I’ve gotten well accustomed to the haphazard blogging life. I show up, curling out words not so often and infact on rare occasions as this one, twice or thrice a year.
However, if you read my creative nonfiction so often (especially on my blog), you’d know that I really let a lot of soul to it, so don’t miss this.
I wrote Reflections for just two reasons. Because for the first time in my life, I forgot to fill my journal of thanks (for the whole year!) which is quite unruly; normally, I filled it weekly.
The second is that; I got overwhelmed at different points in this year. And writing this, made me realize how much I have become and why I must be grateful for every season.
Reflection is a body of work highlighting forgotten battles and wins in 2021.
If you ever plan to read my memoir, here’s a start.
January – Faith over Fear
On the first day of 2021, I wanted to pass out.
I was so sick and weak that I could literally feel my blood drying up against my muscles and sucking, they were, all of my strength. My eyes shone a faint shade of ruby and my face was very pale. I shone like dried pawpaw leaves in harmattan. I felt deserted, but in a strange way – strengthened by my hope of a peaceful end.
Covid hit my family like a meteor and I couldn’t find solace anywhere.
I’m grateful for support systems like Kene, Aderemi, Blessing Alasa, Eniola, Adurapemi, Pastor Dayo and Pastor Israel who helped to dust the sickening haze off my mind.
It was a toxic season and it was also the heat of school’s resumption.
I was a typical description of the Hard knock life (lol). The fear of losing my family, of failure, of weakness, of inconsistency crippled me in this season.
Through the flowing weeks of January I carved a shield for myself and soaked myself in faith.
A strong belief that things will shape up and I’ll catch up on all that’s seemingly lost.
Well, I guess I did.
February – Fragile
Everyone has a breaking point, and we all seem to savour these moments in private. Shuffling between sheets, sniffing in mucus, whispering, struggling with hiccups. We build our lives on these moments. These weakening shadows of ourselves rearrange our minds and carry us away from pain into a stronger frame.
February was about being fragile. Being ready to rest, ready to not be enough, ready to give more.
I hope that continues with me and you. A strengthening within ourselves to stretch and ready our souls for the journey ahead.
March – Team Spirit
My fondest proverb about my team would be “it takes a village to raise a child”.
TVOTRIBE is that child for me. And for every other organization I manage; it’s always been about nurturing and giving.
In March, my team and I surged forward with a ready spirit. We put in our very best into the beginning of the year (for us on TVOTRIBE, March marks our New Year).
We gave in our best, producing videos, capturing moments, planning for our tribe hang in April. It was indeed a beautiful moment. Watching and reliving moments where everyone was present is most pleasurable for me.
This team spirit also spread into school, I was put in a group. With amazing individuals, it was all about being one for all.
April – Peppersoup + Forbes Baby
I got a call late March, about being nominated for the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list and making it into the shortlist (First 100).
I was bedazzled! Quite frankly.
I didn’t quite give it much thought till I got another call and email asking for a few documents and some efforts in travel arrangements (to Johannesburg). Even then, I wasn’t overwhelmed.
However, I sent all that was required of me, and the thought passed on.
Slowly, my Birthday’s excitement slipped in and I got the most beautiful birthday. I got surprises and a cake, peppersoup delivered (just because 🥰), wine, shoes, some food made in my name, lots of crazy stuff.
I didn’t share this on most platforms because I didn’t even know how to push it forward. I’m so grateful for the love my friends show me and I’m blessed to be associated with so many amazing souls.
I also released “21” – my spoken word single, in April, even though it was available on streaming platforms in June. 21 is my baby, my soul lyrics and a body of work I poured a lot of strength into.
May – Air Struck
I didn’t quite understand the tourism industry but I knew I wanted to be part of it. So when I got the opportunity to intern at a local airport in Nigeria (Alakia Airport, Ibadan) and an International Airport (Murtala Muhammad Airport, Ikeja, Lagos) I was quite excited about it.
I met the most amazing people and I didn’t want to leave so soon, to be honest. A huge lesson I have learnt from my life’s journey is just giving in and showing up.
It was indeed a huge task but I really did give it my best and it made me connect with so many stories.
Here’s a special mention to the people who made the Airport journey amazing; Mr Arewa (my boss; who apparently is related to me), Mr Richard, Miss Angel, Mr Bayo, Mr Akeem and everyone in the Operations department making things work.
June – Production credit.
June was that month! 😂. Scurrying back from Lagos and landing on my butt, with a shovel in hand. I had an anniversary to plan.
I called my best guys; Jibola, Tobi Akinde, Yemisi, Faith Adebayo, Tolulope, The CEO (Emmanuel), Zakee, Qayyum and Tega Ethan. Gave them a brief rant and they promised to show up however they could.
I rounded up conversations with my team and with multiple Zoom calls and WhatsApp voice messages we dropped ideas. I sought advice from the Elders; who so graciously helped us phase it out and shared some contacts to make things easier.
Within weeks we gathered some equipment, a filming script, four videographers, two directors, one video editor and a producer (me). And we journeyed around conversations on our theme.
Filming the Identity Series Documentary taught me so many lessons. I learnt patience, hard work (it takes a lot to produce a film, trust me), to understand situations and people, dynamism, and the importance of great friendships.
I would say that we shot the documentary with a low budget, but we were able to make some magic, have some fun and collect stories.
I’m grateful to all who showed up on the screen and behind the cameras to make the Production of the Documentary work. You’re the best!
Watch The Identity Series Documentary here.
July – Big Vic
Remember when I said I landed on my butt with a shovel in hand? I meant that literally.
Ayo Oyeku (my soul brother and friend) calls me – Big Vic, and everytime July crosses my mind, I actually picture why. I got sick almost every week in July. Lol.
