As a writer, music has proved to be one of my greatest inspirations over the years. I’m a music lover and combining this with my self imposed title of unrepentant media addict, you can imagine how I spend a great part of each day listening to music. In particular, I have a soft spot for Nigerian music. I grew up listening to all sorts of music across different genres and from different parts of the world and perhaps that is why I’m extra interested in the Nigerian music scene as I’m constantly on the look out for new material that can compete internationally.
Iyanya recently released an EP titled Signature after his switch from MMMG to Mavin. On this EP, you’ll find a song, which inspired what you are about to read. The second song on the EP, which was also the second single released is titled ‘Hold On’. For those of you who have sworn off Nigerian music or Iyanya as an artist, forgive me for being the one to drag you back down this road but I believe, if not the song, reading this post will justify the trip.
On the first listen, you’ll probably find yourself asking what on earth is going on in the song and that’s not surprising not with lyrics like those below (from the chorus).
When e enter
You go feel am
Make you no rush this love
When e enter
You go feel am
When its inside
You go feel am
Make you no rush this love
Innuendo much? Well, more like a gimmick from Iyanya and his team to get your attention and I must say, it worked – at least for me. After I heard that hook, I found myself paying more attention to the lyrics of an Iyanya song (something I never thought I’d ever do again after listening to his second album). Here’s the second verse:
Take your time you know
Love be like Russian roulette you know
I know say your time dey go
But that no mean say romance be true love
Oh baby take your time you know
Cuz when love hold you na there you go know
For now lets chill as we proceed na there you go know
Chukwuma, e break your heart,
Eugena, she thief your man
And if person fit to take your man
Sorry to say that is not your man
Wetin be your own go be your own
If no be your own, leave am alone
We take it one step at a time
We go get there somewhere somehow
Iyanya is basically talking to the ladies out there asking them to be patient and wait for ‘true love’. This helps to explain the hook a little bit more because I know I have tried several times and failed at explaining what true love is and not to talk about how exactly it feels. And so, as elementary as it sounds, I must give credit to Mr. Iyanya for capturing this emotion the way he did.
“When e enter. You go feel am”
Several female friends and acquaintances have come up to me recently to lament their misadventures in the world of relationships. I have friends as young as 24 and others as young as 32 who came to me claiming to have given up on men and the entire process of finding love. Why? Because as far as they’re concerned, love isn’t for them. It’s like an endless torture, one heartbreak after the other. Just when they think they’ve found the one, he goes on to shatter their fragile hearts into even smaller pieces than the person before him.
My message to them has been and will always be the same – Hold On. I’ve said it here, time without number, I do not believe in regret. It’s such a silly emotion and a time wasting one too but unfortunately, we live in a world where we’ve been conditioned to focus a lot more on the negative. Turn on your TV or heck; jump on your Twitter timeline, despite all the good that’s happening in the world, people manage to focus on the negative. Even when the world comes together to celebrate something good, some special trolls figure out ways to dampen the mood by cooking up negative information to draw attention to themselves.
And so, I understand why it’s easier to focus on the fact that a guy who broke up with you after dating for five years wasted your life rather than thanking your stars you didn’t end up married to him and stuck in a loveless marriage possibly for the rest of your life. I understand why at 26, you’d rather believe all men are scum because the last two you dated ended up cheating on you instead of understanding and focusing on how those relationships have helped you better define the kind of guys you need in your life. I understand that this dreaded body count you’re so obsessed with keeps rising with every heartbreak and you’re not closer to finding your prince. Trust me, I understand it so much that I took advantage of it when I was still in the world.
Regret is such a powerful emotion that if you don’t manage it properly, it takes total control of you and makes you even more vulnerable to the same things you claim to be regretting. So a guy cheated on you with a close friend and that’s more than enough reason for you to alienate all your close female friends when the next guy comes along. What if the new guy turns out to be a lying married man and one of your alienated friends knows this and could have warned you? Regret is very deceptive; it masks real issues and causes us to focus on unimportant things.
This being said, it’s not an easy emotion to control. As you can tell from Iyanya’s lyrics, one requires a truckload of patience to be able to conquer regret and patience is even harder to preach when it’s up against something unknown. Telling someone to hold on for five months for a new job is way easier than telling them to hold on for X days for this thing called love that you can’t really explain more than ‘when e enter, you go feel am’.
Iyanya likened love to a game of Russian roulette and I must say the man is spot on. If regret is as powerful as I tried to describe it above, just imagine how true love feels – the things it can do to you and the things it can make you do. Christians will talk about God displaying his love for us by sending his only son to die on the cross – just imagine the emotion behind all of that. Now, do you expect it to come easily? I think not. I feel too many of us have over simplified what true love is – we have reduced it to common actions or events such as social media PDA or buying of gifts, lavish proposals and weddings; forgetting that this emotion is so powerful and unique that it cannot exist the exact same way in two people.
And so, whether you’re 21 or 35, if your body count is 0 or 50, if you’ve completely given up on love or you’re still out there trying to understand why it just seems like nobody really wants you, my message to you today is, put Iyanya’s Hold On single on repeat all day sit tight. Spend some time to evaluate your journey into love so far. It might be difficult at first but as you continue to dwell on each experience, you’ll understand why you had to go through them and what sort of lessons you should take out and focus on.
Do you agree or disagree with anything you’ve read here? Got questions, experiences to share? Please use the comment section below to express you.