I wont hesitate to tell you all how amazing my birthday was on Sunday (11th August). I didn’t expect anything at all from anyone so the little that I got really made my day. I had cake, a tee shirt (wont say the name of local designer lol), complimentary cards made specially for me, Cool Water (really wanted another bottle because the little I had was done a long time ago. One of my favourite colognes), a shirt specially made for me by Hemlyne and I received a silver ring designed with a special stone from Niger (Adamu of Ms Naa fame gave me this). I also found out that I shared the same birthday with Jeanne, so she called me over to come chill and chitchat with her and a couple of other friends. The topping of all these were the countless messages I got on facebook and twitter, they all made my day a memorable one.
Enough of that, that isn’t the reason for this post, I really want to talk about a disability that has been so intense in the last couple of months. I guess some of you who know me personally know what I am talking about. Yes, my speech disability. I stammer, and after I finished my last One Show interview on Viasat1 with PY and Joselyn on the 19th of June, it has increased. I know most will doubt this because you might not notice it when I speak and others will say the rate hasn’t escalated. I get you all, but the difficulty I go through before enunciating has really increased.
I didn’t learn how to stammer like some people do, I came to the world with it, the dad that I never knew and saw just twice before he died had a very serious shutter and most of my 23+ siblings on my father’s side do stammer. It’s a beauty when we come together and talk. I usually resist myself from calling especially 2 of my brothers (Theo and Kakra) because we would stammer our talk-time away. And when I am speaking to my siblings, I do not force myself not to stammer because I know I am on familiar grounds.
In primary school, I had a very serious stammer and that made me very quiet and timid, I hardly talked in class and will never raise my hand to answer a question. I remember how my mom used to pray for me and how she always got worried anytime I was in the midst of people. But I was able to fight it as I got older and now it is way better even though my wish is to make it vanish totally. Never gone through therapy in my life and now, I sometimes think about it. When I am around people I am comfortable with, I never stammer unless an argument ensues then hell breaks. Its like I am choking, losing my breath, my tongue wants to fall out and my eyes want to pop. It’s an experience that no one would want to experience.
Usually, I get the question about how I don’t stammer when I am performing. Yes, I never stammer on stage and it’s amazing. I cannot explain, at first I thought it was because I memorize stuff over and over again so it becomes locked up and familiar in my brain but I think that is somehow not true. I’m saying so because I have had opportunities of hosting several events where I don’t have to memorize anything I say and I flow without any hindrance. This is something that I want to do away with, I want to have kids who wont stammer, I want to speak without thinking twice first and I basically want to be vocal. However, something I have never tried is to search for remedies on google and youtube and I think it’s time I do that. Lol!
I hope I didn’t bore you at all with this post, I know this is quite personal. I am posting this because it’s a worry. It’s something I think about when I am stepping out of my house to face the world, but I know there is nothing impossible so I can fight this. Isn’t it wonderful how I am a spoken word artist?
I sometimes wish my daily endeavours were stages to me, so I wouldn’t stammer.