving.
I hope you keep this love you've found and I can only pray that he's worthy of you! You go girl and achieve ALL you want to!! The world is yours for the taking!! xx

sasha said...

Linda-
This piece gave me goose bumps as i was reading it. You have mentioned Azu in one or two of your pieces and if i am not mistaken, there was a foto of him with you @ unilag. I feel like i know him too and he is gone for us forever. This piece is one of your best pieces to date and you are one hell of a writer. When the moment stikes you like it did today, you come out with a masterpiece, almost worthy of a nobel prize. I am so touched and i feel so sorry for your loss, our loss. May his soul rest in piece. I don't fail to read your blog everyday. There is something abt the way you write that pulls me to your blog. God bless you my sista. By the grace of God, we shall meet one day. I hope your man appreciates you because all your readers do. Be consoled becos Azu is in a better place. I am speechless.....

sasha said...

Linda-
This piece gave me goose bumps as i was reading it. You have mentioned Azu in one or two of your pieces and if i am not mistaken, there was a foto of him with you @ unilag. I feel like i know him too and he is gone for us forever. This piece is one of your best pieces to date and you are one hell of a writer. When the moment stikes you like it did today, you come out with a masterpiece, almost worthy of a nobel prize. I am so touched and i feel so sorry for your loss, our loss. May his soul rest in piece. I don't fail to read your blog everyday. There is something abt the way you write that pulls me to your blog. God bless you my sista. By the grace of God, we shall meet one day. I hope your man appreciates you because all your readers do. Be consoled becos Azu is in a better place. I am speechless.....

Lilian Michael said...

Rest in peace Azu. What horrid humans we are breeding in Nigeria. I feel so angry that some silly people who do not appreciate life, take worthy people's life just like that. Now we have the criminals alive, living their lives and maybe kill again and a productive individual gone. Linda Be strong and know God is always there for his children. I for one live by the very principle that life is to be lived to the fullest.

Iyaeto said...

Eeeya Pele o Linda. This is really sad. I remember how I felt on 18th December 2006 when I lost my very close friend.He was a brother and a friend. May heart bleeds to his family, friends and girlfriend.

Paris said...

wow! truly inspring! sorry about ur friend.
oh! how his simple and less stressful way of living his life has inspired u and is still inspiring some.

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

Azu R.I.P...
u just woke me up with this post..
thank u so much ...

coolgal said...

Sorry for your loss dear linda, I pray he rest in perfect peace. What can one say about life. We chase things, when all we have to do is to simply look around us. How blessed we are.
I have come to the conclusion that living according to your dreams, is what makes one happy.
It is not the material wealth but the love of family friends and following your dreams.
Stay blessed Linda and I must admit this post touched my heart.

Ms. Catwalq said...

May The Blessings Be...

uni said...

What is life i ask myself? Today I learnt that one of my long time classmates and friend just lost her Hubby to armed robbers.

In less than 2 years.. ..three of my schoolmates have lost their husbands.... barely finished their NYSC...

How does a young woman in her mid-20s whose husband was the sole provider begin to cope with herself and kids? I can't even begin to imagine what it feels like to lose a significant order at such a young age... at any age.

Life is so fragile.
Live while you live.
Rest in Peace Azu.

Anyvic said...

Hi Linda,

I am so sorry for your loss and that of his family. May his soul rest in peace. God bless the day I found blog. your words and spirit bring so much meaning to my life and I would be forever grateful to you. please take heart and take solace in the grate life he lived.

I am in that place in my life right now that anything can happen but I wouldn't let it weight me down, coz life is too short to dwell over the past mistakes I have made. Your word today solidifies that for me. Thanks Linda, please take heart.

Nice Anon said...

Very uplifting post. My heart goes out to his family. May he rest in peace amen!

Anonymous said...

May his soul rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

tears rolls down my cheek as I read this....I feel like I know Azu....My his Young beautiful soul rest peacefully.....Linda you
touched me with this one.

~Chinenye

Anonymous said...

linda accept my sympathy....what a touchy story ..may his soul rest in peace

wendu

sc said...

just wanted to let you know I came across your blog today and I think it's awesome! I was feeling a bit down and read your message about your friend and I realized life is too short to sweat the small stuff. (We all know that but we never really take it to heart do we?) Good Luck with your love life (nothing ventured
notthing gained, right?) and THANK YOU for today's post.

bamidele said...

i hope ur new man deserves u lin. u're an inspiration.azu was lucky to have u as a friend alot of people die without no one hearing about it the world knows about his death thru u.may his soul rest in peace

ibiluv said...

Sorry about ur loss..but one must be glad he *lived* his live....it's always sad when we loose those we care about in their prime........life is short...we must all live......

Bella Naija said...

