Sunday, 22 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Bisi Alimi - 10 Years of Blogging

Decade Blogs
Bisi Alimi is so many things I would have loved to be, open, direct, engaged, challenging, gregarious, talented and amazing.
Yet, all those words do not half begin to describe this man who excites passions in people in a spectrum so divergent from persuasively acceptable to the implacably unacceptable.
He gives voice to those who because of culture, stigma, fear and dangers imposed by circumstance and society are unable to engage in the pursuit of happiness.
A classic example of one who though rejected by his homeland has become a global citizen dining with princes and speaking with kings.
It goes to show if your cause is for the greater expression of our humanity and the freedom to live our lives to the fullest potential without the negative encumbrances of religion, creed, doctrine, laws, morality or sententiousness, the world would listen. I am highly honoured to know him as a friend.
Even more pleased that he agreed out his heavy schedule to contribute to my #YourBlogOnMyBlog Series commemorating my Decade of Blogging.
Bisi Alimi consults in Training, Research, Public Speaker and International Development Consultant on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues, he tweets with the handle @BisiAlimi and his website is located at http://www.bisialimi.com. I would let his piece speak for itself. Enjoy.
10 Years of Blogging
When I got the DM (direct message) from Akin Akintayo to write for the 10th year anniversary of his blogging adventure, I went in a state of panic.
Now this panic was not about my being empty of mind of what to write, no it was never about that, because when it comes to writing, I think I have a lot to say. My panic stemmed from the challenge it takes to write for Akin Akintayo. How on earth will I be able to live up to the expectation of his blog devotees?
Over the course of 10 years, he has built for himself a fan base that not only read his blog for his articulate reasoning, but also for is unashamedly exigent use of English, something that for me is a no go area.
Then just while going to bed on the night of 17th December, I received the biggest inspiration ever. I realised that my place is never to compete with this man I call Uncle Akin. I realised that I will never be like him and I should never be like him. I realised that this is not a time for me to show to his fan base that I can at least put together two sentences or know a bit of grammar and that I hardly use spell check for his writing (though that will be telling lies).
I realised that this is the time for me to celebrate one of the many that has come to change my life forever, someone that I not only call an uncle, but have upgrade to the position of a father, a brother and even more confidante.
I met @forakin over a year ago. I met him via twitter; it was one of those ‘Bisi you have to meet @forakin’ kind of tweets. I followed him and after few tweets and retweets, we agreed to meet in the spring of 2012. As usual, it was a raining and sunny day in London. We met just at the Starbucks by the London Underground Embankment Station.
I will be very honest; I had no idea how the day would end, but I was pretty excited meeting this man. I have a very bad habit, when I get introduced to people; I do a background check on them online. I want to know if they have a web presence, who they are, what they stand for and what informs their ideology, so I did the same and that was when I saw his blog, read some of them, and I was overtaken by pride and fear.
I can remember spending about two hours with him inside that Starbucks café, talking politics, sexuality, economy, travelling and many other things. Right there and then, I was sure we would surely be friends for life.
That day set the pace of a lifetime journey with @forakin and me. I have listened to him with so much admiration. There are few people in this world that can tell me what to do, and I will do. There are very few people in this world I dare not look in the face. I can humbly say @forakin is at the top of that list.
We both have been through a lot together. Like a little boy I have had the opportunity to listen to him tell the story of his life. Many tales brought tears to my eyes, many were great delights, and many were exciting. However, one thing stood clear, all the things he has shared with me have helped in shaping my views about myself and other people.
If I have the time I will list one million and one ways he has influenced myself, however, there are few that are worth mentioning.
I remembered the many conversations we have had about challenges in life. How he has overcome many of the tests life has tossed his way. I remembered many times, him looking in my eyes when I got really scared and doubted myself, telling me that I can do it.
Like a father, whenever I am on stage speaking, I look with pride into the audience and see @forakin, his eyes and head urging me on.
While I have the luxury of never doing anything wrong, he will never let my bad behaviour go unchecked. He has such strong position on making me a good man that he will not sit back and allow me to go astray.
I remembered the many nights he will call or text me just to let me know that he believes in me. At the peak of my depression in the spring of 2013, he along with Funmi Iyanda was there for and with me.
I remembered your decision to take me away to take me to Torquay when my relationship broke down thereby giving me back my self-confidence and self worth. You took the time to let me enjoy the beauty of nature while I nurtured my inner man. I remembered many times you have cried and laughed with me. I remembered many times I came back from work and you have made me wonderful “Asaro”. I also remembered many nights we had gone to bed hungry because there was no food at home.
However, like father and son we disagree on many issues, we never see eye to eye on many issues, but we never allow our differences to destroy the amazing relationship we share.
There are many more things I would have loved to say, but even now as I am writing, the fear of his walking stick pointing at me with a smile on his face that at the same time is telling “I wont take no such rubbish from you” has stopped me in my track.
Akin Akintayo, with pride for being one of the very few on twitter and in real life that can say they know you personally and have drank from your river of love, wisdom, passion, intelligence and humility, I say congratulations of being an enigma.
Finally, I will not finish this essay without saying “Uncle Ilu Oyinbo”, your love for me is immeasurable. Thank you for being one of the cornerstones of my strength and allowing me to share with you the joy of brotherhood.


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