ÿ The young woman sitting in the heart passes the following identity tests: Murielle Nanié, Miss Côte d’Ivoire 2008 and a former classmate of mine. The school was Blaise Pascal, the nationally famous French Lycée of Côte d’Ivoire. Upon arrival, Murielle was as close to getting a female fan club as the dawn was to becoming the dusk. Let’s say that beauty was a tremendously effective distance creator. And that space used to be bridged by mostly two types of people: (1) those who thought the trenches were plain unnecessary and (2) those carrying with them great quantities of testosterone.


ÿ One afternoon, my distraught girlfriend, convinced I had rallied the testosteronauts, snapped at me. What a great way to spend your art class break! And she did that to finally invite me to her wedding a good eight years later. 🙂


ÿ This alone shows she wasn’t mine as a wife, and implicitly that she also wasn’t mine as a girlfriend. We made the wrong and less than best choice.


ÿ Assuredly, One should wait for the perfect person in their life; the one life partner that Life itself prepares for them as they themselves grow towards maturity.

ÿ O young, O old!

Do not hurry into girlfriendships and boyfriendships.

Do not waste your queenship and kingship into unnecessary passions.

Rather set your heart onto what matters most.

For in the journey of our life, the distance is long and the obstacles are many.

What type of captain wrecks their own ship?

For having had glimpses of what is away, I can say, that the treasure is well worth the wait.


ÿ O women, do not let your beauty be too loud, for that which is loud attracts attention, and attention fosters interest, and interest is a banker’s best friend.

O women, do seek it! You shall be loved for the heart of you.


ÿ O men, learn to close your eyes sometimes, for fear of getting glued like a bear gets glued to honey. And if the bear gets glued to honey and the honey is poisonous, what good is it for the bear to have been glued to the honey?

O men, you shall bear witness that fresh water is the best kind.


ÿ Long before, when she was in France, Murielle and I had agreed to work together. Good for me, her cousin and good buddy from Blaise Pascal, the talented music producer Sangaré “Nunshack” Abdul-Saïd, informed me of her presence in Abidjan. Shipping myself first-class to her place, I unpacked the photo script only to realize it was narrating her sentimental life.


ÿ  I paused and pondered. What was this or these invisible force(s) architecting my (artistic) life? Surely, it was greater than me. I could not tell whether it slept on La Rue Des Jardins and took a taxi every morning to come and meet me, or whether it ate sushi in Leicester Square. I simply did not know. However, judging by its manifestations, it sometimes felt closer to me than my own heart.


ÿ Upon seeing the sketches of “At The Heart Of Me”, Murielle was all yes. She’d skip parts of the rehearsal, saying “it’s cool”, confident she had the role at heart. Eventually, on the set, it became clear that as the director, I should have insisted to have the full rehearsal.


ÿ She had modeling experience of the globalized Vogue Magazine type. However, from Vogue to Paul, the style was “Paul-itely’’ rogue. A little direction and she learnt on the spot, heading right to the top. The rogue photographer had his model in role.


ÿ A fading memory of mine can still picture that a body slowing down and “Turn that music off.” were her answer to one of our mood setting soundtracks. “It reminds me of things I don’t want to think about”, she continued. And her previously diagnosed headache was not helping.


ÿ It was done when I said: “If you are not feeling right, we pack up now and we put off the shoot to another day. It’s clear we have come here for the photos, but I’m not for photos to the detriment of models or anyone for that matter, so let me know what you need, what you want”.


ÿ Light sat upon her heart. Her face changed, becoming more welcoming. The change in her resonated in me. She said: “I am OK! We do it till the end.” From that moment, the interaction between model and photographer flashed up to a new fashion.