SAVING DIANA (SHORT STORY)

Intro:
This is a story about the challenges of establishing oneself as a successful artiste, especially in an environment that is alien to that in which one was bred. It is also a story of love and looking out for the one you love, especially when they seem to be falling apart.

Kevin blared his car horn impatiently and cursed under his breath. He told himself it was impossible to be a gentleman, let alone a Christian, in this kind of traffic. He also assured himself he would leave Nigeria the first chance he got. He had been weaving in and out of lanes, sometimes endangering himself and his new Toyota Avalon, but it hadn’t done him much good. It would still be two hours at least before he made it home to Ejigbo from Ikeja.

He wondered what his wife had been up to all day. Marrying a creative person could be a very exciting experience, what with the spontaneity, the surprises and originality of what they do for you, not forgetting the money and the fame if they make it. But it also had its downsides – the mood swings, the depression that follows a lack of inspiration, the isolation at critical stages of birthing a work, the frustration when a work lovingly and painstakingly produced work lacks an outlet, fails to earn critical acclaim or commercial success and so on. And he’d been seeing more of the downsides lately.

Convincing Diana, a British citizen of Nigerian extraction, to relocate to Nigeria after their marriage two years ago had certainly been a mistake. What heady, young love can do! Trying to break into the musical market here has been a struggle. Her brand of pop which is loved in Europe “sounds childish” to the locals and his position as a music company executive has not opened all the doors he had hoped it would for her.

At first, Diana felt she would most definitely be a hit here because as she put it, she was bringing “a new sound and freshness” to the musical output in the country. But she found that producers and artistes, rather than being impressed with her songwriting, vocal power, guitar and piano playing skills, expected her to drop what they called her “been-to” ways and acculturate in order to make her person and her music saleable. She was advised to collaborate with local artistes to get a feel of the industry before making any solo effort.

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This seemed like a slap in the face to her who held a degree in contemporary music from the University of Birmingham and had a bourgeoning career before her current adventure to Africa. If anything, these people she was being directed to should be taking lessons from her, she felt. She wasn’t suffering from a superiority complex as some people claimed, she was just being herself, she maintained: a 23-year-old, well-bred girl, who is clearly a class act for those with eyes to see!

So with the assistance of her husband’s music company, she put out a single. But in spite of broadcast interviews and other efforts to promote the song, it was receiving insignificant airplay on radio and the video was only featured occasionally as a filler on late night TV. Concert bookings were few because she was told recitals were not crowd pullers. Neither her guitar and piano playing skills nor her strong vocal ability will make a difference. Apparently, she needed to be backed by a troupe of half-naked dancers but she didn’t write the boisterous kind of music that would match their energetic choreography. Adele and her ilk would be climbing the walls if they were here, she thought.

Attempts to push the song online fell through too. It appeared that she needed to go on tour to drive that as well but it just wasn’t happening yet. And she needed to get out new music to stay relevant. Her manager since her move to Nigeria seemed to have run out of ideas. They weren’t even on speaking terms anymore after he called her stubborn and immature the last time they fell out. What it boiled down to was that she was turning into a non-performing performer, and that is a sure career killer if ever there was one.

The disappointment had thrown up issues that Kevin had never anticipated – Diana began to drink hard and use drugs. When he came home once in the middle of the day, she was nowhere to be found. He decided to skip work for the rest of the day and she returned three hours later, slightly inebriated. She put it down to the excitement of seeing some old friends on a business trip to Nigeria and apologised.

That was six weeks ago but the situation had gone downhill from there. Not a day passed without her getting drunk or high on something. Yet, she refused to say where she got the drinks or the drugs. She had even stopped apologising, insisting that she was an artiste and that these things came with the terrain. Wanting to save her life and their marriage, Kevin felt that the best option would be to seek a transfer to their head office in Abuja. He intended to check her into a rehab facility there and do what he should have done from day one: share the gospel with her.

