Thursday Talk Series |Chike Ibekwe Talks About All The Things He Likes

Hello folks. Been a minute. December is here. Happy new month! Feliz Navidad! Yeah, I’m crazy about this season. I’ll be putting a wallpaper below, everything cute, cat and Christmas. Many more more to come.

So the other day my brother asked me, “How do you stop yourself from getting angry?” To tell the truth, I haven’t been asked that question before, so it took me a couple of seconds to answer. Maybe, just maybe, I would like to believe that I can control my anger to a degree. But…there have been instances when I threw my hands up, and just unleashed the dragon. Still, I will share in my next post the answer I gave him on how I manage my anger and why it works for me. Until then, have you ever paid attention to how you deal with anger? Give it some thought and leave your comments below.

In today’s interview, I’ll like to introduce Chike. He’s a longtime friend, and like his famous namesake, he’s the boo of the booless. Several long years have passed since I first met him, and he has never let me forget that I snubbed him when he approached me. In my defense, I was engrossed in a book and he was asking me one yeye question.😂 Also, let it be known that he was the first to be interviewed in person. I’ll also drop a snippet of the audio interview below.

Yes! This is a huge one for me and it feels right to come back with it. Chike always has a smile to give, and being around him eases your stress away. An attentive tutor, musician, photographer, and creative genius.


Q. Can you introduce yourself and what you do?

A. Hi, my name is Chike Ibekwe. Some people call me Chikonene but I have given myself Damian Cole. People have asked me how I got the name, well, I saw it online and thought to myself, “This name is fine,” and now I’m Damian Cole Chike (DCC angles). I’m a photographer in the making. and like I always say, even if I work for ten years as a photographer for the likes of Buhari and Queen Elizabeth, I’ll still be a photographer in the making. Another thing I do is teach (home lessons) because I’m smart you know. I teach both old and young. I’m funny and I can also sing and drum (I do paid gigs).

Chike Ibekwe Talks About The Things He Likes on Thursday Talk Series

Q. Why do you do your job, and would you rather do something else?

A. Like I mentioned earlier, I do not do just one thing in particular. I can wake up and choose to take pictures of the bridge and if the image turns out good, I’ll be like wow, awesome. Also, when the students I tutor are showing signs of improvement, it makes me happy. I feel confident in the work that I do because I know that I can perform well. The same goes for when I sing or play the drums. I derive immense satisfaction from the things I do and for now, I don’t think I’d rather do something else.

Q. When have you felt like giving up?

A. I work with a photographer friend of mine. However, I’m still learning and so my hands are not steady yet. There was one time we had a proposal scheduled here in Lagos, but my friend had to be in Abuja. He told me that I would have to cover the proposal all by myself. And the proposal wasn’t in a fancy bright place. If it was, I could expect that every shot I would take would look great because of the environment. Instead, it was planned at a cinema, and you know poor lighting. I wanted to tell my friend, “I can’t do it, I don’t think this is for me.” I wasn’t confident. Although I eventually did it, and it turned out well, that was one of the times I ever felt anxious and wanted to give up. So, whenever I find myself in a situation, whether singing or tutoring, and I’m faced with what seems like a mad challenge, I want to run away – those are the times I felt like giving up – but I still do it.

Q. If money was not relevant, what would you do all day?

A. If money was irrelevant and I have everything that I wanted, I would hang out with my friends. There’ll be food and drinks, and even a swimming pool. We’ll grab a keyboard, grab drums or whatever instrument we find, and spend the time singing and worshiping. We’ll talk, laugh, get in each other’s faces, and just have fun. I like having people around.

Q. When do you feel the most confident about your work?

A. When I don’t have to assert myself or do a lot of physical work but trust in my skill and mental ability to do a good job, that’s the time I’m most confident about my work. It was the case at the last party we covered where I was shooting effortlessly. Somebody walked up to me and said she has been watching me and was wondering if I was shooting or just chilling. I showed her the images I took and she was wowed by them. Even when I teach because in the end it can be left or right. Whenever my effort is reflected in their results I feel confident.

Chike Ibekwe Talks About The Things He Likes on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What two things do you think of the most each day and why?

