Thursday, February 12, 2015


Zarathustra:

"Hemlock in Irah,
Shores faraway for succour, 
Gloom hovers; doom lurks,
Burden of Naht."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Flight

“We finally took off at 11.45 am, one and half hours behind schedule. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the seat belt sign went off, I took my seat belt off and proceeded to the rest room. The urge to use the rest room always overwhelms me during takeoff, by the time I returned the flight attendant was offering glasses of orange juice to passengers in the business class cabin.  I took my seat and the attendant approached me with a glass of juice, I declined but opted for water instead. The captain’s voice came over the in-flight audio system with the usual platitudes on weather en route destination, cruising altitude and other issues; finally he said “although the seat belt signs are off, ladies and gentlemen, you are please advised to fasten your seat belts while seated. Do relax, seat back and enjoy the rest of the flight”.

I was exhausted from the week long workshop, and all I really wanted to do was to crawl into my own bed and go to sleep. I always find it difficult to have deep naps inside planes except to steal five minute dozes from time to time.  Snoring and fast asleep in the third of the middle row seats, right beside me was my colleague. I put on the in flight entertainment, scrolled through all the options on offer to finally settle for the in-flight map showing our present location, distance travelled, altitude and hours to destination.

I was lost momentarily in my thoughts. When I came around, I looked at the video and realised the plane had reached its cruising altitude of 39,000 feet. Out of the blue, a familiar face descended from the first class cabin above and all the five Nigerians awake found ourselves standing up as if automatically impelled by an invisible force. I gave my colleague a nudge so he could see the new entrant and one of us broke the silence to say  “Prophet we did not know you are also on board, today must be our lucky day”, and another echoed “We did not see you come in, anyway  with your status Sir, I’m sure you were allowed to come in through a special gate”, and yet another chipped in “today is my special day, I never knew a day like this would come for me to meet the anointed Prophet of God, face to face”. 

My colleague had by now left his seat and can be seen kneeling at the aisle with both hands outstretched clasping one hand of the Prophet. After about minute the Prophet pulled his hand free from his grip and proceeded to make a sign of the cross on his forehead. Other passengers followed in tandem, except for the young white lady engrossed in her novel and myself.

One of us asked the Prophet to pray for everyone on board and for a safe flight, the Prophet responded in the affirmative but added that before he prays he will first let us on to a secret. He said “all the while the flight was being delayed I was praying and having a conversation with the Almighty. I normally should have been worried, since I have a programme scheduled for 7pm at the prayer grounds where multitudes will be waiting. I was reassured by Jesus that the programme would not only start on time but I would arrive the camp thirty minutes before the commencement of the deliverance service.” And continued “I said Lord, how is this possible? The flight to Lagos is six hours. Taxing on the runway will take some time, Immigration and Customs clearance; taking my privileged status into consideration will take at least thirty-five minutes. The relative ease with which my security escorts blaring sirens will try to navigate and negotiate the Lagos traffic would take close to two hours to get to the Epe expressway prayer ground” and he went further to say “ I told the Lord, there is no way I can get to the camp ground before 9pm. But the Lord looked at me with disdain and replied that my son in all I have accomplished through you, you still sometimes behave like a doubting Thomas. I immediately and repentantly, in full view of other dignitaries at the first class lounge fell to my knees asking God for forgiveness and for the Lord to remove the last vestige of doubt left in me”. My colleague then whispered to me “you are now a living witness to the humility and faith of the Prophet of God in action”. I remained silent.

The Prophet then proceeded with the prayer. “Father Lord, our God, the Alpha and Omega, the I Am that I Am, our Saviour, EL-Shaddai, remove any vestiges of doubt in your children. We know this flight was delayed, but you have assured your children that delay would not mean lateness. Lets us arrive Lagos by 4.00pm, I decree we shall arrive Lagos by 4.00pm”, the Nigerians responded with a loud Amen, He continued “your children from today henceforth shall suffer no more loss, I command that starting from today, they shall no more know sorrow; this year is a year of quadruple blessings  for your children” and the passengers apart from the young white lady who was by now sleeping answered with another Amen. He concluded the prayer by saying “let every lip hail Hosanna” and the Nigerians responded saying “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest”. At the end of the prayer session he shook more hands then went back upstairs to his first class cabin.

