I knew I had to dedicate a post to the thrilling exploits of the Nigerian woman and the recognition that has followed when the news filtered it about Elohor Aiboni’s appointment as the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO). It was the latest in the series of glass ceiling shattering appointments of first female Managing Directors. Aiboni’s apex engagement had been preceded that of six of her counterparts in the banking industry. Of course, the fact that this latest feat happened in what can be termed as the cream of the crop of industries makes it extra special.
As we trudge through life sometimes and bound through it at other times, we are inclined to forget how far we have come on the journey of life. How the very things that almost drowned us now appear trivial.
He clenched his jaw and swung from side to side in the manner of boxers. Eyes never leaving his opponent. Compare his muscular frame to the average build of his opposing number and you’d not be accused of being hasty if you adjudged the pending fight a bit of a mismatch. But when the announcements were done with and it was time to exchange fisticuffs, the savage mien soon gave way to an average countenance. The stance before the onset of the fight had no bearing on what played out when it was action time. The menacing character got beaten by the unassuming-looking personality I had been so certain he would defeat.
In the part of the world I live, 40%of the population which translates to more than 80 million people live below the poverty line. But that’s not all, many of those who are fortunate to not fall within this bracket are only marginally doing better. One chronic illness and they are down to the dreaded penury group. Little wonder we are all about what to eat, how to survive, how to stay afloat amid the unending challenges that plague citizens of a consumer nation. Lofty ambitions are a luxury; in Nigeria, it’s all about being able to afford basic living expenses and keeping the kids in school.
The other day, my cousin and I were discussing music and he asked me a question that comes up quite often among Nigerian music lovers. One that centred around two of the biggest artistes in the country and whose music I preferred. I gave my answer. Told him I was more inclined towards the one who had transcended the desire to make hits for the fans and now did music he loved and had grown into. It didn’t matter that he once appealed to the masses too. He had now evolved and his fans would have to come to terms with this evolution.
As a child, I was desperate to grow up and start doing adult things. And by adult things, I mean having my own money and make my own decisions. I thought adults were the luckiest people on the planet. They could come and go as they pleased, nobody could question them on how they spent their money, and the best one—they did not get spanked. How cool was that? Those were my thoughts as a kid. By my judgement, childhood was all about people telling you what to do, and that sucked. Until I grew up,
They are not mutually exclusive. Not by any stretch. Yet, it’s a wonder how some of the greatest critics have nothing much going for them by way of achievements. I have always said I’d rather be the one doing something (even if mediocre) others get a chance to criticise rather than be the one who’s always on the lookout for the mistakes of others. It makes sense to carry out even the most mundane tasks with unfettered gusto. It makes sense because the attitude and diligence with which we execute the basest of tasks is a reflection of how well we’d do if we took up more complex assignments.
I stumbled upon an interesting concept while reading an article on Medium. The writer, while giving tips for professional writers, advised that they try to identify their natural habitat when it comes to writing. She gave an example of A list Hollywood stars who have distinguished themselves by playing roles that only they could have given the best expression to. For instance, there’s a reason Steve Martin would excel far more in a comedy role than he would playing a superhero. In the same way, Wesley Snipes’ inimitable interpretation when he dons the hat of a villain is testament to his suitability for the character.
The world is in a state of flux. The sweeping feeling is that of anxiety and confusion. And this time around, the apprehension is not an exclusive lot of a few or some far-flung corner of the universe. No. COVID-19 has distributed and ensconced itself in a way that has continued to confound even the sceptics. One day we were living our lives, going about our businesses with gusto or indifference or lethargy, oblivious of what was around the corner. The next, a strange disease showed up and chucked all our best-laid plans in the bin.
Back in school, I had friends who always had to be in a romantic relationship. Once their lover broke up with them or they had to do the same thing for some reason, they didn’t know what else to do with themselves, so they said “yes” to the next guy who showed interest. Sometimes, it was because they were wary of appearing undesirable to the opposite sex in an environment where it was the fashionable thing to be coupled up. The pressure to be seen as wanted was real and not everyone could withstand it. Most of the time, however, it was the fear of being alone.