I was running a hectic work schedule, school’s almost unbearable activities and an anniversary program. I literally remember jumping in a cab from Awba Dam to run home, change up and direct conversations on the first day of the anniversary event.
It was mind boggling, exhausting and stressful. But then, it was beautiful. Goodness!
I had Aderemi, Pelumi, Jibola, Aanutomiwa, Adurapemi, BobMayor, Jola, Temi, and so much more; support, moderate, engage and just make things work! I had the Elders review every single day of the event.
We had the most amazing guests; Dike Chukwumerije, Segun Akinlolu (Beautiful Nubia), Sue Nyathi, and much more. I’m grateful for our hosts, guests, friends and all those who helped make the event an amazing one.
You can visit the full anniversary event here.
August – It takes a village Victoria
So I was on the set of a movie! A TK (Tunde Kelani) movie 🥰. Lol, it was a really nice experience. I connected with my sweet friend – Gladys and made new friends? I also caught a glance of an amazing script, had some good laughs with TK, and lastly, caught a glance (yet again) of how much work it takes to produce a movie.
In August also was the launch of a beautiful children’s book written by my friend – Ayo Oyeku, published by Kunda Kids. I hosted an interview session with him and it was beautiful connecting with his book and how much work he had put into it.
The interview was televised on channels and is available on their YouTube channel.
You can visit the event summary here.
I’m really grateful for August’s care.
September – Esan (School Year)
Forbes Africa List came through and I didn’t meet up to the first 30.
It was a thoughtful experience but it gave us a really shinny glimmer of hope.
And a show or consciousness of how much work and how much intentionality my team and I had put into ourselves and the tribe. It was a really good feeling.
God came through though.
About this time, last year, I started rejecting some interviews and features because I wanted a balance to work and share. Sometimes, one can be so swamped with that visual entourage and may not have the time to recoil and rest.
However, a few weeks into August and September, I started going back to that scene. I showed up for some interviews with Africa in Words, Neem Tree Press, and a few others in the months following after.
October – Resilience (Tribe Hang, work, Poet Laureate)
I have two unpublished poems on the Lekki Massacre. I wrote them the night and morning following the massacre. It follows that I may not publish those poems till I have the inclination to.
Somehow, those words lay stuck in my notes app.
However, of the best moments of my year would be the Tribe Hang! Themed: Stories of Resilience (with reference to the #EndSars Movement).
I enjoy being around creatives with uneven imagination. And it was pleasant recalling individual stories, sharing a drink and food, playing games, and doing so much more together.
The Tribe Hang would be the highlight of my October.
Another highlight would be taking the decision to work on a faith based blog – IPray Tribe. This decision was sponsored by the HolySpirit, my good friend – Precious and my friend & colleague – Temidayo. It’s been a beautiful journey so far.
Preparations for Poet Laureate kicked off in late October; partly because we were unsure of holding it this year, and also because I was indeed swamped with school engagements.
Poet Laureate is really a story for another day. Lol. Please don’t miss the award season this year.
Read about Poet Laureate here.
November – TV and School girl Victoria
My vocal and literary endowment are provided innately but mastered with intentionality.
In November, I spoke alongside Wayne Samuel, at an interview series (Strictly Speaking with Bimbo) with renowned, veteran broadcaster – Mrs Bimbo Oloyede. It was a wholesome experience and I can’t wait to share the interview with you during its Televised broadcast.
December – Journal of Thanks
The end lopin cinema. (read in Yorùbá)
Thankful for the new friendships I hatched in 2021 , the energy to compose and remember all these stories and forgotten battles in 2021.
I’m thankful for the new agencies adapted from the tribe; The Store, Inkuru Interview Series and Learn About Africa. And also Poet Laureate.
A huge thanks to Giselle and Shawn Carter for being an immense inspiration for living through battles in this year. I’m constantly comforted by their love, tenacity and creativity.
I’m really grateful for my family – Dr Sunkanmi, Mrs Adenike, Janet, Israel, Jola and Ayanfe.
My support systems; Aderemi, Adurapemi, Eniola Obe, Dayo Oluyide, Kene, Dehinde, Ayo Oyeku, the Tribe Team, the Tribe Elders, my church family and all my friends who leave me those long, kind messages that keep me going.
Thank you so much!
I want to add a lesson that I grasped in this year. Whatever phase or journey you may come across can only be won if you trust yourself. Give love and share happy moments with friends. Enjoy living and understand restrictions. Carry yourself with grace and reflect in calmness.
The next year may start off on the right or wrong foot, but keep believing in a will to live and love.
No one can create the best year for you. But we can only wish that you do so for yourself.
Thank you so much for 2021!
Thank you for reading this far, it shows how much you love me. 🥺
Have a blast in 2022.
5 thoughts on “Reflections by TheVictoriaO”
Happy new year in advance, Victoria. It was nice reading how beautiful your 2021 was. Congratulations on being nominated for the fobres list. That’s no mean feat despite not making the final list.
You are an inspiration and keep inspiring ❤
Thank you so much, Tobechukwu ❤️
Count your blessings and praise your maker.
May the heavens guide your path Victoria 💜
Dang dang dang!!!! Whooosh 2021 is overrrrr…. Hey Victoria, Reading this through helped me journey along with you through your trials and wins this 2021. I’m definitely so inspired, my brain is swelling with so many ideas right now… I know I’m shy and I don’t say a lot(if anything at all) being a part of the TVO family helped me grow, encouraged me to join a press organisation for the first time,poured my thoughts into words. I became more of a critical thinker reading your posts. I’m super duper grateful and I share in your joy. Thanks for this and always.
Your somewhat invisible but loyal fan.
Thank you so much Faith. I love you so much 🤗. Thanks for being true to your art!