My colleague escorted the Prophet to the landing of the stairs before coming back to his seat with a glowing mien as he had the reassurance that all is well. I had to ask him if it is true that we will be on ground Lagos by 4pm and he responded with the air of confidence that since he had known the Prophet for over twenty years the man has never failed with his prophecies. I replied offhandedly “there is always a first time” to which he countered “we Christians walk by faith mostly, and not by sight only”.  I was not in my usual mood of engaging in a religious debate, hence I let things be and it was good I let things be because he was soon snoring. His snore was getting to me so I moved to one of the empty window seats, looked out, and could visibly make out of the coast of Africa. I straight away put on my video map to check, and realised yes, we were approaching Algeria.

The Pilot’s voice came over the speakers again saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, good news, we would be able to recover some of the time lost, we are lucky to have a tail wind assisting us, pushing us, and the way things are looking, we should shave thirty five to forty five minutes off the flight duration. Hope you are enjoying our in-flight service. Please stay relaxed and continue to enjoy the rest of the flight”. There was spontaneous chattering and clapping to the news, a passenger two rows before me reacted with the comment “dis Prophet sef  na talk na do, he is a real man of God” and another added “the man is an anointed man of God” and the chinwag went on. My colleague had by now been awoken by the uproar, he leaned across the aisle, to me, to inquire what the commotion was about and I told him the ‘good news’ from the pilot. He leaned back into his seat with wry smile curling his lips, his face looking smugly in my direction saying “proof -I hope now, you will give your life to Christ”. He closed his eyes once again and in another minute or so he was fast asleep, snoring.

I must have dozed off myself when I was suddenly jolted back awake, a loud bang hitting my eardrum. This came simultaneously with intense vibration of the fuselage, the fasten seat belt sign came back on, and this was immediately followed by the captain’s voice on the audio system “Ladies and gentlemen, it seems we have a minor problem which we are trying to resolve, there are no reasons to panic and we would get back to you”, the voice went off, but I thought it was trembling a bit, but this might have been my imagination, I was shaking all over myself. The noise and vibration were incessant, I started to pray silently, but I also could make out faint mumblings of my colleague “Our father and our God, take control of this situation, your anointed son, The Prophet  is on board, take control, in Jesus name”, he continued “Our Papa, the Prophet is on board, father take control, let all the blood sucking demons of the air be put to shame”, his praying seems to be increasing in intensity with the increasing vibration of the plane. This seems to have gone on for about five minutes; until the oxygen masks started popping out from the panels above the passengers’ heads. “This must be very serious” I thought. By now, I became oblivious to my colleague’s prayers, I went into a trance, seeing all my life flash before me; from birth all the major highlights and lowlights, thoughts of my aged parents, my children, my wife and regrets that it may end this way, in sadness and I said my last prayer “Oh Yama king of death, take my body but relieve my soul”. The plane went into a nose dive; we were suspended, hanging in our seats by the belts, each soul concerned about their own impending end. I thought to myself “this is it”, and in a few seconds it was all over.

I’m floating, out, of the macabre dance of death, my body, unrecognisable, mangled flesh and bones. I could barely make out my face, now caked over by dried blood.  I float out of the wreckage, looking down I see bodies intermingled with shard metals and broken cargoes strewn all over, a mosaic of death in an ocean of desert sands and dunes, fluorescence of the evening rays of the sun praying over the souls of the departed.

A while later, I found myself moving at breath taking speed in a dark tunnel whose terminal end seems to be a bright white speck, still infinitely far off. As the speed approached something analogous to the speed of light, the bright speck became closer and closer until I was totally immersed in her luminous embrace. At that instant I “passed” out to find myself lying on a bed in a room sparsely furnished with openings for windows and doors, but no window nor door. Through these openings one could see as far as the horizon would let one.

