My absence on the blog has fetched me several names in the past, but none has been more solid than the one I got some weeks ago.
He must have seen me in his dream or something. I’ll bet he woke up and decided to drag out the object of his nightmare. BBM helped him do that. I’ll call him Brutus.
Brutus: You eh? Na wah to you!
I was waiting for my garri to elevate to the benchmark at the time.
Me: Sir, what I do??
Brutus: You have backslid.
Just like that! Read the rest of this entry »
Gingerly, he approached the figure, wrapping his hand around the neckline to loosen the little knot that held the mini-gown in place. I had no idea what a gown like that is called, but I was certain it should be something not so expensive though seemingly fancy, judging from the way it fitted around the firm curves on the feminine shape. Even as it dropped through the slightly protruding waist down to the feet that put an end to the fair long legs, revealing the pesky pair of mounds on the trimmed porcelain skin, he never seemed to be distracted for a second.
I sat, squeezed to the window side of a creaking 18-seater bus finding its way in the traffic congestion, watching the stranger undress the mannequin. It was about 30 minutes to the 20th hour; the end of the day’s work for some and the beginning for others. I belonged to the former category, the road-side cloth merchant and his mannequins gallantly occupied the latter.
The bus dragged briefly towards the 11.82km bridge. I knew it was the beginning of another 2hours–characterized by rough à la distress driving, cusses and attendant spits, honks and bashes–even before the bus came to a halt, the persistent gridlock remaining the factor.
A bucket of many bottled drinks sped by, and I looked out the window to confirm or discard the sorcery I just saw. For a person of really brief height, I didn’t expect the hawker to be so nimble-toed even with the conglomeration of drinks he balanced on his head. Others of his ilk had gala, plantain chips of countless brands, cashew nuts and several other consumables clutched to their sides; all meandering through the congestion trying to sell their wares. I shook my head in pity as I watched one of the hawkers almost get squeezed between two buses while he rushed to get payment for what he just sold a passenger.
“There is a Junior and/or a wife at home, a sister or brother in school, or a mama in the village depending on them… and so they hustle with their every fiber.” An elderly who seemed to have been watching me all the while said. I knew she wasn’t any off from the truth.
A couple of hours, countless hisses and serious body aches later, the third gear of the bus finally became useful. Perhaps from the reprieve brought about by the draught into the moving bus, the occupants of the seat behind me began to discuss what awaited them at their destination, the crux of the discuss being their grievances with the wage they get at work, and how the foreign owners of the factory they work in maltreat them like a flock of quarantined pigs.
I got home a few minutes to 11pm with a smile on my face; PHCN decided to put a little something in our bulbs. I settled in quickly and refreshed to get some sleep, for the alarm would do its job by 4:20AM the following day irrespective of how I feel. I remembered a joke a colleague made about the episode introductions of a movie I was seeing (he thought it would be cool to have the prologue in pidgin) and I decided to indulge myself briefly.
The player came to live as my then recumbent self began the pidgin prologue:
“My name na Oliver Queen
After five years for ogbonge hell
Na so I waka con’ home with only one goal…”
PHCN didn’t allow me save my city. They took the light.
Ironically, I wasn’t pained. They take power more than they give it and we all know. It’s bad, but I’m somehow used to it already. As I rolled over to sleep I flashed to a headline I saw on CNN a few days earlier:
D.C hit by power outage.
I would guess many Americans were in panic throughout the blackout. In some climes, blackout mostly precedes bad things, say terrorism, a headless horseman with a big axe roaming the streets, or simply the beginning of the apocalypse.
The same blackout an average warm-tempered Yoruba/Ibo/Hausa man (trust me, you don’t want to read the hot-tempered man’s version; I don’t want to write it too) would roll his eyes over and say “awon dìndìnrìn”/”mcheew, iti boribo!”/”kai! Shege!” became breaking news in some other place.
And then I did a conscious recap of my day.
Ours is a country of stoic and hard working people; we strive and hurdle regardless of the barriers and hardship, ironically with a smile bearing countenance. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want things to be better.
Maybe I wouldn’t have spent so much time in traffic if there were functioning alternative means of transport or route. Maybe there won’t be a horde of hawkers on the road at the risk of being crushed if power is regular to the point of making some other business ventures profitable. Maybe the factory workers would have ceased being garri-and-groundnut-driven robots in the sight of their bosses–slave masters–if there were other opportunities for them. Lots and tons of several other maybes!
Maybe I wouldn’t have had reasons to write this.