A. My hairline. Gaddem! My hairline. Every time. Even today I saw it and I was wondering if it was going inside or coming out. To think that five years ago it looked like this. Well, they did not give birth to me with a front hairline. The second one well there are a lot but mostly my virginity. I’m just trying to be funny because I know there are other things that I think about. But I think about this like, I’m 27, guy! I can sit down and just start thinking about it. I mean it’s not like I have never been close to a woman, I have. And I’ve been at the stage when it is about to happen, but I run. I run. I think about it every time.

Q. What kind of people do you allow into your circle?

A. I’m almost like a sanguine. We that we’re sanguine we allow everybody inside. Just anybody as long as you have good vibes. I don’t like people that are full of themselves or pretentious. I like humble people – that are down to earth. I also don’t care for people who are quick to cast blame instead of looking for the way forward. So that’s how I filter people, if not I allow everybody in.

Q. Do you think we have a greater purpose or are we just waiting for our turn to die?

A. This is the third thing I think about all the time. I mean I see good people die all around me of natural death, I see the lives of Christians and innocent people wasted by the Boko Haram. I’ve heard people say that God does not make the attempt to help people out and I sit down to contemplate if this is true. Are we here just to mark time and die. I think if God knows the end from the beginning what is the whole point of creating the world? Why let us have to choose between heaven and hell? Because it’s hard. Living is very hard. I still believe in God and I’m a Christian but I question existence all the time.

Q. What is that thing that you see as an obstacle which can stop you from having success?

A. Women. Some men lie to themselves and say that women are not an issue for them but I know myself. I’m at the point where I’m sure that success is coming and I’m sure that if I don’t have a woman in my life like a girlfriend or wife then, hehe. I have an affinity for females and even if I don’t approach them, they’ll approach me. It’s the way I am. That connection with ladies will cause something to happen. I’ll be like Samson, I’ll have to run away from all the Delilahs. Also, my mind. Because I strongly believe in myself. If I’m eating corn on the street and people are looking at me, I’ll continue eating the corn because my mind says I shouldn’t care. But once I begin to care about it then it becomes a problem. So my mind and women.

Chike Ibekwe Talks About The Things He Likes on Thursday Talk Series

I derive immense satisfaction from the things I do and for now, I don’t think I’d rather do something else…I like humble people – that are down to earth. I also don’t care for people who are quick to cast blame instead of looking for the way forward. So that’s how I filter people, if not I allow everybody in.

Chile Ibekwe on Thursday Talk Series

Q. What’s the one thing you think that should be taught in school about choosing a career that isn’t?

A. Money and Passion. You are teaching a person mathematics and the person has a talent for horse riding, I mean how do you take that. The educational system is too rigid and boxed up. Teaching mathematics with the knowledge that the students who are not on the same level intellectually and yet you call the person who does not pass a failure. It’s like bringing a fish to compete in a horse race. From an early age, children should be groomed based on their passion, just like the way athletes in foreign countries train. In my case, I played drums from an early age and I can play the drum anywhere. I started photography at the age of 25. It would have to be around 40 years before I master photography. Also, people should be educated about money. How to make fortune from their passion is very important. Teaching is something I love to do even if you won’t pay me but now I get paid doing what I love and that is amazing.


Yo! This was so much fun😂 Trust me that there’s so much from the audio interview that I left out because what lol. Thank you so much, Chike for doing this to me. Can’t wait to work on another project with you❤️

Follow Chike Ibekwe on Instagram @dcc_angles

Guys, like I said you can listen to a snippet of the audio interview. Apologies for the background noises, I’m not yet good at cleaning things up). You can also get the triple combo wallpaper – cute, cat, and Christmas ☺️🐱🎄

Deck The Cat Wallpaper - Waking Dreams Unmasked

Don’t forget to leave a comment below.

A Christmas Story

Rigozo

It is undoubtedly my favorite time of the year. My husband, Damilare, and I just got back from our Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. We are spending the holidays with his large family in Lagos, and always it’s a lot to take in.

The whole gang is here – his grandparents, mother and siblings, their respective spouses and kids, several uncles, aunties, cousins, and a couple of close friends. I have stopped trying to remember which child belongs to whom. Growing up with my folks in England as an only child, Christmas was a small affair until I met the Gbadamosis – these guys turn every holiday into a party of sorts. Speaking of my folks – they are spending the holiday with a family friend in New Orleans – I should call to check in later in the day.