In fact, he was going to do the latter right away because with Christ in her, she would find the strength to fight her addictions, he believed. But he needed to get home to do that. And with that thought, he blared his horn again and mopped the sweat on his brow.

-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

Do you think Kevin’s plan will be enough to save Diana? And what role should Diana play in bringing about her restoration?

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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137 thoughts on “SAVING DIANA (SHORT STORY)

  1. wat a wonderful story,i must confess.for me I tink kevin has a good idea becos dere is ntin God can nt do.after frm bringing her close to she will go through rehab.nd get advice on d bad effect of drugs in her life.God bless u ma for dis wonderful pice

  2. wonderful piece…..I think kevin will succeed cus with prayers the impossible becomes possible and Diane on her own side has to give up her bad habits and believe that her dream as an artiste is still possible if she still wish to continue….speaking from my own view.

    • Thank you, Chiemerie! I think you’re right. God can do all things, including delivering people from addictions. Have a blessed day!

  3. I think the problem with Diana is that she could not identify her target audience. She could shoot from here to anywhere they are (musn’t be in same location as they are).
    Very nice story ma……I believe that the gospel is the answer to all human problems. Jesus is the answer; you may not immediately connect the dots, how it works, thus the Bible says in Romans 10:6-10 “…Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
    Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
    But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    When you believe in the gospel of Jesus, you are made right with God. Then by confession of your believing with your mouth, you are saved from anything. For the Bible says “…he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” Hebrews 7:25.

    Jesus is the answer to all human problem! Even to addictions!Even to lack of understanding, academic failure, poverty and sicknesses.
    Thank you Anty Edith. Shalom

  4. Diana is clearly a talented woman but needs patience to suceed. your misfortune shouldnt define who you are. i believe his plan will work for her coupled with her own effort

  5. What a literary work full of suspense(the beauty of the work of art),the truth remains that Kelvin’s efforts can contribute but a little while God has the panacea to every problem

  6. i think Kevin has a good plan for Diana and Diana should try to compote herself and adhere to her husbands plan for her.

  7. kelvin really did well in the way he handled the situation unlike other men who will allow their wives to continue going astray

  8. It is said that he who goes to bed leaving his problem behind, will surely wake up to face it. Although it is rather incongruous for women to indulge in the act of taking alcohol and hard drugs to obliterate their painful condition,the act is very reprehensible. Diana’s case is not different. Kevin’s decision to seek God’s assistance is wonderful and commendable. Nice story!

  9. Diana; wait, don’t worry, your maker that gives u talent to sing to his name will not desert u. (Smiles, as if she is listening) I enjoin everyone to be like kelvin.. Thanks

  10. She should go with her manager’s advice, featuring a local artist will make people know and appreciate her. Ain’t nothing to go proud about.

  11. That’s a wonderful one Aunty. i think kelvin was actually right. thumbs up for u Aunty because am still expecting the second round

  12. When life is not going as planned always resort to God because that is how life and existence has been programmed by God to be to draw us closer to Him.That is why God created trials in life we can’t always have a smooth life.
    Diana’s taking to drugs as the last resort will do her no good this her husband knows and with the help of the lord good will come out of his plans.

  13. With Christ in her life, she fight her addiction. but the real question should be: Is she willing to accept Christ? or is her husband trying in futility to make her do so?

  14. sorry dear Diana… not everybody is destined to excel in music. no matter ur qualification its just a matter of luck

  15. THANK YOU MA FOR THIS PIECE.THE GOSPEL IS THE ANSWER FOR THE WORLDS PROBLEM.ALL DIANA NEEDS IS JESUS THEN THINGS WILL GRADUALLY START FALLING INTO PLACE.I LIKE THE WAY HER HUSBAND IS GOING ABOUT THE WHOLE THING THOUGH.JESUS IS ACTUALLY THE ANSWER.

  16. that you are not able to to get what you want is not an excuse for one to go in to drugs and to start drinking.if not of the kind of person kelvin is and the level of his understanding the result of the marriage would have been divorce.but am happy of the step he decided to take.this is really a nice write up.keep it up ma.these stories have a way of penetrating into hearts.

