Kindly bear with us, for not publishing so many holiday specials, we are all having severe writers’ block during this period. True, it’s holiday, and there are one hundred and three things to write about: Messi is still injured, hostel balloting has been moved to the 19th, results are finally dropping like bombshells, and a new session is about to begin ASUU is on strike!!!!, etc etc. There is so much going on that we have nothing to write about. No thanks to the GOAT strikers, the holiday is now somehow indefinite.
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I have always contemplated that my final article or ‘farewell speech’ as the Content Director would be titled “No Apologies” or “I’m Not Sorry”. This was because of all the trouble that we allegedly caused during the session, and I was going to let everybody know that I did not owe any apologies. That has not changed; it is just not what this article is about.
I recall being told in my early days by the founder of this Blog that, “your writing seems troublesome.., just remember controversy sells and truth is not a defence”, and somehow for the first time, striking that balance was not so daunting. I had a great team that was so diverse it literally made life easy. I’m talking about a set of brilliant minds that never run out of ideas. Of course, I have had to yell and threaten to suspend and actually suspend them for not meeting deadlines, but it was all just part of the process and was for everyone’s good. We had very good days and terrible days, but most importantly, they helped me to learn and understand that everything is just a phase and I’ve really got to chill J. When I asked how they would describe the experience, I realized that the respect I accorded them was very much reciprocated and now most of them do not even want to leave. One even wrote a poem! Law students! Hian!
Moving on. You know what they say about learning on the job? Uhuhn. That was pretty much what heading the Blog Team and being at the forefront entailed. You think you are ready and ‘have all it takes’ until you have to give an impromptu speech defending the Blog on why Michael Dare’s hot look or Titi’s gorgeous dress did not feature on the Fashion Police segment for the Law Dinner review, or why TEC’s Manifesto 5.0 was not in Hall of Fame (even after getting a honourable mention), or having to deal with people calling and texting in the middle of the night asking for a particular comment to be deleted because they were impersonated or simply because “it is not true, I never did that.” Having to deal with all these can be so overwhelming that you forget you have Photoshop tutorials, because you are just staring at your laptop screen as the stats auto refresh every two minutes and you watch the views hit the roof, pierce through, and sky rocket.
Two things I am however grateful for are the engaged audience, and the constructive criticism from them. Oh my we had fans, home and abroad. We were not pouring water into a basket; we were actually being followed (clearly not by village people, even though it seemed so at some point). We had a lot of people wanting to be interviewed or just featured on the Blog for something, some wanting to join the team midway and totally not minding, and very many just looking forward to the next post. All these made me really happy, and that was when I realized that I had to do more, as letting fans down is an expensive thing I cannot afford.
I would be closing this piece by sharing some of the responses I got from the team when I asked how they would describe their experience:
“…the plan was just to have a low key boring session. That plan changed when I passed my interview and got on the 2018 Sauce Team. Being on the team was one of the highlights of the session for me… I would tell you how interesting it was writing my literal pieces and I would tell you how “aunty” content director was always on my neck to meet deadlines. But in summary, I would say it was worth it.”
“Behind every masterpiece is a flawed artist. Sometimes, we get to see the person behind the canvas. Sometimes we do not. In ignorance of the artist, we view the imperfections in the art as accentuation to its beauty. It is the reverse when we know the artist for who he or she is, when we see through the canvas. One of our closest shots to perfection is through art- whatever it means to you. We are all artists. The art supersedes us. The art must be separated from us, because long after we gone, our masterpieces would be our memoirs. They will forever remain the purest versions of us that will ever be known. We could all be grandmasters.”
“…everybody here has been dope, like Supreme Dope, like Thanos with all infinity stones dope… Nobody really acknowledges us most times but the work we’ve done is something that stands the test of time, and maybe someday your kids will stumble on your works and laugh.”
Not to blow my trumpet or anything (which I totally should anyways) *flips hair*, but I cannot agree more or less, especially to the one with the artist and the canvas.
Princewill, this is dedicated to your soul. You had so much of the sauce that we called you the Sauce Daddy of the team. Four months on and it still feels like you only changed school. If only the world paused for you. Thank you for being our best member. I hope we made you proud.
I don’t know what is next for me, but I certainly hope it involves a team as kind and funny and diverse, and an audience as engaging and criticizing and supportive at the same time. So this is not a goodbye, this is a thank you.
Love one another and drink plenty water.