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The time has come to ponder and reason
Not only on the takings and killings
But also on the class that governs the season
Insensitive to its subject’s sufferings
Pouring promises, doing nothing
“Cluelessness and inaction” its supposed apt theme
Song from tale of yore crawls to fore:
As long as I’m completely full
I care less if everybody dies of hunger . . .
. . . as long as I’m completely full
Doesn’t matter who blows to smithereens
It matters not if “they” all get kidnapped
Even if it happens over and over
So long safety is guaranteed for them and theirs
Eni tó bá máa kú kó kú
Or how do you explain the prolong delays;
A brutal weapon in the arsenal of an insincere
Enough time to device manoeuvres
At the expense of the tears of bereaved families
And the unrest of longing folks and parents
Committee set-up in the place of quick bold steps
Security blueprint of a gloomy hue
While many die en masse
And the rest at the fear of imminent danger
Who knows who’s next?
A waiting committee we will not become
Imprisonment in our own abode we won’t condone
Now’s not the time for politicking
Seek help and ditch the lagging
#ChibokGirls are our sisters
At the end it won’t be about the blueprints, promises, committees, blame shifts . . . but the successes of the actions in the face of challenges.
Eni tó bá j’oyè àwòdì, ó ye kó le gb’ádìye.
It’s been a while since I dropped a piece — rant or otherwise. The blame won’t go to erratic power supply or busyness this time, rather I’ll attribute it to my preparations in the previous weeks and my eventual trip to Israel for erm…what’s it called now…a day with christ for my country — since christ is nowhere to be found within our immediate 923,768 sq km anymore. In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t go with Bros Jones and his caustic grammar-laden chéri.
I’ll quit playing around and get straight to the point. I bet you didn’t believe that trip to Israel baloney (please don’t)… but you get the point. I’m right here in my PPA sitting in my room with a pot of beans on fire, and the thoughts of many Nigerians translated into sensations driving me to use my fingers to type a brief one.
Of course, prayer is a very good thing; a key element of progress as a matter of fact. However, I believe in another combination which is undoubtedly a better thing: Ora et labora. Yes, work and pray. I believe in miracles, but praying and hoping for one isn’t just expedient on it’s own…unless we work to get there.
Switching to “sunday school teacher” mode…
Brethren, faith without works is what…? Dead! Yes. Thank you.
The wall of Jericho didn’t just go down by mere shouts. The strategic marching for days plus the carrying of ark and trumpets of rams’ horns, and the eventual blowing and shouts went a long way…and it doesn’t sound like easy tasks to me. Does it? It wasn’t just a silent murmur or monument seeing.
Three weeks ago we
celebrated marked Nigeria @53 and of the truth, it was the dullest since I was old enough to notice. Do we still need to unwrap the reasons? Nah. Decaying infrastructure, insecurity of life and property, unemployment…and yes, I won’t forget, legendary ASUU strike exudes from the foil already; bricks of our very own wall of Jericho.
There are (at least) two sides to every story. I’d like to believe that our number one citizen is on a mission towards the right course to discharge his duties as appropriate, with the intention of starting with prayers (I like this version). Thus, I’m saying amen to his prayers, wishing him and everyone else a safe trip back, and expectant of a change soonest…
….just as it is expected that my beans should be done by now.
I know a nation that stands tall
The giant of Africa she’s called
Although that sounded like a misnomer
I’m mistaken perhaps
But giants behold short and dwarf from above
I’m yet to see that happen
Except in some areas I’m not proud of
Here’s what I see:
I see a giant african snail
She’s big and popular
Blessed and prolific;
Give her a field and she turns it to a colony
A survivor of limited equals
Even in dearth she thrives
Silently she sleeps when the time is hard
Such flexibility and ingenuity in a calcareous shell
A beautiful sight in a nutshell
Often I choose the beauty
Even if the reality is a pickle that prickles
But for how long?
Not when the tingles persist
Now I see more
I see the giant that voraciously consumes the green till it’s gone
Anything goes for her;
The dirt and the rubbish alike
Then she moves on when there’s none
Truly she’s a survivor
One who doesn’t pick cues from better survivors;
The ants that work and save for the rainy days
Tiny ant prepares for the adverse
But this giant beauty sleeps in the worst
Until nature smiles on her
From birth she grows with haste
To the point where she waits
The shell that protects also limits
She doesn’t really want much
So long she eats and begets more to finish the flush
I see a creature that can sleep for Africa!
Of course she can change
A set of instincts she must drop
Conservatism is not always bliss
It’s time to evolve and ditch the yore
To move beyond the past at a quick pace
Not as the giant that she was or is
But as a giant she should be
The moment is now