Love Letter 1 – The 14th Day in February.

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Photo by Farica Yang on Unsplash

There was something George told me last February – he mentioned something about loving me intentionally. The word sounded brilliant timely. I had told myself that I was going to be intentional about 2018, so imagine my joy when the LOML (as you guys now put it – I wonder what happened to writing in full) said he’d be doing the same.

(All the marital boxes ticked in my head)

As expected, I looked forward to the 14th day in February.  I’d be damned if my flatmates, Ife and Joan got better gifts…their boyfriends Val’s Day boyfriends had only started dating them for a month, (Yes, those ladies change boyfriends every year – I’m nothing like them anyway; I called them flatmates not friends…) so I didn’t expect them to receive anything other than boxes of chocolate, the customary giant teddy bear and a bottle of wine.

As day broke on the 14th of February, 2018…a musician was playing ‘I’ll never leave you’ by Kenny G outside my window. Before you could say Jack Robinson, I was outside humming along to the tune with my eyes shut of course…the vision was simple, George would come out from somewhere and cover my already shut eyes with his hands and then whisper something nice into my ear before going on one knee and asking me to do forever with him. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS HOW YOUR BOYFRIEND LOVES YOU INTENTIONALLY! Hahahahaha we too dey act film for our head.

Needless to say, I could feel this hand take mine from the back…I started saying Yes to the question I had not been asked. You guys should have seen me brimming from ear to ear and thinking of swirling in his direction until the husky voice went, ‘Can you please step aside? I need Joan to stand in this spot’ – That was the first ‘ela’ for the day, but an optimistic woman like me won’t be deterred. My Val’s Day was going to be special. I returned into the house and allowed the one-month old lovers have the moment. (I’m sorry, I had to shamelessly rub that in…I am petty and I know it.)

Upon my arrival at the office, there was a bouquet of flower waiting on my desk. FINALLY! I legit shouted. I was about to start doing a victory dance when George called that he’d be working late…and to make matters worse, he confirmed that no bouquet of flower had mistakenly found its way to my office. “But babe you don’t like flowers…” He protested from the other end of the line.

He wasn’t wrong, but didn’t he understand that this day was about bragging rights?! I was losing the battle on the home front with my flatmates and things were not looking better at work. Everyone was getting something – from cakes to chocolates, bracelets, necklaces, wristwatches, ‘singlets and briefs’, ‘handkerchiefs’ (delete any spouse who gives you this), wines and a car! A colleague of mine got a car! (But I’d like to quickly add at this point that my conceited boss is looking for a clever way to tax us for parking at work…she got this in a light bulb moment after seeing her staff receive a car – keep your good things away from bad people.)

My busy TV presenter of a boyfriend would eventually show up around eight pm to pick me from work (nothing ‘intentional’ about his timing as all my colleagues had gone home and there was no one to ‘ooohhhh and aaahhhh’ for us) Smh.

We arrived at his apartment and it was nothing like the place I visited three days ago. You know those candle-lit something that guys do to impress women, well…he did this and more…I’m like ahan…George, ‘you is a romantic somebody oh’. He wears this smug smile that says ‘I do this every other day’…(but of course, not for another woman because then we are going to have a problem). In no time, he is leading me to the dining table and I am wondering if Chef Fregz visited this house because I am seeing dishes I can’t name on the table.

As we sit to eat, he takes my hand….(brethren, I am in the moon right here….it’s happening before my eyes. My village people have lost this battle…or maybe not) and fetches a paper from his pocket. As you were ladies and gents, it’s a letter from George to me. Ugh!

Hey,

My woman. My best friend. My Guy. I don’t need this day to tell you how much you mean to me. I do this all the time…no, I don’t and that’s silly of me. It’s like having gold before you and not acknowledging that you have gold. That’s silly, right? Or, better yet…It’s like doubting that God loves you. He loves me so much He placed you in my path. I’d love to tell you this every day…and on days that I forget, I know I won’t hear the last of it, so go easy on me. I love you dearly. You are Gold. Sorry I didn’t bring this day to your office or your apartment…I know how much you needed to score this point against those who have gloated in your face in the past years with their gifts…but then, that is not really who my Queen is…your heart can’t take running another person down, this is one of the reasons I am in awe of you. But petty can be cool too…so, we’ll give them something to chew on…that’s if you don’t chew the pseudo silver miniature onion in your side plate for dessert…no baby, it’s not a part of your meal…it’s just me slipping everything I love about you around your finger.

Would you do life with me?

My eyes found the ring in my plate without even trying…baddest detective in the business.

Those things they call butterflies are ‘kinda real’ I must confess…just that they are not creatures in your belly.