The day is bright and warm. The three-story mansion is beautiful and tastefully structured with clean lines and has an open balcony overlooking the spacious living room with doors on all sides that leads to other parts of the house. The Christmas decorations are put up by hired experts every year; even so, the place looks homey and inviting.

“Hello, everyone!” I sing hands weighed down with shopping bags as I walk into the living room from the entrance. My husband follows with his ever-present smile and hands burdened with more shopping bags. Lately, his smile has been giving way to frowns. Dammy can fit right into an NBA team with his height, while I’ll most likely end up with Girl Scouts.

I spy my mother-in-law coming into the room from the opposite door that leads to the hallway, and a smile lights up in her eyes as she sees me.

Kii re? Ahn ahn! Did you raid the store, my dear?” my mother-in-law asks.

As luck would have it, we’ve shared a bond since I married into the family. She dotes on my husband – I understand, I dote on him too. Also, I miscarried my first issue, not unlike her. I don’t know how we could have moved on if she hadn’t spent the next six months shuffling from Nigeria to London to spend time with us. Dammy’s father – God rest his soul – was equally very supportive. Happily, we have two boys now, Kolawole and Feranmi, and they are the joy of my existence when they aren’t up to wrecking my sanity.

Mummy, E ka ro!” I greet, the words tumble out of my mouth breathlessly, if not a little bit awkward, and my knees move to the floor.

“What are you doing? Stand up. Welcome, my dear.” She moves quickly to my side and pulls me up to my feet. She is pretty still in her blue caftan, and her hair is in braids that fall to the middle of her back. There’s a couple of gold rings on her fingers, nails polished bright red.

I make a face at him not to rat me out and try to convey my sweetest smile to his mother when she looks my way – do I look guilty?

“Dammy, don’t you think this is too much? Why are you making Anike carry these heavy bags?” she scolds and swats Dammy on the head.

He shakes his head, a frown already on his face, “Good morning Ma. Here, these bags over here are for the house.” He sets aside a couple of bulging plastic bags then looks accusingly in my direction. “Jess was indecisive about what gifts to buys for the kids, so she emptied the toy section. I told her to leave them in the car when he got back, but she insisted,” my husband says with exasperation before he leans down to place a kiss on her forehead.

Dammy didn’t tell her that I craved chocolate chip ice cream and wanted to get rid of the evidence outside the house. I blow him kisses, and he rolls his eyes.

Dammy moves to the spiral stairs – its traditional railings draped with fairy lights and garlands, set against the large windows that go up to the first floor.

“I’m taking these up to our rooms so that the kids won’t see their presents before we wrap them up. Jess love, drop the bags, I’ll come back for them. Just sit down and put your legs up.”

“Aye aye, captain! You know, I’m not invalid, even though this cherry doesn’t pop until next month.” I say to his straight retreating back.

I don’t want to make a scene in front of his mother. With her help, I park my very pregnant self in the nearest seat, groaning deeply as the ache down my spine unfurls.

“Where’s everybody?” I ask after she has given me an earful.

The room is deserted, with toys and knickknacks littering every surface – the former is unusual, the latter is unavoidable. The Christmas decorations are still intact, thankfully. Even though there’s no ritual for Santa or sharing of gifts by the tree on Christmas day here – you get prayer and gifts at odd hours – the house comes alive and becomes a marketplace with the arrival of more family members. We trade family secrets, gossips, and everything in between. I can’t complain because I have been having so much fun; it’s taking a toll on me trying to keep up.

“They are at the back of the house. Kunle is flying his drone, and the entire lot ran out to watch.” With a shake of her head, she walks off in the direction of the kitchen.

“That will occupy them for a while, I guess.” Kunle is her son-in-law, Pelumi’s husband. Pelumi, her only daughter, is the doctor in the family and my best girl.
She’s all shades of fun.

His mother returns with a glass of juice, a bowl of chin-chin and chicken, for me to eat, and I dig in.


The rest of the gang wander back into the house. The older kids act like they couldn’t wait to get rid of us, their phones pressed to their noses. They make me feel so old. The younger kids act like we don’t exist in whatever fantasy world they inhabit – except when they get hurt or hungry or both. I get swarmed by them, exchange greetings, and swat at my boys when they come circling me like hawks.
The room quickly devolves into barely contained mayhem, and I waddle-walk to the kitchen to escape.

