The Modern Day School of the Arts is a University for the study of the arts and design in Lagos and it offers courses in Creative Writing, Fashion Design, Multi-Platform Communications, Photography, Web Design and Development. Teaching these courses are a staggering array of talented professionals in their field; Ituen Basi, Don Barber, Toni Kan, Tolu Ogunlesi, and Victor Ehikhamenor.
I first heard about MDSA via Instagram and was instantly intrigued, see I'd always wanted to do a Creative Writing course, I know I can write but I've always wanted to learn the proper form and structure of writing. So I got on their website and started to do my research and I was super impressed by what I saw there. Omoyemi Akerele of Style House Files, whose reputation spreads beyond fashion as an innovator is on the Board of Advvisors so I knew I was on to a good thing.
I registered for the Creative Writing course and was invited to take part in a 2 day workshop prior to the kick off for the week long workshop. It was taught by Toni Kan who I'd been a fan of since he used to write for Hints Magazine. Now at the time, I was in primary school I think and was definitely not supposed to be reading Hints but I was such a voracious reader that I read everything I could get my hands on, even the back of cereal boxes when there wasn't anything else. There was no discrimination, as long as something had text on it I would read it.
With Toni Kan
The workshop took place the first week of February and was so much fun, I mean I love Law and all but classes used to get so tedious that several times I wanted to start screaming in class so I could be certified insane and won't have to go to school (true story), but this was...easy, I mean I found it easy. Writing is something I've always loved and has always come naturally to me so having to "study" it was a bit laughable. It was like taking a class where you had to learn to eat ice-cream....
The class was well attended and the students were engaging and interactive and Toni Kan was a phenomenal teacher. I was a bit wary about that at first because being good at something doesn't necessarily mean you'd be able to impart that knowledge to the next person, but he totally allayed all my fears.
At the end of the workshop we were set an assignment to write a story with the central theme being Valentines Day. The premise was based on an experience Toni Kan had a few years ago where he walked into a restaurant on Valentine's Day and there was a woman sat at a table by herself, gorgeously dressed who proceeded to demolish a 3 course meal meant for two people during the course of the evening, all the while looking happy and content and not the least bit uncomfortable that she was eating by herself at a romantic restaurant on Valentine's Day. We had to write a story incorporating that visual and creating a back story surrounding it. We would read out our stories at the next class and Mr. Kan would pick his favourites to be published in the Sunday Sun.
Mine was picked (yay me) and published in the Sun on 17th February, unfortunately I was out of the country on the 17th and by the time I got back I couldn't find a single vendor that could get me the Sun of the 17th :( Anyway I wanted to put the story on here so you guys can read it.
February 14th 1961
“It’s a boy!”
“Here’s to never having another Valentine’s Day to ourselves again darling” gasped the sweaty, once pregnant woman to the man, her husband who stood by her, enduring her painful grip on his hand.
He gave no answer, smiling through his tears.
February 14th 1992
“Lola, will you marry me?”
A ripple of excitement went through the crowd gathered that day for what had begun as a birthday celebration but would end as an engagement party.
The tall slim woman looked at the man, love shining though her eyes, “so if I say yes do I still have to give you a birthday present?” she quipped and the excited guests burst into laughter.
“Just say you’ll be Mrs. Rotimi Oladokun and you’ll never have to give me a present for the rest of our lives.”
February 14th 1993
Lola and Rotimi were observed sneaking out by a side door by their wedding guests who elbowed each other smiling at the newly wedded couple’s eagerness to snatch a moment alone on their wedding day.
Rotimi’s best man, an infamous rake looked on wistfully, “you know”, he said to one of the groomsmen, “these two almost make me want to give it all up, being around them is dangerous to a bachelor’s sense of well-being.” “Osaro the man!” laughed the groomsman, “you know you like women too much to ever settle for just one.” “That is true” mused Osaro, “but they give me faith, maybe one day I’ll meet my own Lola.” He was lost in this reverie for a few minutes then noticing a group of bridesmaids and in particular, a spectacularly endowed one walking towards them, smiled “but today is NOT that day.”
February 14th 2011
The woman performed her toilette carefully, she luxuriated in a scented bath for at least an hour, applied her make-up with a skilled hand, spent ages moisturizing his favourite body butter into her already fragrant skin.
She held up the Tiffany Amber dress and smiled, tonight she was going to be a knockout, tonight she will make him prouder than ever.
Every diner that walked into the Jade Oriental restaurant that most romantic night of all nights noticed the stunning woman sitting at a table by herself.
Most of the men would have made a play for her themselves if they weren’t commanded by the rules of Valentine’s Day to be perfect gentlemen to their long suffering significant others, but the same thought passed through everybody’s mind “I wonder what sort of man would keep such a beautiful woman waiting on such a day.”
Still alone, the woman ordered a veritable feast, when the food was laid out before her she smiled with pure delight.
She took out a photo, kissed it and whispered “Rest in peace darling.”
…..and on the anniversary of her late husband’s birthday, the day he asked her to marry him, the day they became man and wife.....on Valentine’s Day;
Lola Oladokun picked up her fork and knife and attacked her food with gusto.
Love and light xx
You can find out more about the Creative Writing course and other courses at the Modern Day School of the Arts Nigeria HERE