They are in the little coy smile you make when you see that someone…they are in the squint in your eyes when you think about how vulnerable this person is with you…they are in the ‘helloooo…’ that you drag coolly when you answer the phone…they are in the little things that pass by unnoticed because they make up your big thing. The big thing that sits with a diamond at its hem beckoning to you to say ‘Yes’ – a yes you’ve said since the day you chose to let this person in…a yes that has been real since this person felt like your safe place…a yes that mattered when you felt that conviction in your spirit that confirmed this place as home. A yes I had said to George before meeting him. 

I’d like to tell you guys that George and I had our dream wedding with fifty guests but when you have African Parents like ours who live for the big African scatter ground stuff…your guess is as good as mine.

George and I have each other and it’s better and bigger than what I felt 14th of February last year should be about…but does that mean I’ll pass on this Red Ribbon adorned Range Rover sitting pretty in the driveway today? By no means! Me no dey dull. 

 

Love and Light always,

Tomi Adesina

 

Thanks for reading, I hope to write another letter soon…but, since you are here…a guest series is currently running on the blog, ‘Of Good Destiny’ by Taj Mao – Read Episode 1 here: https://tomiadesina.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/1-of-good-destiny-by-taj-mao/

 

Of course I’d love to read your comments as always!

Have a great day guys!

 

 

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2018: The Year That Happened To Me

What a year this has been! And I mean WHAT A YEAR! Okay, maybe the capitalization is a bit extra but yeah, this year has been ‘IT’!

Let’s just dive right in.

January: The month of ease. Or rather, learning to wait.

I expected my year to take off in full flight, writing scripts here and there and cashing out but narf!!!! I was literally sleeping and eating all month. Over-sleeping at times because the pace of everything just seemed to be snail-driven. So, I prayed about it, because I couldn’t cope with being anything but ‘busy’. That’s been like my life. Busy. Busy. Busy. So, imagine the shock when I realized I was stuck with doing nothing. But in this month, I learnt to wait in silence. To allow things move. To believe that I wasn’t stuck on the curbs. To understand that God was and is with me. This made things easier. This made things better.

February: A friend buzzed me and said He’d love me to join in writing of a devotional plan. And I was tempted to say NO. It’s almost like my default response to things I haven’t thought through. But I didn’t say NO. I waited a beat (as we write in screenplays) and said Yes. I was sure I’d drop out after a week or a month tops but I’m grateful to God because He enabled me with the ability to write from a place where He leaned into me. That was rare and special and is still very much special. I’m in AWE of this. In case you want to check it, we’ve been writing daily since February 2018 here at http://mysalvationstory.me

March/April/May: Can I exactly tag these months? Nope. I don’t remember anything ground-breaking happening in between these months, but sometimes in May, my family and I travelled down to Osun state for my Paternal Grandmother’s funeral and I had my first rock climbing experience (HATERS WILL SAY I DIDN’T CLIMB A ROCK, But never mind…I WON’T MIND THEM. NOT MINDING YOU ALL) I have also decided to spare you the torture of watching the video when climbing as my panting would make you think I went to Kilimanjaro but guys, these are little beginnings, encourage a little child.

Sigh. (I don’t see you clapping…double sigh)

All of you will be alright.

But I will show you proof…

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JUNE: This month!

I’ll summarize this month with a song I have grown to love so much. “You’re gonna be ok” by Brian and Jenn Johnson. A lot wasn’t okay in this month. I felt pain all over again and almost sunk to the depth that was hollow and called for me. It was as though the universe conspired to send storms my way, but the beauty is, there is a Well we can always draw from. If you stay close to Him and never let Him go, Rivers will flow out of you.

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July: Here comes the sun!

Yes, literally!

So, you guys know I have to be extra with this month. Birth month, check. AMVCA nominee month, check! Grrrrrrr!!!!!!!! Hahahaha. July arrived with healing in its wings. More like a balm for the pain from the previous month. I am grateful for it. July was bigger than the AMVCA nomination although (*shines teeth*) it felt good to be recognized for something.

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In this same amazing month, I had the privilege of being a Chief Bridesmaid to my very close friend and one of the pioneer pushers of my blog, Anuoluwapo Ajayi (we used to share the same surname until Mr Ajayi married her.) I was frightened about being her bridesmaid. I didn’t want to mess stuff up for her. People who know me personally would naturally say ‘Tomi would not be a Bridesmaid’, I mean come on! LOL’. BUTTTTTTTTT, we did it. Glory to God. Showed up in dresses instead of Jeans and T-shirt. Wore Heels in place of sneakers and we looked nice sha. Thanks to the amazing make-up artistes and fashion stylists for the dresses.

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Thanks July!

August: We are taking it up!