The house took two years to complete to accommodate the large family, and sometimes I’m left speechless at the sheer size of each room. The kitchen is at the other end of the house on the ground floor, with double screen doors open to the back. It is hazy with steam from several cooking pots, and people bustle around. There’s a rhythm to how they work, like hands on a clock, talking loudly and sharing jokes. My mother-in-law is the undisputed captain of this ship. I find it mesmerizing to watch, but one disapproving glare from her, and I know it is a bad idea.

“I don’t need your help because I have enough hands; willing, and unwilling. There’s a roster this time. You’d be in it but for your condition.” She smiles mischievously and moves to oversee the girls arranging the glassware.

I glimpse Dare chopping onions, tears streaming from his eyes, and I can’t stop myself from laughing. He’s my husband’s older brother. He currently oversees the family business and can be intimidating, but the way he acts around his mother is proof of how scary she can be.

“Dare, how’s it going?” I tease, and he scoffs. “O da bo?” I say and relish the redness in his eyes as he shoots daggers my way – my cue to retreat before I get into more trouble.


‘Aunty Jessica’ rings in my ears wherever I go – only the older family members call me Anike; the reason it is so is a mystery. Anyway, it seems everybody is busy except me.

Soon I’m cornered by the grandparents. Oh no! I need a translator. I can barely string short sentences in Yoruba, and I only manage to say a spattering of words; my kids are doing better than I am. With them rapidly speaking, I am unable to understand a single thing. It gets awkward because they barely understand English too. Our conversations are always one-sided with a series of facial expressions, hand gestures – some indecipherable sign language of our own making. The general take from the encounter is a good one.


Uneasy and unable to commit to being treated like an egg, I go in search of my husband. The ache in my back has returned, and it’s starting to feel very uncomfortable. I check upstairs since it was where I last saw him head to, and find him on the floor in our room – toys and wrapping paper cover every available space.

“I thought we were supposed to wrap the gifts together,” I say and startle him. I reach back to lock the door to prevent the kids from stumbling in. “I was looking all over the place for you.”

A smug grin appears on his face, “Did you miss me?” I nod without hesitation. Being an only child helped me become independent at an early age. Lately, it can be upsetting dealing with ‘everything’ without Dammy. I can’t say how it happened when being apart from him turned difficult. However, I find myself looking for his face whenever I enter a room. I try not to be needy – in my defense, a gentle reminder that I am preggy – my hormones and nerves are off the chart.

“Your face is puffy and tomato red; you promised to put your feet up.” He says, again that frown turns up.

“I did. For a while, then I got bored. Besides, everybody is busy. Your kids are making a raucous downstairs with the rest; somebody put the music on my way up. Your family members are party freaks.” I say diplomatically.

He fakes a cough, “They are your family too. If I recall correctly, the last time we came around, you danced the night away.”

“Yes! Oh God, they’re contagious.” I try to say it with a straight face, and we both laugh because everybody knows I love to dance.

The bed is thankfully toy free – I can’t resist clean sheets, so I make a beeline for it. When at last, I reach the bed, I kick off my flip-flops and try to sit down, but my back shoots a lance of pain that my brain registers on the high side.

“Babe, please come help me sit. My back hurts.” Dammy springs up and rushes over. “I’m alright, I think I overdid it with the shopping and running around, but I’m fine. I only need to rest a little…”

“That’s it. You are not leaving this room again today. You’ll take your meals here, and I’ll insist that nobody disturbs you.” He says firmly, then helps me lay on my side, propping up the pillows to make it comfortable.

“Why won’t you listen to me?” Damilare grumbles as he sits beside me and rubs my back. I wince when he touches a sore spot, and the frown on his face deepens.

“Let’s trade. You can carry the babies while I do the fussing. I can do a better job,” I say cheekily. “Sit down, Dammy love! No, you don’t, that’s enough thinking for one day, you’ll hurt yourself,” I mimic his voice, and my reward is a smile. His hand comes to rest on my belly, and I place mine over his.

My time in Lagos has left me tan – mercifully, the sunscreen I slather over every inch of exposed skin saves me from sunburn. I’m tan, and he is dark. We didn’t expect to stay so long in Nigeria when we arrived a few weeks ago to visit. We stayed back for Christmas because my mother-in-law insisted she wanted the kids to be around, and our boys were fine with it.