 I rose from the bed, only to take note of Ol’Pa and Ol’Ma (my paternal grandparents); they must have been in the room for a while. Ol’Ma asked me how the journey was and I replied “fine but strange”, then Ol’Pa chipped in “welcome back”. Ol’Pa and Ol’Ma were both in their nineties when they died about two decades back, but as I took a closer look at them, they were not looking old at all; actually they were both looking healthy and fit. Ol’Ma asked if I wanted anything to eat or drink and I replied “something little”. I was escorted to the outer room, where a larger welcoming party was waiting. Mam’Ma my maternal grandmother was seated in one corner, looking radiant as ever, she departed three decades back, her son who departed at relatively young age was standing beside her. There were also other uncles and aunties in the room. In the middle of the room stood a table, with fruits and a plate of stewed beans and fillet fish. I was prodded on to eat something; I sat down but could only nibble at the food. I noticed a bottle of beer and I opened it and downed a glass. As I stood up, I noticed a mirror in one corner of the room, I went to it, looked through, but could not see my reflection, I turned around, I saw others looking at me, enjoying my bewilderment. I could not make out their reflections either. By now the food on the table had somewhat disappeared.

I went out through the open door way into a bright street. The houses all looked the same. Far off, I saw two Suns in the purple sky dancing around each other and I continued walking.  I must have walked for a while, when I looked to the right, I took note of a meadow with blue grasses and orange trees with beige coloured fruits on them. I moved on to the meadow, in the distance I saw a bright light made out of a convergence of religious symbols of the various faiths on earth. I was inadvertently pulled towards this light. As I moved towards the light, I noticed the Prophet, with my colleague not far behind, also running fast towards the ‘being-of-light’.

As we approached the ‘being-of-light’, I slightly heard the Prophet saying “Dear Lord, I’m your trusted servant, most obedient, ever faithful”, he continued “O, merciful Lord, you cannot do this to me, I need more time to accomplish the tasks you assigned me”, my colleague joined in the pleading “Dear Lord, please have mercy on the soul of your Prophet, our very own father in the Lord on earth, grant him more time to accomplish your assigned responsibilities. O father, we beg of you, please father. Your Prophet is responsible for the souls of many. They would be lost without him. Father we plead in your son’s name”. There was no response from the ‘being-of-light’. The Prophet now lay sprawled on the ground prostrate saying “I need more time; I need at least fifteen more years to carry out the onerous responsibilities you Lord have deemed it fit to place upon my shoulders. I decree, I command, you should give me more time, by fire and brimstone, Lord give me more time, please lord.” The ‘being-of-light’ remained silent.”

 

I was startled awake and saw my wife leaning over me grabbing my shoulders. I stared blankly at her but she countered declaring that I was howling in my sleep saying “fifteen more years, fifteen more years”. “What is fifteen more years” she asked, but I could only respond with a shrug. I looked up at the wall clock and realised the day had broken for a while. As a throbbing headache hit me it dawned on me that I had too much to drink at the party and coupled with vigorous dancing I must have slept like a baby. I went down stairs, opened the medicine cabinet, took two tablets of analgesic out and downed the pills with water. I went to the sitting room and switched on the TV, there was breaking news on the news channel “The Prophet of the Renowned Church of Supreme Christians is reported to have died last night. Unconfirmed report says he suffered a heart attack during the monthly deliverance crusade, and all attempts to revive him failed. He was aged 67, may his gentle soul rest in peace”. It was then I remembered the flight, I mean I recalled my dream “The plane eventually took off at 11.45......”

Friday, October 28, 2011

Politrikshan-tif wear Agbada

Agbada get plenti poket
For bak, poket dey
For front, poket dey
For side, poket dey
For imside, poket dey
For ouside, poket dey
For imside imside, poket dey
Na so so poket dey everiwia

Why Agbada get plenti poket
Wetin dem dey put imside dis plenti poket
Wetin dem go pak imside dis plenty poket
Na moto dem go pak put?
Na house dem go pak put?
Na rice dem wan put?
Na fufu abi n’amala dem go pak put?
Why agbada go get many many poket?

