Nothing wrong with some self-love
What a gwaan peeps? Pardon the temporary indulgence in what might taste like cloying narcissism. If yuh cyaan tek it, belch mi off yuh chest, but right now I'm feeling good about me. Yeah man, if I love myself one more time it wouldn't look too proper. How about you? Are you loving yourself too?
Last week Friday, I marked another exciting international day of celebrating me, also known as birthday. I never had an actual birthday party, but mi international virtual birthday dance did cork. I got birthday wishes in languages ranging from French to Twi to three different versions of Jamaican - raw born patois, Jamaican English and Jamaican bad wud! Tributes came in the form of prayers, psalms, proverbs, philosophy, prose, poetry and song; some sung on pitch, some off key, some off the chain and some off the planet. The words and wishes came via phone calls, WhatsApp, Twitter and Skype. According to the notification Facebook sent me, more than 350 people made birthday posts on my page.
I spent most of the day meditating on some of the enormous lyrical creativity and magical artistic genius of my favorite artiste of all time, Stevie Wonder. I was especially arrested by a YouTube recording of Stevie singing live at the Wembley Stadium in London for his own birthday special in 1989. I played and replayed one particular section - the performance of his inspirational and uplifting 1988 single You Will Know for several reasons. For one, the lyrics of the song is like a stirring sermon. Listen it and tell me if yuh nuh agree. But more importantly, the performance is a lesson in greatness. And the simple lesson is this: It doesn't detract from one's greatness when you provide a space for others to be great. In fact, it enhances greatness. Yeah peeps, Stevie Wonder, great man that he is, used the song to provide an opportunity for his backing vocalists Keith, Kimberley and Bridgette to shine. And, oh do they shine! They sang a light of love and strength straight from the laptop into my heart. It was a splendid birthday gift and lift.
I did more though, I also ate a sumptuous dinner at 'African Palace' - a beautiful restaurant that specialises in Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine, before going to watch a play called 'Esu Crossing the Middle Passage' starring D'bi Young Anitafrica. And I was pleasantly surprised in the talk-back with the audience, as the stars of the show led the packed house in singing me happy birthday. Yeah, I had name brand Toronto stars like multi-instrumentalist and singer Amina Alfred, renowned musical genius Tukku, and standout revolutionary writer/dramatist D'bi serenading me. So, anybody who say mi nuh big nah talk truth!
'Oh, and Esu ...' was a riveting experience. It's the first piece in a tripartite theatrical trip called the Orisha Trilogy and I will have the honour of working as director/dramaturge on the disruptive and provocative part two, which is entitled 'She Mami Watah & the Pussy Witch Hunt'. Mi cyan wait!
My heart is a tankful of thankfulness!It would take 500 forevers and countless word and phrases, yet uncoined, to fully and accurately express the gratitude I feel for all the love that came my way as I marked yet another birthday. This may sound morbid and throw off some people, so hush if you are one of them, but I can't help thinking that I would love to be at my own funeral. Why? Mi feel like it a go sell off. Oh what a feeling to be firstname.lastname@example.org