Happy New Year, Ogechi!
How you dey?
So because plenty of us have so much to say, ‘somebody’ decided to do this…
Me, I am just watching from the sidelines, hella proud to know someone like you.
Happy New Year, dear.
WHY APRIL 18th is OUR PRIVATE HOLIDAY!
A Public Holiday signifies a “day off” for “everyone” but not “everyone” observes the spirit of the holiday, because to some it is nothing more than a “day off” work. So Christians celebrate Easter while Muslims enjoy a “day off” and in the same way Muslims celebrate Salah and Christians enjoy the free time. Of course there is an exchange of ram and chicken here and there but all public holidays are in essence “privatized” based on the reason for the season.
We the “FRIENDS OF YOUGEE” (FOY from hereon) declare April 18th today and for all ages to come A PRIVATE HOLIDAY because the spirit of the one we celebrate is too bespoke that it cannot be publicised and those who would observe it will do more than just take the “day off”, they will take the day up, down, take it on and take it in and perhaps some will take it out because the reason for the season has given us the true definition of friendship!!! A true holiday! We pause to celebrate the living proof of comradeship! So April 18th is Happy UG DAY, it’s Happy Friendship DAY and it’s a “day off” from any worries, from any distrusts, from any betrayals, from any hurts, from any heartbreak, from any jealousies, from any enmity, from indifference, from quarrels, from fights, from anything against true friendship. TAKE THE DAY OFF! On April 18th years ago, God gave the world its example in flesh and blood of what the most prized thing on earth looks like – A TRUE FRIEND. Joseph Addison is quoted as saying “the greatest sweetener of human life is friendship” and so we, the FOY declare that:
“A great sweetener of our lives is UGee”
You see, when George Eliot said Friendship is the “inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words”, he was referring to our very own Ogechi Nwobia. This beautiful chum! She bosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously and continues as a friend unchangeably! She is what William Penn calls A SPOT-ON FRIEND.
You still do not think you should take the day off?
Take Efe’s words for it: “She lights up any room she walks into”. Take Dickson’s words for it: “UG pimp pimp”. If you like, take Mrs Olumese’s words for it: “She is a big bundle of joy” or Buwa’s: “She’s my big sister…a sounding board…a voice of reason”. What about Tega: “She has charm in her…her aura…her personality…the vibe…it’s real”. Still don’t want to take the day off? Take Cynthia’s words: “She is an amazing spirit”. Hear from Tony: “She is super amazing…touches the soul…a bright light”. Umeh tries to summarize: “Ogechi is …goals…drive…beauty in…beauty out, soul”For Tayo: “She is a bundle of joy”. Ronnie certifies: “She brings something special”. “She is a breathe of fresh air” declares Nene. Unity and Abiodun acknowledge: “She is the life in her years”and even those who have never seen her like Kpemosi testify: “She meets you first with her great heart”and 2 lovers now joined in matrimony as The Okoros dare to say: She is beyond a friend… always lighting up people around…a sister” Still need more proof? Well Grace gives us: “She is a “Gee”… an undeserved listener…an unexpected help…an ever-available supporter” and let us quote Shekinah: “She connects…she is the thirst quenching waters to souls in need”
Why would you not take the day off to celebrate what is left of God’s love on earth. You must have heard of Henry Nouven. He says our UG is lasting because her true love is eternal. We have concluded that for the kind of energy, laughter and radiance of joy that Ogechi Nwobia possesses, she has to be drawing it from eternal source! We, the FOY, have come to agree that it is not HUMAN! And we can show prove it. First of all, it is said, “a friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God” and any who is honest to give account of their UG experience will meet her heart before her face! UG is God’s gift! The true gift that keeps on giving! She, this girl, will go out of herself, seeing and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in others. So I must agree with Aristotle when he says: A friend is a single soul in two bodies. We, the FOY declare that:
“Ugee’s soul is in all our bodies”
We all know C.S Lewis. He also had a thing to say on the April 18th matter! His opinion was “Ugee’s friendship raises us almost above humanity…. it is the sort of love one can imagine between angels” and it is the love April 18th has brought down for us. Still think this masterpiece of nature is not enough reason to take a private holiday today?
Make no mistake! Born today is our own taste of the love and friendship spoken about in storybooks, in Disney cartoons, in fantasies, in Heaven! That is why Shekinah is so thankful that she pours out her life. Grace is pausing her day to celebrate the ‘magnanimousity’ of her awesomeness! John recounts history and places her strong impression across the timelines of debate, choir singing and what not! Kpemosi celebrates her as a fellow dreamer who takes Nigerians personal! Biodun is too sure that better days are ahead for OluwaUG. Nene is so surprised how, in such a hurried world, people still exist who take the time to make others feel special. Nene stops to celebrate this “status quo challenger” and Ronnie is so happy to have her part of his gang. Tony has to pause because his one time salsa dance partner knows when to work, when to play, when to pray-every, in good measure. Cynthia has to stop her day because this inspiration has been a blessing to her. For Tega, He is taking a private holiday because finally he met the legend he had only the chance to skype with. Buwa is taking this holiday because this UG has walked him through the darkest days of his life to the extent that his own mother loves UG more than her son! But the son doesn’t mind because she keeps telling him to be strong when he may loose it. It’s a day off for Mrs Olumese because she has not met one so consistent, so supportive, so free spirited and so large hearted. A believer in people, she says. Mrs Ogechi’s private holiday would be spent celebrating the one who knows best how to celebrate others. Dickson is taking his day off because UG of destiny …UG money…is the reason that He will be in UK on a pin pin based on logistics from Newyork chilling J. Efe takes her day off because She could never ask for a better best friend because these sixteen years have been amazing. UG has been her rock more times than countable no matter the distance. She takes this holiday personal because She can always count on our celebrant to have her back!
Allow us, the FOY to tell you: UG’s love and the delights of her friendship have built so many enduring memories and these are hints, we believe, of the kind of treasures held up for us after this life. This woman, born this day, if you let her can search out the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. The truth is God does notice us, you and I. He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs. This lady we celebrate is one that God has worked through the most for us, FOY! She warms us by her presence, trusts us with her secrets and remembers us in prayers. She is to us, an image of God.
In Galatians 6:2 It is written, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ”. No surprise that this lawyer fulfils the law! It is written in Proverbs 27:9, A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. It is no surprise that this author is a refresher. Buwa thinks UG should finish her novel this year by the way! Just putting it out there J.
For the Nigerian Dreamers, UG has taught us that She does not just gaze into our eyes, She may show great tenderness toward us, but what is more is that we face the same direction – towards common projects, interests, goals – above all, towards a common Lord!
One thing you should remember as you take your holiday is UG’s legacy:
“You cannot always have happiness but you can always give happiness”
Do you remember St. Thomas Aquinas? He said, “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendships” So whatever you are doing, consider this and pause a while. Take this April 18th private holiday to celebrate this sensational and dramatic woman. You see, just thinking about UG makes us FOY want to do a happy dance, because UG is someone who loves you in spite of your faults. With UG, we have a union of spirits and a marriage of hearts!
With these few words of ours, take the day off and celebrate UG! Celebrate friendship! Celebrate Energy! Celebrate Laughter! Celebrate Goals! Celebrate Literature! Celebrate Love! C’mon what is your excuse? You haven’t met her?
Chima and FOY
PS: Una don finis’?!