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19 January, 2018. 10 Minute Read. By Stanley Obiamalu.

Definition One:

▪ The World or the state of things as they actually exists, as opposed to an idealistic or a notional idea of them.
Definition Two:
▪ A thing that is actually happening or seen, especially when this thing is grim or problematic.

What you see VS What you think!

I speak about 2018 with enthusiasm because I am excited about the fantastic things that have already begun to happen at SOS Media Production Company; we are barely 20days into the year and the REPLAY music video directed by yours truly team SOS for, Ice Prince Zamani has just dropped. The reviews are coming in on multiple social media platforms and I am almost blushing at the comments that we have been getting .

I had just finished up with the meeting with my team who are nothing short of the brightest people any one could be privileged to work with  about an hour before I wrote this blog when I noticed that a team member;Gavin (not his real name) was looking rather glum so I asked that he stay behind while others went about their business.

When I and Gavin were alone in the office, I asked “ Gavin was the video that bad? Gavin was surprised that I would suggest that a video that was getting so many great reviews was not at all to his liking. But, I knew what I was getting at – I needed to create an ice breaker of some sorts so that Gavin would spill and tell me what exactly was on his mind. And boy, did he talk; Gavin spent about 15 minutes telling me about all the things that had happened to him in 2017, in fact the last days of 2017 was the most horrible he had ever experienced and somehow these events were sipping into his new year, these events kept him up at night and these events did not allow him enjoy his work. In other words these events of the past had left a trauma in Gavin’s life that were affecting his present state of mind and his 2018.

After listening intensely, to these very traumatic series of events, I could have said forget about the past! It is well! This is 2018 lets turn-up! Or any other cliche statement but I took another approach, I told him to face reality.

This is exactly how Gavin looked when I told him to face reality. Lol!

Now that might seem harsh, insensitive and right now you might want to call me a lot of unsavory names but I implore you to keep reading and you might understand my point of view a bit better and you may find that I am a really nice guy.

I told Gavin to face reality because I have a firm belief that  we need a  good understanding of the past to truly propel ourselves into the future. Please don’t get me wrong an understanding of a traumatic past experience is by no means an acceptance of it, I am not saying that one must accept abuse, degradation, robbery or other bad occurrences, but I believe that if one is able to understand the past, it can be used as fuel to push one into the future that is better than any past and can out shine any trauma. Because like it or not, we all have had traumatic experiences no one can escape it.

Psychological research shows that humans of all categories in respective of back ground, association or belief will experience an average of six traumatic experiences in his or her life time.

Let me correct this notion: SHIT HAPPENS A LOT !

So, I’m guessing by now you have begun to understand that you cannot stop bad things from happening, but you must be mindful of the fact that, you are not a victim of circumstance, I am not a victim of circumstance, I chose how I react to things that happen to me, you also can choose how to react to the things that happen to me, and by so doing, I chose to create my own reality and so can you.

I read a lot and I have a lot of iconic role models that I look up to in music, film and a lot of other media entertainment categories and I will tell you factually that a lot of those artists and celebrities that I and you admire and look up to have gone through a lot of negative things that should have  defeated them but it did not. One of my favorite icons is a woman called Marguerite Johnson.

Marguerite Johnson was born in the 1920s to a black negro family in a time when people were classified by their skin color and popularly referred to as slaves. Marguerite was black, she was a slave; a second class citizen who was excluded socially and economically and she lived in constant fear of physical threats and terror. When Marguerite was seven she was raped by her mothers boyfriend, she told only her brother about this very traumatic incident and a few days later her mothers boyfriend was found dead. The society was against her, her skin color was against her, her mothers boyfriend had defiled her and now because she spoke up about the rape a human being was dead because of her.

Trauma increases suffering even long after the event(s) that  traumatized us has occurred.

These events traumatized Marguerite so badly, she became depressed, afraid, broken, she receded into herself and she did not speak another word out loud for the next five and half years. In the progression of time, Marguerite Johnson changed her name to Maya Angelou and became a dancer, actress, screen writer, poet, civil rights activist and the first black female to write a best selling non fiction book titled ; “I know why caged birds sing”.

History, despite  it’s wrenching pain cannot be un-lived, but if faced with courage, needs not be lived again – Maya Angelou

The title got me thinking;Why do caged birds sing?” I had never payed attention to the fact that caged birds do in fact sing. If you think about the current state of a caged bird you would begin to realize that birds are probably the only creatures who experience true freedom. They fly without impediment, there is no traffic in the sky. And while they are not at the top of the food chain, they are in fact the only animals that experience the truest form of liberty. Yet, when a bird is caged, it sings. Maya Angelou titled the book that she wrote with a message within a book which holds a wealth of meaning as its title.

I dug deeper into the life of Maya Angelou, her nuggets of wisdom, quotes that she is renown for and I found one quote that was more than enough for me. Maya Angelou said in her interview that she did not become who she was despite her trauma, she became who she was because of her trauma. I stated earlier that lets face reality and I still mean what I wrote.

Bad things happen to us all sometimes and they can cast a shadow so heavy that it is hard to see even a ray of light; divorce, bankruptcy, rape, death of a loved one, victim of fraud, natural disasters, loss of a job, assault, victim of bullying and the list goes on and on. But I have come to realize in my personal life that after a traumatic experience, I come up stronger, wiser and much more bolder and better. There is something about going through an adverse event that din’t break you that makes you feel like you are incredibly powerful.

I have also come to realize that, I have never attained any form of noteworthy growth when everything was rosy and I was having fun. I have learnt the most life altering lessons when I was going through something that made me worry or hurt me in some way.

I know what you are thinking, this background  is not hot! But, this is one of the best sets I discovered for my  music video shoot; my perception of the building altered its reality.

Now, here is my challenge to you, face reality, but let it be the reality that you have created for yourself no matter how bad it looks at the moment.


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