  17. The words used are powerful,the image painted is quite amazing. In fact, I thought It was the Diana I knew. Looking forward to receiving more.

  18. I like this story and the whole rehabilitation concept it depicts that those who are lost are those who choose to be.

  19. Quest for fame…Diana felt her career was crumbling….perfect plan by her husband…buh with this impatience in traffic,would he be patient with her?…nice piece ma

  20. Life most a times gives us the opposite of our aspirations but it takes a great courage to unturn such facade to our advantage

  21. I have learnt that telling my problems to God is the best and not indulging into harmful practices. Nice one ma.

  22. i like the story, things finally came to a good end,kevin decides to save diana in the most interesting way,by sharing the gospel with her.i believe there is nothing God can’t do and all her problems would be history.

  23. For total restoration, it is very important for Diana to put in her own effort. She should decide to stop the addiction and then back it up with every other strategy her husband would propose. And then to her career, it is always important also for one to do environmental analysis when one comes into a new environment. This is inorder to discover what works. When that is done, one should adjust

  24. …. I think Kevin made the right choice on the ways to help his wife Diana,most men would file a divorce but he believes in Christ and hopefully find tje solution to this problem but also places God ist…it is really an interesting story

  25. Diana could not find it easy changing from what had become part of her to Nigeria kind of songs. she took the wrong decision of taking drugs and drinks thinking that would help her feel better but that was wrong. thank God her husband had to acknowledge his mistake and talk to his wife about Jesus.things will one day work together for them

  26. Nice one, you know most times we claim to love but we can’t do the most amazing things for love, we can’t show support, once the person starts falling apart, we drift away, and they is nothing God can’t do we just have to be patient enough. I look forward to seeing more

    • Yeah, manynwill stick with you when things are rosy but will disappear when you need them most. Thank God for a guy like Kevin in the story.

  27. nice post. i think kelvin will succeed because with prayers the impossible becomes possible and Diana on her own side has to give up her bad habits and believe that her dream as an artist is still possible if she wishes to continue.

  28. If a door is close at you doesn’t mean a window is not open somewhere. Diana, you just have to be patient. Kevin, she really needs God now cus only him can save and help her.

  29. Actually Kelvin’s idea of the gospel is a good start, and I think Diana should wait for Gods time and she will be grateful for that.

  30. I feel Kevin did the best thing for her, at least he did not just think of leaving her but thought of rehab. this is a really great story.

  31. Diana needs a serious counseling for her to adapt to the new environment she sees herself in, while in Rome, one should endeavor to do like the Romans.

  32. Aunty you are beyond excellent at this.. This is the life of so many super stars out there…this brings to my consciousness that It is not just becoming a celeb but also handling the stress that comes with it.I like that kelvin isnt only thinking rehab but also Christ who is the solution to all things.

  33. We need to understand people very well, the reason why they act the way they do before judging them, it is necessary

  34. There is nothing like the encouragement of a husband to the wife.
    Just one step at a time ,and everything Will be alright

  35. we shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover, we should take time to know and understand people before we judge them, they might end up making a great impact in our lives

  36. Never engage in drug abuse and excessive intake of alcohol, always involve Christ in all your dealings

  37. wow! what a wonderful story i must say. Breaking into the Nigerian music industry is not easy, especially if your sounds are different. i am glad because Kevin did the right thing.

  38. Well, it’s obvious that Diana is talented, but she’s forgetting something that Nigeria isn’t same as Europe or American. Where the latter may enjoy slow beat, the former enjoy mostly fast beat, ?, therefore, for one to survive in any market, you need to know your target audience. And yes, I think Kelvin’s plan will work, there’s nothing prayer can’t solve and he should also talk to her and make her see things clearer about Nigeria kind of music.

  39. Hard work is key to any successful person. Diana needs to be hardworking and cooperate with local producers in other to bring match her talent with what the Nigerian music industry want.