Ahhhh!!!!!! This month. As though being an AMVCA nominee wasn’t enough, I became an AMAA nominee in the space of a month for the same screenplay, Hakkunde. I was like whattttttttt?????!!!!!!! God is Good. Eternally grateful for this privilege. Thankful for the opportunity to be on the creative side of this project. Thank you everyone for your support too. It’s been immense from way back in 2012.

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Then the AMVCA nominee cocktail party happened: Another opportunity to get a fine dress and hair done. My account balance was side-eyeing me all through these expenses but what can I do. Woman gotta do what woman gotta do.

So, we showed up.IMG-20180810-WA0004

Pic: Tomi and Wingman from Bowen days, Taiwo Boboye. A.K.A Event crasher. This guy is everywhere.

Thanks August!

September: Lights, Glitz, Talks, People.

Started off with a bang. The AMVCA came. Beautiful night, beautiful people everywhere. Cameras, lights, sounds. I listened to Adekunle Gold perform ‘Ire’ at the AMVCAs and smiled all through like a kid (still a kid sha)…he sounded amazing and maybe it’s just me but live performances can seep through your soul. It was beautiful. Grateful for that night.

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Aside from the glitz of the AMVCA, I took big decisions in September – there was the need to peel, feel and heal. It’s been life changing but I’m better for it. So, maybe you are on the brink of making a big decision – you should sit back and listen to the leading you obey. Mine is God’s. It’ll always make sense in the end.

I was invited to talk at Ignite Book Club and we discussed Books, Movies and George’s Pieces of Me. It was a refreshing experience. Thanks for inviting me guys.

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At this point, I must say I am always thankful for the opportunity to speak. It’s humbling. And whenever we get to talk about #GPOM, I am reminded of the essence of the book – Humans, love, life, loss, friendship and forever.

p.s: I’m still selling my book and it’s #2000. Buy from me, epp my life. Just click this link to buy: https://buboox.com/product/georges-pieces-of-me/

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October/November: WIN

Wow! Like I said, this has been some year. In October, Hakkunde wonAMAA 2018 Achievement in Screenplay. This came as a massive surprise to me. I was like wow wow wow (siren sound literally). I didn’t go to Kigali sha, wasn’t economically friendly at the time. The rave from this went into November and it’s been really immense so far. November was also a very interesting month in my writing span this year, did a lot of writing for a project I am invested in and can’t wait to see the realization.

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DECEMBER: WE ARE HERE!

Finally, phew! Thanks guys for reading so far but this is my best part. Hehehe So, I attended a friend’s wedding and when the bride’s friends were called out, I went out with another friend, Busola Majaro to go and ‘see the bride’ oh! I promise you guys… I was not meaning to catch the bouquet, but I assure you that it fell into my hands. Hehehehehehehehehe

 

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So, George, we both know you’re out there (I’ve been writing memoirs for you since I was girl) do the needful. Guys, don’t ask about the wedding date. Husband is on the way…you and I are both waiting for him.

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Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash

I was also privileged to speak at African Writers Meet in Opebi on the 16th of December…we discussed transitioning from blogging into screenwriting. Very good session and I was thrilled by the performances and other speakers. Thank you for having me guys.

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It may seem like I have not gone into details of the rough edges that happened to me this year, but they’ve been weaved in between the things that brought smiles. You know why? We are focusing on the beauty this time. And boy, there’s been a lot of it! So why don’t we show that always? Love and Light!

So, this was 2018 in highlights.

But the ‘main light’ here is YOU: You who has read this to the end. You who have supported me from way back till today. You are the main light and I don’t take you for granted. You, my friends. You, my family. I say Thank you and I look forward to doing 2019 with you.

Thank you, (1)

Love and Light always.

Have a great year

Yours,

Tomi Adesina

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Copyright Infringement: Blogger, Ms Tomi Adesina Sues IrokoTV

Copyright Infringement: Blogger, Ms Tomi Adesina Sues IrokoTV.
Blogger’s literary work was secretly adapted into a movie and commercially distributed by IrokoTV without her knowledge and consent.

IrokoTV grandstands and refuses to take down the illegal movie.

