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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Day with Nneka

People say this about celebrities they meet. Or celebrities they know. This one is humble, this one is arrogant and all sorts of stuff.

I think Nneka is the regular lady that has no airs around her. She is a star, she knows. Everyone stares at her as soon as she walks into Bogobiri and I'm sitting with my girlfriend at a corner of the restaurant and she smiles up at me. I go to greet her. Warm hugs. She asks how I'm doing and I tell her we are all looking up to her. She smiles and all that. I excuse her, so she can get back to the meeting she is having with a guy who has been waiting for her. They talk and I go back to my table.

I've known Nneka through a friend and the first day we chatted, I just couldn't get it off my head. This was Nneka I was chatting with and she was sitting on a plastic chair with an umbrella, beaming and gushing out her Igbo and Pidgin English. Infact, so down-to-earth I felt something was wrong. Yes, we talked about racism, about India and Germany and she told me how she has always wanted to come to India, that she has a bike that she calls Delhi or something. Not sure, but I think I got part of that gist.

Finally, she calls me to find out how my film project was shaping up. I tell her what I am going through. She looks very concerned and feels she could do something. I then tell her how much I like the Starcomms billboard and wonder if she can talk about the benefits. Gladly, she does and feels proud to say that it is not all about money. I look at her and cringe. Not about money? Funny. But that is Nneka for you. She is not concerned about material things. Look at her and you will know. She is different. Very very.

Once again, I leave her so she can get done with the young man who is getting worried that I am getting pissed off. Yes, I know how elated I always feel when I'm talking to Nneka. I feel there is something portruding in my stomach, something positive. I wait impatiently till he's done and I go back, after I've seen my girlfriend off and I have a friend who is there. For the most part now, I talk about having to wait at Afrikan Shrine last year during Felabration till around 3 in the morning to watch her perform. She happened to be the last to perform that day. And I waited. So, she talks about the shrine and we laugh over it. She is careful with words and chooses them wisely. Truth is, I understand that she doesn't like the idea of there being called a shrine and it being another Babylon.

Again, we exchange numbers. I have hers in my phone already, so there is no need. She promises to send me the song she recorded with Nas and I call it a day.

Thank you, Nneka. You are sweet.


Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar said...

Lovely write-up, Onyeka. I'd like to listen to Nneka's songs. Are they available for download?

tommeh said...

A song to involve collaboration with Nas?!
Cool... Really cool..