  40. Poor Diana who didn’t do anything wrong but to be different. It’s too bad that the Nigerian music industry frowns at uniqueness but encourages conformity. She couldn’t understand why her originality wasn’t being acknowledged. I feel sorry for her but i’m also glad she has a husband like Kevin who sincerely loves her and worries about her. Together and with Christ i’m sure they’ll pull through her addiction

  41. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that what Diana can do is different from what these Nigerian artists usually do. It’s a good thing that she is unique and i know her skills will be recognized very soon. Thank you for such a thoughtful story ma

  42. Am glad Kelvin’s idea later worked… There’s nothing as important and fulfilling as knowing God. It will make life hustles easy.

  43. Some days are worst than others. On our worst days, we should turn to God and he would answer us. We should never give up in life because God always hear us.

  44. Trying to adjust to a new environment could be annoying and stressful and for Diana, her own case was critical. She should have taken her manager’s advice to collaborate with local artist and learn the ropes first rather than trying to do her own thing. Am sure that her music would have been appreciated abroad but this is Nigeria. Using the excuse of being an artist doesn’t mean that she should turn to alcohol and drugs as a means of justification. She needs the presence of God in her life to show her that certain things are not can not be done by your self, you just need that spiritual push that only the all might God can give you.

  45. All the inspiration and ideas for Diana’s career, as well as the therapy Diana needs, she would find in God. Kudos to Kevin for finding the perfect solution, the traffic shouldn’t make it self a delay to Kevin’s move.

  46. Prayer is the solution to all problems, there is no problem prayer cannot solve. U think she needs to be prayerful and God will work in a marvelous way. That was really a good decision by the husband

  47. I believe that Kelvin effort would be enough if Diana is ready to change with time people will enjoy her music

  48. Wow! Another wonderful work ma’am. “Non performing performer”, this phrase really caught my attention. Kelvin’s wife was actually living in a dream world when she felt what interest the whites will dazzle the black as well; but then the truth is she need God, and when she let him into her heart, her music will change.

  49. Such a pity. I think, Diana has being unable to adapt with the new environment, but taking hard drugs is not an option at all. She mostly needs God at this moment, who will save and strengthen her. Kevin’s idea is really a good one, she is lucky to have someone like him. This is an interesting story

  50. Nice. Diana was living in a bubble world. she could not handle it when her bubbles bust and she was introduced to real life. Most people are currently living in such bubble and should be broken in gradually ,less it drives them to depression, frustration and drug/ alcohol abuse as we saw with Diana. Cheers.

  51. This story is really is a nice one,things starting falling in place for them,Kevin decides to save Diana by reminding her about Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith .God can do everything even what seems impossible,is left for you to acknowledge him in all.

  52. Wait a minute, he didn’t share the gospel with her before marriage? My God what a complication!

  53. I just discovered that people waste time doing the unnecessary and then struggle with time trying to do the necessary. Why preaching Christ to her now? He could have saved himself and wife a whole lot of hell, if he had preached to her earlier. You see? Christians tend to resort to God when things begin to fall apart. That’s very wrong. It should be the other way round. Anyone reading this story from the top, wouldn’t even know that Kevin knows Christ.

  54. How is it that Kelvin hadn’t told his wife about Christ in all their time together. This is one mistake Christians make- not telling people about God for maybe fear of disapproval or some other thing. Let us as Christians portray Christ to our loved ones and the people around us without being ashamed. Also, people tend to lean into the wrong things when frustrated and under pressure. if we have God, there are a lot of things we face that’ll be a lot easier to deal with than when we try to deal with them ourselves.

  55. Patience is a virtue most men don’t possess,so am very glad Kevin had nothing but love and patience for his wife, he even hoped for her recovery.an interesting post ma’am.it was wonderful.

  56. Oh God. I really pity Diana. It so very understandable, her disappointments, especially as she has hoped she would do excedingly well in Nigeria. But I believe if she really wants it, she can change for the better and accept christ into her life. She just needs to be shown the way and that’s what kelvin plans to do. I believe that God can and will turn her story around if she truly just believes.