Na to tif
Das is why Agada get plenty poket
Agbada na to tif o!
Awa politrickshans dey wear Agbada
For Abuja dem wear Agabda
For Porta dem wear Agbad
For Sokoto, na Agbada
For Lagos dem take am wrapu bodi
For all ova di contiri dem wear Agbada

Dis vagabonds in power dey wear Agada
Big big tif wear Agbada
All dem politrikshans wear Agbada
All dem politirikshans kulotu na Agbada
As all of dem kulotu get plenti poket
Buba o, Sokoto o, Wrapper o, Head tie o, Cap o, even dem Panti tu.
All of dem get plenti poket,
Wi must to commot bi force dis dem plenti plenti poket
Na dis plenti poket na im dey take carrri awa moni go oooooooooooooo!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wey dem Magikshans dey?

Dat time wi dey small
for Yaba wi si dem
for Ojulegba dem dey
for CMS dey perform
Dis magikshans dem dey everiwia
Dem dey perform
Dem dey do magik
Pik-poket dey waka wit dem
Dem con dey pik wi poket
Dem sell wi powda
Sey na lof juju
Wi rub am for face,
But di babi still slap wi gbam fo face
Dem sell wi esaminasion ring,
Wi cari firsti from bak





Dis magikshans wey dem now?
Dis wayorist wey dem dey now?
Dis magikshans wey dem now?
Dis wayorist wey dem dey now?




Di time wi don grow
Wi no si dem magikshan again
Wi waka everiwia
Wi no si dem eniwia




Dis magikshans wey dem now?
Dis wayorist wey dem dey now?




Wi con waka go temple
Na imside temple dem con dey perform dem magik
Everiwia wi put wi eye no magik again for open place
Na imside temple di magik dey


Na imside temple di magik dey


Dem con sey den no bi magikshans
People con dey folo dem collect wi moni, dem dey pik wi poket
Dem con dey call dem sefs:
Pasito, ............ but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Alufa, ............but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Apostulu, ............ but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Imamu, ............ but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Bishopu, ............ but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Mallamu, ............but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Efangelis, ............ but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Alagba, ............but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Hen, hen, hen hen, . .....Abah...... I dey laf,
Dem con dey bare di name, mi people make una wait O.....
General Overseer, an dem no dey si enitin
But.... but wi sey dem bi magikshans
Dem bi magiksans


Eledumare mo gbe O!
Eyan dudu sori r’enu!

Friday, July 20, 2007

If and only if…..

If I were to live my life again,
I would never let you go.
Blinded by worldly hopes,
My turmoil within,
the wrestle of my heart with my mind,
found quiet in a lie.

Yet still, my heart stirs.

Here I now stand,
dieing from being all alone.
And in the only one I found friendship and happiness,
I sacrificed for a false glamour of a transient moment.

Years down my famished road,
the only one in my heart is you,
my peace within awaits your hook.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Of God(s) and Us: Aimless Fluid being shot from the hip

I have a religion, which has no name, attempts no definition of God or Gods and is unconstrained by what has been and what is being. I’m often asked this question, “what do you believe in?” and I always reply, “I believe in the after-life”. I’m usually probed further “are you a Muslim or a Christian?”(As if these are only two existing religions, I’m sorry, I mean “ways of life”). I often find myself retorting with a sharp “neither”. Before I get crucified, I believe a quick clarification is appropriate.

There exist countless images of God(s). We have the Muslim perception of God, the Christian, the Hindu, the Yoruba, the Tao, not forgetting the image according to Judaism and countless hordes of others. These images often elicit conflicting and passionate arguments (like the Palestine question). And as we have it today, there is a tendency for the proponents of one of these images to confer on it the title “This is the only way” and the others; “The others way”. I sincerely hope this ascription is not in relation to the ascendancy of Western civilisation. Remember “The clutching of strangers’ gods is one trademark of a spiritually conquered people” so says W.B. Yeats (An Irish nationalist poet).

It is Nigerian to see success at material accretion as being synonymous with spiritual probity (albeit, this is the posit of the SAP induced modern day Dr.’s of Divinity and or Theology). There is no business that succeeds like one that exploits our fears. But, all I have said is by the way. I feel, the Universe being so large and we a tiny almost dispensable spec (in relation to the Universe that is), are in no position to comprehend the totality of God. Let alone being proxy to God’s thoughts, or passing, pronouncing and or carrying out judgement on his behalf. I think our image of God has sometimes being one big pretentious excuse for human actions. No wonder that good man said “Man made God in his own image”.

