“You need to find balance”: these words can come in form of an admonition, advice or appeal. The most common instance where we hear this is in respect of work and family. We are told to find work-life balance and when folks say this, they mean we should not be found to be tilting towards one spectrum of our existence at the expense of the other. The gender that hears this the most is female. Women are admonished to ensure they never neglect the home because of a career, and so, all her life, she is in a constant state of contouring herself in many different ways to see that she “finds that balance”.
It happened in some foreign country. She had had her suspicions that he was cheating and had done her little homework such that she was able to catch him on a romantic date with another lady. She was enraged and proceeded to retrieve the clothes she had gifted him…right there on the streets. His protests and appeals for her to rethink her move were ignored; she wanted to humiliate him as he did her by sharing what should have been exclusive to them with another. It was mission accomplished in the end—she had paid him back in the most debasing way
February is one of my favourite months. For one, it’s the much-touted month of love and behind my sometimes aloof exterior, I’m quite the lover girl. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but like it often does, the memories of the day linger long after the day is gone. For couples, it’s the one day even the shyest of them break their privacy rule to engage in some PDA. Singles dread the day as it represents a stark reminder of lost, unrequited or non-existent eros love, except, of course, the gangsters amongst them who cannot be bothered by all the fuss surrounding the day.
COVID-19 is back and with a vengeance. The steady increase in the number of people who are infected every day is not the only source of worry. This time around, fatalities are on a worrying rise too. And with the government still tinkering with the idea of imposing a lockdown, it’s safe to say we have continued from where we were in 2020. Nevertheless, the coronavirus is not the sole source of concern for the Nigerian, these days, a citizen of the most populous black nation in the world has to make peace with the idea that he may wake up to a blocked telephone line, no thanks to the ill-timed directive to get the National Identification Number registration done.
Three things are certain in life: rain, tax, and Nigerians bashing their government for glaring ineptitude. Small pockets of conversations, large gatherings, a night out with friends, and commuter small talks have lamentations of irresponsibility on government’s path as a core feature. And this discontent that gives rise to criticism is valid. There’s no reconciling the abundance mother nature bestowed on Nigeria with her dismal socio-economic state.
As 2020 winds down, many things have changed around us. The optimism and hope that often heralds the pending dawn of a new year are missing, for good reason too. Everyone is cautious about their expectations from the coming year because of the many shocks 2020 served. But while a lot of changes have occurred in the way we live and our disposition to events, what has remained unchanged is the deep divide when it comes to opinions about the way Nigeria is currently run. The “hailers” and “wailers” within the polity have maintained their stance regarding national issues.
Quite often, we talk about how different social media is from the real world. We allude to the interactions that happen between strangers in the virtual community as incomparable to what obtains when people can see each other and gauge firsthand emotions. While online mediums represent ivory towers: a cocoon of sorts where realities of physical living take a backseat, it’s imperative to understand that humans exist behind the thoughts, banters, and interactions on social platforms. It is the inability to recognise this that results in uncomfortable or embarrassing situations.
In the last couple of years, it hasn’t really felt like Christmas was in the air in November or even early December. This year, it’s even worse. The travails of 2020 have subdued many of us. Because we are just grateful to be alive, we aren’t too bothered about the yuletide or whether we’ll get to do our favourite things during that time. However, the realisation that the bills are no respecter of COVID-19 and other sundry challenges is enough to jolt us from the state of inertia if we ever dare to remain in it for too long.
Recently, the Lagos State government delivered the annual Land Use Charge notice to our residence. In previous years, the charge varied between N3,500 and N7,000 in previous years, However, in the year of the Lord 2020, someone thought it was a brilliant idea to increase the tax by more than 1,600%. Yes, you read right. We got a charge of over N113,000 as Land Use Charge when we do not live on a yacht.
If there’s any lesson to be learned from the events of the past week, it is that every individual must possess an appreciable level of fight in them. The cojones to say enough is enough, the willingness to risk it all if need be in pursuit of what they want. The gumption to speak up when it matters despite natural temperament. What will happen if you do not toe this path, you may ask. Well, you will most likely live a life of dissatisfaction as a result of your docility. And you may tell yourself that’s fine, but deep within…many years down the line, you will rue your cowardice.