  57. I don’t know if kelvins plan to bring christ to her will work. But he just has too try and she has to want it very well, else there is no point. We pray they work things out, and that everything goes well for her career and I know that if she turns to God, he will make her life a living testimony

  58. Patience is one of the best strategy you can ever use to actualize your dream. Diana getting herself intoxicated ain’t gonna solve the problem. Let her keep herself calm and figure the problem and then fix it. Success doesn’t come easily.

  59. Kevin’s a good man. He’s not giving up on her and he’s determined to save her. We Nigerians are used to the popular beat and half naked women,if they’re not there then it’s not music.

  60. Kevin has a perfect plan cause i believe that there is nothing God cannot do . Also Diana should also put efforts in helping herself by going through psychological rehab on the effects of drugs… Interesting post ma….

  61. Diana expected too much right from the beginning, and didn’t even put God at the forefront of her musical career and obviously, resorting to alcohol and drugs is never the best way to solve one’s problem. well, thank God her husband came to the realisation of all this quite early enough and i think his decision is just the best because there is nothing God cannot do.

  62. This is interesting. Lacking the knowledge of God in life is dangerous. It deprive one the ability to find strength and courage in God whenever being faced with the challenges of life. This is exactly what has happened to Diana. She sees getting drunk as the best option because she lack that knowledge. Actually, Kevin’s plan will be enough to save Diana because after Diana must have known God and gone through rehabilitation, she will learn that God is the solution to every problem, also she will understand the dangerous effect of drugs to her health.

  63. Kai! I can only imagine what Diana is passing through. She relocated to Nigeria with high expectations and that’s why she’s feeling downcasted as her plans were dashed to the wall.

    Well, I’d advise that she adjust to the kinda music that’s saleable in this part of this world. With her high knowledge of music, she’ll have an edge over other musicians.

    Her constant use of hard drugs and getting inebriated all the time can’t solve her problem.

    Kelvin has good plans for her, with prayers and constant efforts she’ll be able stand her feet again.

  64. People should be aware that things don’t always go the way we want them. Environments,people and places may alter that.And this should not be an obstacle to do what we love doing in the right way which fits into other people’s way of life because after everything the major aim is to satisfy people with what we have

  65. Yes, Kelvin idea of sharing the gospel with her is a nice one but I feel she should also get herself busy, because idle hand abi mind is where the devil finds expression. But God first, he makes one new and can right whatever wrong. It was an interesting read, thanks ma’am for sharing.

  66. I feel like it would be really hard on diana and then kevins plan on rehab is a good idea for starters at least to seek for the help she needs since they’re not able to leave the country.
    As much as the industry here in Nigeria is frustrating,it’s encouraging that we keep pushing hard and also involve God most importantly.

  67. Frustration and rejection can make people do bad things including taking drugs and drinking to stupor,especially,when the frustration came from failure in pursuit of one’s career. The same is happening to Diana. I pray God delivers her from such life.

  68. Rehab might not help her and I think Diana should definitely try another activity. Because it worked for her overseas doesn’t mean it can work in Nigeria, where connection and money has to be involved. Kevin can convince her to try out a different flare or feeling.

  69. Drowning our sorrows in alchohol and drugs would never help our situations but would worsen it. It’s just like pouring fuel into a raging fire. Try to talk to God about your problems, He would definitely have a solution to it. He is going to provide help in one way or the other.

  70. Truly, Christ in her would strengthen her to pull through and inspirations to write beautiful gospel songs might flow, and her skills will be put to work to glorify God and am sure there won’t be any need to take her to a rehab anymore.

  71. Since her difference isn’t making her unique she has to be ready to adjust, and keep trying until she finds her feet but then if she fails, being a musician isn’t the only thing one could do, she should think of other alternatives with her husband instead of letting it eat her up.

  72. Man proposes but God dispose with God all things are possible so we should learn to exhibit patience.

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