I hope our religiosity is not all an act. Finding ourselves being swarm by momentous feeling of insecurity (that is being accentuated by the economic recession), we dive deep into our repertoire of “arts of survival” and we get born anew, emerging in an actor’s robe.

Hollywood doesn't know this yet; Nigerians are the greatest of actors the good Lord ever created. How I just wish that they will tap from the immense talent that are bound in Nigeria and Arnold Schwarzenegger will suddenly become a third rate box office hit. No, don't get me wrong, it is not that we posses innate talent. It is just that our bare existence has been reduced to surviving, we are left no recourse, but to act, and act, we act well! Nothing matters any more except the response we elicit from our audience (those we look up to and those that look up to us). Even the revered aspects of life have been reduced to an art form. I guess a lot of us deserve to be nominated for an Oscar, if for nothing else, for wearing a smile like Nero while Rome burns. It really does take an act to survive in this Nija cauldron.

Prayers often offered in the public domain, repeatedly comes across as a recital with a distinct signature of feigning, or at best a display of simulated gross eloquence. This frequently appears as an attempt at the finest form of religious oratory that is in reality directed to those humans listening, and is shrouded in an ambience of false piety. When praying gets reduced to an art form, then where lies conviction? Without conviction how will our prayer get answered? Herein lies the Nigerian “molobikan” (spiritual stalemate).

Behavioural exhibits might lead someone to erroneously think that being religious should only be relevant and limited to spiritual enclaves or that which is directly associated with such enclaves (or other enclaves on similar platforms). In matters of business, office manoeuvrings, etc. here we are free to engage survival instincts, the amoral man in us should take over. All seems fair in our war. There appears to exist this clever arrangement in man’s favour, in his relationship with God(s). When it suits us we believe him/her; when it doesn’t, he/she does not matter. I guess our gods are pliable. Fredrick Nietzsche maybe just is right “Man is not a moral being” after all. It is all about “survival of the fittest” employing any means suitable and adaptable, Darwin no vex.

Our economy has been deregulated (or is it guided deregulation). We are now in a seasons of “laissez-faire”. It seems fair for the spiritual theatres, to also employ promise of prosperity on a horse back of greed, corruption and immorality, at sourcing for customers. A vehicle for traversing the labyrinth of the Nigerian economy, no doubt. Well, they are also subject to same market forces that affect gari and rice. In this era of active competition and commercialisation, it is just as well to employ an advertisement jingle that reads, “God only worships here”. It is hard not to be a cynic. Uhuru still lies at the end of a road unknown.

The handwriting of the Gods with us

It so happens that the frequencies of the Gods are very difficult to tune into, not because the Gods have refused to transmit, but because we have preconceived ideas on the channels through which the Gods bring forth their messages. Such notions lead us to hear our perception (or is it distortions or filtered versions), of what the Gods are saying. The beliefs (or is it myths) we live by may often be dictated by our feelings for that which we hold is “true”. The following statement thus readily comes to mind “is it true because we believe; or because we believe, it is true”.

One positive thing standing in favour of the belief system however, is its purpose as an anchor in what sometimes appear as an earthly envelope of nothingness (apologies to the existentialist), in the metaphysical/spiritual realm. Another reason being its provision of a seemingly functional degree of certainty in an ocean of reasonably vast minutely understood (or non-understood) phenomena in the physical sphere.

Throughout history of civilisation, man has been confronted with experiences, which constitute a direct affront to his life long held (and handed down) beliefs. Such confrontations often lead to a shattering of such beliefs (theories). Consider what would have gone through the minds of the Native American on setting eyes on Christopher Columbus and his troops. The response of man to shocking realisations (or new revelations), is often one of initial inertia associated with disbelief or complete bewilderment.

