Valentine’s day and everything that comes with it.
The snow storm on the East coast has definitely put a dampener on things. Was hoping that Santa would send whatever he overlooked at Christmas.
Perhaps he saw my ***tape. (Yeah. you wish)
Or maybe he didn’t forget and sent it to our Suwon address. Just when I was glad to be leaving Korea, I went and fell in love with it. That’s topic for another post. Back to love Issues sha, World Radio Day is almost over but all the twittoise about it definitely got me reminiscing; About the radio and what huge impact it has had in my life.
The radio definitely inspired my writing. Listening to radio talk shows like ‘Straight from the Heart’ on Saturdays mornings in our flat in Lagos. How can I forget football commentators that talked so fast they made my head spin? The radio stoked the fires of my endless list of crushes with their midnight love shows and who can forget when CoolFM arrived with the legendary Dan Foster. More than once, the radio burst my bubble and let me into what the real world was about and it was always there to remind me whenever I dared to forget.
Then the radio played a part in nudging Nigeria further into the future when it tore a huge hole in the veil of silence that hangs over us all and keeps millions bound in misery.
Sharing Life’s issues with Chaz B(Charles Bruce) first aired on Inspiration FM at the time. It turned out to be not only a lifeline in Lagos Traffic but also major therapy for thousands who had been suffering in silence thinking they were alone in their unique struggles. I can’t remember how many times I would sit in the car with my heart in my mouth, listening to people cry while they told heartbreaking tales. I don’t even want to recall how many times I would look at a friend and say ‘So this happens, In this country?’
It’s like we all thought we were special and that the issues we read about and heard about would never touch us
And believe it or not, I would look in the next car and those people would have the very same look and I would know that at that moment, at that terrible moment, we were joined in our sorrow and discovery.
And somehow Charles Bruce had that gift for getting people to keep calling in to share their stories and it wasn’t weird to stumble on people arguing the next morning about Sharing Life’s Issues topic of the night before.
‘Naaa that woman lied that she caught her husband in bed with his best friend, their best man? How is that possible? 2 men, we don’t have homosexuals in Nigeria, that is for white people!’ (Well the new Nigerian Anti-gay Law says otherwise)
People would call in, talking about horrifying abuse, sexual, physical, emotional and whatnots. I must confess that at a time it got too much for me. It would weigh me down so hard and I wasn’t even the presenter! I was just listening in!
Charles Bruce definitely played his part getting people professional help when they asked. He always struck me as someone who was rarely fazed by anything and I guess it was this ‘no judgement’ attitude that kept callers on.
I was so proud , especially of the women who called in then. Yes, I know they should have been calling the police (And maybe in the future women will trust the Nigerian police to help) but they reached out. They saw past the veil that had taught them that beatings are o.k and rape is a woman’s fault or that whatever happens in a marriage must stay in a marriage even if it kills you. Some of them weren’t even married, barely children but were already in dire circumstances and others were calling in for ‘a friend’ in trouble but wouldn’t leave because of her children.
So I have a special place in my heart for the radio and for every female who loves herself enough to not exist but truly live.
Happy Valentine’s Day
Charles Bruce Chukwuma who is popularly known as Chaz B is now on the the Rhythm Network platform and is still working on breaking barriers via his Sharing Life’s Issues radio show.