The feelers we get from the new world is to be liberated in the most unconventional way. It’s the new cool; this campaign for unfettered self-expression regardless of how one is perceived or how it affects others. We are the ones without any scintilla of inhibition. We live for ourselves and ourselves only. We can stand up to anyone. We do not believe that balderdash about respecting people because they are older or on the premise of their senior citizen status. Everyone must prove themselves worthy of our regard else they will be denigrated without a second thought. What’s more, all that righteous indignation about eschewing nudity or being circumspect about divulging details of happenings in our lives are borne out of inexposure and insecurity. We will have none of it.
Where do I start?
You would have been 72 years old today, so let me start by wishing you a happy posthumous birthday.
The past few weeks have been like a dream, one in which I have been vacillating between reality and disbelief.
As we concluded the rites of committing you to Mother Earth, I looked to my friend and said, “So now I am fatherless…”
I had always dreaded the day I would lose a parent. I wondered how friends and acquaintances who had lost theirs felt; needless to say, now I know.
I’m not certain I have come to terms with reality; the reality that my siblings and I will never see you in the physical realm again. But I know you would have wanted us to be strong in the face of what has happened.
And we are trying, dad. We are trying, even though it’s undoubtedly the hardest thing we have ever had to do.
But I reckon today’s not the day to slip into melancholy. It’s one to celebrate the exemplary life you lived.
For many, social media offers a better opportunity to interact compared to the physical world. This is not unrelated to the reality that most people spend a significant chunk of their time online. Friendships, romantic alliances, and businesses are forged through the different platforms. The flip side to this is a growing unhealthy rivalry and pressure to be seen as successful. A trend that has given rise to the jostle for the “intelligence crown”. And so, everyone wants to come across as the most knowledgeable across every subject matter.
It was the umpteenth time she would be reporting him to his bestie, Chris, and as usual, Chris was full of apologies on his friend’s behalf and assured her she would never cause to complain again.
But she had heard this before. She could still remember the words of her would-be mother-in-law the last time she had walked him on them arguing.
“Ada, you need to be patient. I am not taking sides with Bayo oh, only that I know a woman who wants to enjoy her marriage will need a lot of patience,” She had said, waving her palms.
“But mummy, are you saying I should put up with his cheating ways?”
At the basest level, humans go through the same challenges: juggling family and vocation, giving attention to the things that really matter—making and sustaining a living, staying healthy—nurturing relationships. For people in developing countries, poverty is an ever-looming possibility, so there’s a constant battle to stay afloat financially. Add political turmoil and insecurity to the mix, and there’s no doubt that everyone has sufficient burdens to keep them busy. However, there’s a challenge that never ceases to rear its head. One that’s designed to break anyone who isn’t deliberate about self-awareness and authenticity.
One of the traits the typical Nigerian (and to a larger extent, Africans) adores is humility. We talk about it—actually, we pontificate about it—a lot. We are obsessed with people who appear to have means or recognition yet are self-effacing. And when we come across those who do not care to be particularly modest, we are gutted by their arrogance. We can never fathom why anyone would not deign to make light of their genius or success. It’s entertaining to watch, really. More so when one remembers that Nigerians aren’t exactly famous for a being docile, meek bunch who are contained in their ways.
I am in a state of wavering disbelief right now. I am having a hard time believing I have actually blogged for five whole years! Every week, every Wednesday, I have shared my thoughts, feelings and opinion on wide-ranging subjects—when I was excited—and when the last thing I wanted to do was write. I have battled the imposter syndrome; written essays that barely got a hundred views and been misunderstood for my blogging intentions. But I have also enjoyed unbelievable goodwill from strangers: people who overestimated my talent and called me a genius.
I find the bandwagonism that pervades the virtual space annoying. It only takes one influential social media personality to say something and their horde of followers are quick to lap it up. The dearth of independent thinking—the ability to analyse an issue dispassionately—and put forward a personal opinion is a reality of these times. Whether it pertains to more serious issues like police brutality, ethnic or racial profiling, gender discrimination, or matters of less importance such as the debate regarding who’s the greater legend between Michael Jackson and Beyonce, people are often inclined to pitch their tent where the greater population leans. But things have begun to change.
It’s the six-letter word everyone aspires to. The evidence that we are not where we used to be. Proof of our progress. The desire for growth is embedded in the human psyche; there’s hardly anyone who, for instance, would not have it listed as a new year resolution—either overtly—or covertly. The quintessential human aspires to…
The month of March has been a difficult one for many people. The number of deaths recorded from a tragic combination of natural disasters, negligence and terrorism is enough to leave anyone in a disconcerting loop of light-headedness and despondency. Every day, there seems to be some terrible news; something that makes one shudder and…