One minute you are all chummy, slapping each other’s backs, and gossiping like best friends, the next minute, there’s a gulf. An inexplicable one occasioned by one person’s decision to sever ties. I had only heard and imagined what it felt like until it happened to me. I had made a new friend (or so I thought), and our relationship was on an upward trajectory. Getting to know each other, hanging out and exchanging phone calls and chats, until one day when they stopped communicating. They not only clam up, but they also hibernated and refused to be reached too.
I call 2019 the mixed bag year. It was a year ladened with a lot of twist and turns; a roller coaster run of days–one minute I would be leading my normal life and minding my business–the next, I would be swooning from yet another dart life throws at me. With the happenings this year, I have become further convinced that life never really gets easier, we just get tougher. And so in that spirit, and in the spirit of my yearly tradition, I’ll be sharing five lessons 2019 taught me. I hope it’s helpful to someone out there.
The feat is reminiscent of the one recorded 18 years ago when Agbani Darego became the first native African to win the Miss World Beauty pageant. The ecstasy and frenzied excitement that followed Zozibini Tunzi’s victory at the 2019 installment of the Miss Universe competition is understandable, This time around, it’s not just a black woman clinching the coveted crown, it’s a black woman with short, natural hair beating more than 90 other women whom society would have considered a better semblance of acceptable beauty in the modern world.
The internet revolution has changed the dynamics of communication forever. That’s a fact that is unarguable. Matters that once had us traveling thousands of miles to see to are now sorted between a few calls and online meetings. Logistics are only put in place where it is absolutely necessary. As expected, many have explored the…
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.
It’s an occurrence that should worry anyone. Five undergraduates of a university assaulting a fellow student in the most distressing manner. They order her to kneel and go further to employ varying instruments to maul her. It’s a sight that leaves one aghast. When I saw clips of the unfortunate incident, what repeatedly came to my mind was, “Who raised these kids?” How was it possible for young people who were barely out of their teens to imagine it’s okay to pummel another student let alone carry out the heinous act? The absurdity and sheer cruelty of the ambush is the stuff of stories we see on the Crime & Investigation channel.
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.
If it were a football match, it’d be regarded as a haul. A return of four statuettes in any awards ceremony is a remarkable feat anywhere in the world. Like a sudden storm on a sunny day, Teni’s sweep of many coveted categories at The Headies came as a surprise. She has had a good year, but not even the bookies envisaged her outstanding success at the event. For someone who chose to jettison the script for female artistes, her wins and continued rise to becoming a force to acknowledge in an ultra competitive industry holds a few lessons for the discerning mind.