 

Nollywood company, IrokoTV has been embroiled in intellectual property infringement. The owner of the intellectual property in question is award-winning writer and blogger, Ms. Tomi Adesina, who was recently nominated for the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) for the movie/TV series, Hakkunde. IrokoTV is one of the biggest producers of Nollywood movies which they distribute/broadcast on their various platforms like Youtube, IrokoTV Mobile App and cable channels on DSTV, GoTV and SkyTV (UK).
According to Ms. Adesina, between 5th June, 2014 and 4th September, 2014, she consistently published a fiction series titled “Beautiful Stranger” on her blog at https://tomiadesina.wordpress.com/beautiful-stranger-2/ . In 2015, she published the aforesaid fiction series as an Ebook online at https://dl.orangedox.com/z6KFmVmsGQ6qXwZOQ6 .
Sometime this year, Ms. Adesina received numerous calls from her friends, family and ardent readers of her blog, congratulating her for collaborating with IrokoTV to adapt her 2014 story, “Beautiful Stranger” into a movie called “Swings” and monetising/distributing same on IrokoTV platforms. Ms. Adesina was surprised at the felicitations as she did not adapt her “Beautiful Stranger” story into a movie, and she did not authorize IrokoTV to distribute or monetize same. “I was really taken aback by the calls and congratulations because of course, I did not contract Iroko or anyone at all to adapt this story into a movie and I never gave Iroko the permission to monetize the distribution of the movie,” she says.
Surprised at the information that her literary work had been turned into a movie and monetized without her consent, Ms. Adesina decided to download the IrokoTV app, pay the requested fee and watch the movie. Her discovery after the movie left her perplexed. “It was like a bunch of actors came together, acted my blog series and then, gave it a different title,” she says. “They didn’t even change the names of the major characters or tweak the storyline. This is how shocking the adaptation was. How did I know it was my blog series that was adapted into a movie? First, all the names of major characters in “Beautiful Stranger” are the same as in “Swings”. Second, the settings in “Beautiful Stranger” are the same in “Swings”. Third, the plot/storyline in “Beautiful Stranger” is the same as in “Swings” – from beginning to end. Fourth, even the dialogues in “Beautiful Stranger” are used almost word for word in “Swings””.
Disturbed at this development, Ms. Adesina instructed her lawyers to write to IrokoTV, demanding a retraction/removal of the unauthorized movie adaptation from their platforms. Surprisingly, rather than take down the movie, Irokotv wrote back with the excuse that, they didn’t produce the movie themselves. According to Ms. Adesina, IrokoTV’s excuse is untenable. “I write for the movie industry,” she says. “So I know that IrokoTV’s claim is not true as the movie “Swings” opened with their montage. Movie production companies only put their montage in movies if they produced, co-produced or sponsored/partnered with the movie one way or another. There are many movies on IrokoTV’s different platforms that do not start with their opening montage because IrokoTV did not produce, co-produce or sponsor/partner with the said movies, unlike “Swings”. I took my time to confirm with a number of films on their app. Apart from producing/sponsoring or partnering with the movie, I know that the distribution, publication and/or commercialization of the unauthorized movie adaptation is in itself, an infringement of my copyright.”
The Copyright Act, Cap 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, prohibits the unauthorized adaptation of an author’s work and the unauthorized publication or distribution of the said work or the adapted copy. Anybody who does either of the foregoing acts is independently liable for intellectual property infringement.
Ms. Adesina was disappointed in IrokoTV’s stance and refusal to take down the illegal movie, despite the ethical business culture usually portrayed by the company and its staff to the public. “IrokoTv could have simply taken down the movie if they had no hand in it,” she says, “but they chose not to. As at this moment, the movie is still on their app, generating money for them. On their Youtube page, they are directing people to download their app and pay $20 to watch the movie. Iroko are still boldly reaping from my sweat.”
Ms. Adesina was quick to point out that, in IrokoTV’s response letter to her lawyers, they did not deny that:
i. the movie “Swings” is an unauthorized adaptation of her story “Beautiful Stranger”
ii. they distributed the movie to their subscribers without her consent
iii. they charged their subscribers $20 to watch the movie
iv. they published the movie on their YouTube page & app without her consent; and
v. they’re going to show the movie on their cable channels (ROK) on DSTV, GoTV & SkyTV (UK).
“Of all the stories I have ever written, “Beautiful Stranger” is the one that is so dear to me,” Ms. Adesina says. “Anyone close to me can attest that I take stories that revolve around cancer pretty seriously. I suffered physically & emotionally to write that story for 84 days & nights, so it hurts me so much to see a brand like IrokoTV reaping from where it did not sow. And doing so very boldly. This should stop.” She continues, “ the dream of every writer is to adapt their story into a movie one day and show it to the world. It’s like seeing your story come to life before your eyes. I am no different, but IrokoTV has killed this dream as it pertains to “Beautiful Stranger”, a story very close to my heart.”
Ms. Adesina concluded by saying she has instructed her lawyers to commence civil and criminal proceedings against IrokoTV and its directors, pursuant to the Copyright Act, 2004. “The courts are the last hope of the common man and I have decided to take my chance at justice,” she says.
The ordeals of Ms. Adesina are rather unfortunate and they mirror what several relatively unknown writers suffer in the hands of the so-called “big players” in the industry. It is Ms. Adesina’s hope that, her resort to court would serve as a deterrent to others who engage in intellectual property infringement.