May your friend rest in peace
I dont even comprehend how these things happen, it is just so sad

I am glad that he lived his life to the fullest
Your words were so inspiring.
We have to live life to the fullest

Today's ranting said...

lol I FEEL U.Your post just makes so much sense. We've got to appreciate life and pursue our dreams with vigour and passion.We have to be prepared for the worst,the best and challenges life will throw at us.Life is such a mystery.May God grant Azu eternal rest in his bossom and may he give his family the srenght to go through this excruciating period.Hope u feeling alright linda .

sweet efe said...

am so sorry about ur friend Azu, reading ur story brought tears to my eyes. life can so sad sometimes. i have learnt alot from u about life in general, this is like the first time am actually leaving a comment on ur blog, i was really moved. for some reason i feel like i've known ur friend from ur brief description of his personality.i pray God grants his family the fortitude to bear the loss and accept my condolence as well. anyway take care dear!!!

misspumping said...

That was a truly touching write up on your part miss ikeji. i never met the gentleman in question but i find myself grieving with his family and friends . It only goes to show that we need to make the best of today and pray that out tomorrows if ever are better than today.

1stpet2v9 said...

wow... I'm sorry about Azu...
Really dis life is nothing.
May his soul rest in perfect peace

I hope u are well, linda... take all easy. God knows best

femi said...

WHY ARE THEY STILL ALLOWING THESE ARMED ROBBERS TO GO ON RAMPAGING ABOUT THE WHOLE PLACE.

NOTHING PISSES ME OFF MORE THAN WHEN I HERE THIS HAPPEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AND ITS ALMOST LIKE THERES NO POLICE FORCE OR SOMETHING .

the need to deploy police patrols all throughout the state and snuff this out. Another young life gone. what exactly is it going to take before they clamp down on these guys .

Nwanyi Ocha said...

Inspired!!! Thank you

....may his soul rest in peace....

Anonymous said...

Nne. I de kwara o! Okwu ka i kwu kwa ra.

Enyi gi nwuru nu, biko ka Chineke nye ndi be ha ike ha ga eji we na-akasi obi.

O di ihe anuwa, mu onwem, ana ama ihe nga agwa mmadu. Mana Chineke mara ihe dum niile.

Baby girl.... jisi kwa ike.

Uzo said...

I read your blog and hardly comment...This post is amazingly beautiful....Well done

BEYONCE said...

Life is so fickle so we should all live life to the fullest. Love like we have never loved before...Don't hold back and take risks because nothing is guaranteed. What is life if we don't try....No pain, No gain. Azu, R.I.P.

omolola said...

I am so touched ! wat a life . I send my heart felt sympathy to Azu's family and girlfrd.May the good Lord comfort and strengthen u.
As i was reading thru i was awakened from my slumber and i want to thank u linda ... this is indeed one of ur best post ever ...R.I.P Azu

Linda Ikeji said...

I'm glad this touched someone. It wasn't the vitamin that kept me awake all through saturday night. It was his spirit.Even though at the time I didnt know he had passed on. I heard the next day. I guess my soul knew something was wrong, just didnt know what it was.I hope someone out there really take what I said to heart. Make every single day of your life count. God bless

truth said...

Girl you have many undercover readers o. Sad loss. Let's have his loved ones in our prayers; they say only the living mourn death.
Nice post...come o.Is that a love note from James Kwasi?How about using her private addy brother?lol.

Flowers and Poetry said...

So sad...
Linda, you wrote this piece really beautifully, well done!

Mommy said...

Wow Linda! I'm so sorry over the loss of your friend Azu (Like I know him). The way you described him, and love and life...wow. Thank you for teaching me again that you only live once. Live it well. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

'D said...

God bless you for writing this Linda, it is truly inspiring.
I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, i hope you find comfort in knowing that your telling us about him has helped some of us (me in particular) reassess my life and try to live it to the fullest and be the best me i can be. xx

O! said...

May his soul rest in peace. very touching. Stories like this remind us how delicate life is. It's all about living it to the fullest, living it good and being the best person you can be. Take heart.

Anonymous said...

God bless u linda ikeji

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Linda,
Humans have to go through the agonies of the ironies of life.

Let us keep the memories of those we loved alive.

Let us succeed to remmember them, because if we fail they will never the rest of the world will soon forget us too.

Cheers and God bless.

TJ The Actor said...

May Azu's Kind and Gentle Soul Rest in The Lord....I am really short of words,Nigeria is a debased Nation Period. The money meant for fighting crimes is fighting for more space in our imbecile greedy leaders foreign bank accounts!One day those heartless ugly morons/monkeies will dearly pay with lives,even with the lives of their children for stealing our collective wealth -putting millions of nigerian masses in penury and abject poverty and providing no security for ordinary nigerian on the street..

KikisMuffin said...

What a great post Ms ikeji. I've read your blog for quite a few months now, and really enjoyed this piece, very poignant and quite deep.When we loose people close to us, it definitely brings us back to centre and reminds us of our own mortality...but better still reminds us that we need to live life to its fullest, and jump off the deep end to love,life,work and whatever else this world throws at us!

Great piece and well done!