So my Abba has this thing that He does where He puts me in one kin situation like this and then proceeds to chortle at my extreme discomfort as He works on yet another part of me.

He’s at it again. This time, it’s voice-overs. Lemme explain.

At my office, a couple of people have recently called me to do voiceovers for one program or the other (Coming soon!) This wouldn’t be a big deal except for one thing; I am not the most expressive of people. As a matter of fact, sometimes it takes me hours to realise that I am happy/sad/angry.

Now I have deep emotional reserves, I feel a range of emotions, but I don’t express them. From happiness to sadness to anger, my voice stays at the same pitch, perfectly modulated, deeply soothing (I’ve been told), almost impersonal. Now when I lose my temper, I start shouting like I’ve suddenly been possessed like a town crier, but apart from those times…nada.

Infact let me tell you guys a story. When I was in the Talk Academy for the Debaters, one of our coaches one day decided that he wanted to work with some of us on infusing emotion into our voices. He would play someone’s debate, have the class grade it out of 10, give the person a scene to act out and then have the class grade him/her again. My turn came; when my debate ended, my classmates graded, people were shouting “1!!!”, “2!!!”  One kind soul gave me 3. Out of 10! I then started acting out the scene – guys, I acted, I poured my soul into it, I was on the verge of tears sef with the power of my emotion. My new score? 3 – 4, with probably the same kind soul giving me 5.

I think I’ve proven my point.

The fact that I yell when I’m angry as well as the fact that I’m a strong singing soprano tell me that my vocal behaviour is more mental/emotional than about the physical state of my vocal cords.

And now I have to do voiceovers. Where you have to eject emotion into your voice. You see wahala ba?

The first one was easy; something within my normal voice range. Then they said “Show excitement”. How does one do this biko? I tried to explain that I don’t do excitement, but no one listened. They would just demonstrate, and then wait patiently for me to do what they wanted. So Arit is now learning to show excitement.

My Father, who knows the plans He has for me, has put in place a training program that is forcing me out of yet another comfort zone. I am learning to express, to raise pitch, to add inflection and emotion.

Sometime this week sha, I realised that I want to get good at this. I want to giggle, chortle, pitch, emote, project and express my way to excellence. I want people to listen and feel the exact emotions each word is supposed to. Just like I make pictures with my words, I want to make them with my voice. And I want to do a darn good job of it.

Another story

In 2004, I went to Zamfara for my service; the day after registration, I was fast asleep when they started calling us to come for the morning parade. I staggered up, threw on my clothes and appeared on the parade ground with my white shorts and tees, a hairnet and bathroom slippers. By the time they started marching practice, I was a goner. Couldn’t keep time, couldn’t lift my feet, couldn’t focus, couldn’t wait to be done. 3 weeks later, I was the Ensign to the colours in the Colour party (the group of people who hold the flag and the drums). I quick marched, slow marched and did all those side marching tins where you start out somewhere and end up somewhere else totally. I did them perfectly.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…and my Papa is an excellent teacher. Whenever I am tempted to get discouraged about doing something new, I pull up that time-lapse video of me in Zamfara and I remember the flush of pride as I stood there in my khakis in the hot Zamfara sun with my eyes straight and my spine straighter, only 3 weeks after probably being the most hopeless marcher that the soldiers had ever seen.

I’m going to rock at this; just wait and see.

No be me o! I can’t do diddly by myself, but my Father operates with excellence. He looked at everything He had done and declared them very good. That’s just the way my Father is. Arit was made in His image, I do as He does. That’s the way He is, so that’s the way I am.