Man finds new truths disturbing, an anomaly to his ordered chaos. So, he tenaciously clings on to the safer and predictable former truths. Casting our minds back into history, images of religious persecution, faced by the great sages comes into view. In science, the denouncing of scientific truths by the “discoverers” in the face of public (or institutionalised) outrage is another picture, that comes readily to the mind’s eye. These indignation in recent past, have taken departure from their aggressive nature of ancient times, being subdued in the physical sense but acquiring dangerous dimension in the psychological realm. Humans have always resented that which is inherently part of us; that is change. These “most probable changes” fortunately have over time always won, and all are now enjoying the positive consequences of these changes.

We marvel at the courage and passion exhibited by the sages in fighting for and instituting these changes. These great men and women have left their legacies in the fields of religion and science. While they tried to fashion out the new notions, they were regarded as mad by the rest, who were then blinded by their traditional beliefs. These lesser mortals were unmindful of the fact that “madmen are people gifted by Gods with a vision denied to others” and that “genius and madness are near allied”.

Arthur Koestler did say “true (original) creativity starts where language ends”. Extending the boundaries in any field of human endeavour it seems has always been the preserve of the great-ones. Their ability to see farther than the rest, not only rest on the fact that they stand on the shoulders of giants in their respective chosen fields, but they were/are not limited by what has been. In addition, they passionately continue the pursuance of conquering the immense unknown. Well, it has often been said “A tree does not make a forest” but I believe one good seeing tree does make a hell of a difference.

Returning to belief systems, the need for a belief has always been an essential ingredient for living. Our beliefs should not only give us a sense of purpose, but should be a platform for listening through the infinite messages. We should not be held bound by such beliefs in the face of mounting contrary evidences. In order to arrive at the most probable truths at any epoch of human existence, we will continually require a refinement of our beliefs (theories). Lets us strive to batter our theories (beliefs) to accommodate new observations rather than “panel-beat” the observations to suit our theories. Arthur C. Clarke once admonished us to be aware that “When distinguished elderly scientist say something is likely to be wrong, it might just be right”.

The foot-prints (signatures) of the Gods are bound in nature; our sacred duty is to discover them and decipher their meanings, so that we can utilise the acquired understanding for bringing forth hidden treasures that will be of benefit to the entire humanity. Through such passionate sojourn we may find that “which is for the sake of itself and itself alone..Happiness”, so says Aristotle.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rebels without a focus

In this age,
the young ones are looking to stage.
They turn a page,
but only let out a rage.
They try a gage,
but it offers no wage.
Now they are in a cage,
their freedom only known to the sage.

Still…

The young ones cry out,
lunging at ripples of water, they shout.

Consumed by our fear,
we, busy to hear.
fright in their outstretched hand,
their plight they are left to bear,
we, dance the tune of the beer.


They find…

Nothing to believe,
renders them without a vision,
at the sea level of anonymity,
their humanity is condemned to wallow,
the drowning ocean offers only,
mass confusion.

In the stifling darkness,
at the sea bottom,
lunging and groping,
in desperation for something real.

The real life-buoy cannot hold sway,
false ones clutter the way.
The only ones left to steal,
leaving them so unreal.

And now….

Out of the blue,
a lifeline comes anew.
With slime the line slings,
slippery, their desperation cannot hold,
illusion it only brings.

And yet,

The void waiting to be filled,
embracing another,
delusion becomes their creed.

But alas,

for some,
A path is shown,
a leverage is known.
New blossom of thermal energy,
devouring the thawing darkness,
impelled by the gravity drag.

They are shot at relativistic velocity,
from the black-hole,
out and out,
they come off the bag.

Weary,
Realising,
a closeness to nothingness,
a trip of foolishness.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Madman on the seismic line



I must be a mad one, a madman.
A mad one,
wandering and wondering,
talking to trees,
and sometimes singing to bees.
Wading through the muck,
hoping to pluck,
in the delta plain,
in this life, this jungle,
an oil fortune to mangle.
To the muddle, to mingle,
The mad one bungles,
and mumbles.
Wondering “what am I doing here?”
And listening hard to hear,
but only silence near.
Wondering, wandering,
this jungle, this life.
And still, only,
One more day on an offset life

Friday, September 08, 2006

Mugu Paradise & Fools' Paradise


Mugu Paradise
Wi dey hala halleluya, halleluya
For di door of heaven awa voice dey ringi o
Wayo wata wey commot for awa eye don turn river,
for wi house na honey-bee sweet lie o,
awa wuru-wuru way came fill di temple.