“Stay with me. I bet your babies need to cuddle. They must feel left out of all the celebrations,” I say, hinting at how I’ve felt the last couple of days.

When the doctor told us that we were having twins, I swear my husband whooped and pumped his fist in the air as if he heard that his team won the Premier League. He got sober shortly and has since had this haunted look.

The birth of each of our boys was difficult, but thankfully the doctors did their best. The pain of losing a child is a brand in our hearts; perhaps it’s the worst thing that can happen to a parent. Pregnant moms of multiples don’t have it easy because everything intensifies. The worry and stress Dammy puts himself through all the time I was pregnant is hard to watch, but I understand that he is only trying to do the noble thing.

“Okay.” He scoots over and lay down beside me, holding me loosely in his arms. We talk about our plans for a new house when we get back to London and then again about our future, and it feels like old times when it was just the two of us. It doesn’t take long before I fall asleep.


My back is on fire. When I try to move, the pain stabs at my sides and knocks the air out of my lungs. Tears burn in my eyes, and I whimper pathetically. My hands thrash helplessly; all I want is for it to stop hurting.

“Jess! Babe, what’s wrong?” The lights come on in the room, in a glance reveals that it is still dark outside. Dami is next to me in a heartbeat.

“It hurts,” I manage to say. My thoughts scramble, the one that is worried about my babies the most persistent.

“Where? Your back? I’ll get Pelumi. Will you be alright by yourself for a couple of minutes?” he asks.

“Yes. Go quickly.” I cry.


Several agonizing minutes later, my husband returns with Pelumi – one hand holds a medical kit, the other hand holds her night robes close at the front. She is not the only one. A small crowd ends up outside our room like we are having a bizarre slumber party. I don’t know what Dami was thinking, waking them up at this odd hour. If I didn’t feel like roadkill, I would have laughed at the sight. I hope the rest of the house is still sleeping because I wouldn’t want my boys to see me like this.

While Pelumi checks me, my husband hovers like a hawk until she throws him out of the room and slams the door shut in his face. My body is so sensitive, and I’m grateful that her hands are gentle.

“Are you on any medication?” She asks softly. I shake my head.

“I’ll see what I can get for you to help with the pain.,” She says. From experience, I know that it is most likely Paracetamol, and I want to suggest something else. She didn’t say anything about my babies– I need to know that they are okay.

As if hearing my thoughts, Pelumi answered, “Your babies are fine, sweetheart, try to relax. Strong painkillers are not advisable in your condition, and from what I see, your back pain is likely from the weight of the babies. I’ve got chamomile tea; I’ll send it up to you.”

When she finishes, she calls Dammy in, and together they help me to the toilet to relieve myself, and I endure a warm bath. I feel a little better after taking medication and getting a rubdown (my mother-in-law bullied her way to my side).

I’m allowed to see the crowd of well-wishers. It takes a while before Pelumi removes them from inside and outside our room; the sun is already up.


“I’m not an invalid,” I say haughtily.

I am still in bed trying to talk Dammy out of changing our travel plans. He swings from not going at all because of my condition and going at once.

“Feeling better?” he asks.

“Yeah. You can stop making that face.”

“What face?”

“You look constipated when you frown,” I tease, and he hits me on the head gently with a pillow.

“Merry Christmas to you, babe,” I say then, give him a kiss for being amazing. Whatever happens, we will get through it together. I’m looking forward to the new year because it promises to be full of new beginnings.

“Merry Christmas,” he says, relief shining through his eyes, masking for a moment his worry and stress.

Kola drags his older brother Feranmi into the room; his other hand grips his Batman action figure. They are still in their jammies. The latter greets and heads to the toilet, while the former jumps on the bed and throws himself at me. My husband is quick to intercept. Kola is four, just a baby.

“The other kids say Santa did not show up because Nigeria is too far from the UK. Is it true, mummy?” he asks and fires out more questions in the same vein. I feel a stab of guilt for not paying closer attention to them since we arrived and quickly talk to God that I’ll do better, and can he please tell me what answers to give without technically lying. I tell my husband to bring out the presents; we are doing damage control. It looks like today is going to be a long day.


Photo credit: Pexels