Dis fabu, na im catch awa spirit so,
For hala-hala prayer na inside am awa spirit dey gyrate,
Di floor con dey cry for awa leg wi dey take knack am,
music comot for di mout of kolo, awa body dey tranga.
Whinch prepa food awa belle gage.

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Wi roll for ground leg scatter, dey yarn opata for mout,
Love wey God get we dey hurry pull am con wi side alone,
Gra-gra prayer wi demo for altar, awa fingers con fly
For di orda man im eye, di finger con park.
for everibodi to see heaven, wi sey dis na di only way.

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Dis awa whinch craze com dey waka wit vexation,
Anybodi wey dey road come dey scatter scatter,
Di people wey no scatter, na gbua for dem face,
For awa face wi form mu-mu dey preten,
But na bread and butta na im wi dey fin,
Di remainder wey fall for gutter, dey follow wata,
For dis poto-poto, bega put hand to chop,
Dem leg and hand com dey tranga inside.
Na for dis show born-again hala dey hapi.

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Di orda way awa eye con turn,
But for awa way area-boy dey burn,
Awa bodi dey shine dey comot oyel.
Area-boy look us im see pig wey im go fry.

Di shain wi carri put for awa neck,
Awa passpot we sey for longer troat,
Wi sey na sign sey wi sabi business,
But wi know sey di torry na wayo,
Na di pot wey carri honey, na im wi dey run follo,
Di people wi mash on di way, wi no say sorry.
For dis empti basket, Na im wi dey hala.

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Wen wi knee down, wi bigin beg God O!
Wetin comot for awa mout na wuru-wuru,
Awa yanga com dey make shakara,
For God to forgive us and miracle na im wi dey fin,
Mama bon-boy im pickin wi bigin kick am.
Di cona wi hide tins wi tif, na di place we con dey hide.
Di tins wi dey sell, wi ask poor man to brin gold to buy am.

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Na awa Nija bi disi o!

Any which way people dey fall to arm-robber bullet,
Di wans wey pai, na dem share for di cost,
All wi con bi target for guns wey dey hungry,
For di back of iron door, wi dey hide dey complain,
Na awa ancestors wi con blame for dis our trouble.

(Note: Originally written in honour of the Late Nija Musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in 1997, re-written 2003, translated into pidgin 2006)

Fools’ Paradise

Alleluia! Alleluia!
At Heaven’s door our voices ring.
Crocodile streams our teary eyes bring.
In ether, vacuous and honeyed, the heathen contagion fills.

Flux of fable, our souls’ bliss.
In lurid worship our convoluted souls.
Mutinous feet enraged in ‘bata’ stomps, the floor pulls.
To the symphony played by full moon, swarms of gyrating torsos flow.
Filling our arcane and lewd appetite, this chow.

Nija

Oblivious yell and ground roll,
Gods love, all hands scurry to pull.
Frenetic prayers to the altar, fingers take to flight.
The others eye, a bequeathed plight.
And all these, Heaven’s pathway,
for all to take.

Nija

Magma of madness with fury flows.
Scathing all, wrecking blows.
Deluge mass of surface affection,
To bread and butter, hoggish devotion.
Awash the gutters way, crumbs set sail.
To the muck, vagrant forage for a meal,
wander and scurry at their feet, limbs begging low.
This show, voices of new-day saints bellow.

Nija

The other way, our eyes set to turn.
On our way, marauders set to burn.
Our pores, ooze of fattened oil.
On the marauder’s sight, a pig to broil.

Beads of adornment, our veil of gluttony.
Show for our enterprise we claim, a tale so phony.
To a pot of honey, we flee to in hurry.
The trampled on our way, we are all but sorry.
To this hollow, our voices howl.

Nija.

On our knees, to God, a glut of plea.
Escape our gaol of pious pretence, Egoism within to flee.
Mercy and miracles, to ourselves alone we seek.
Thy neighbours’ love, we all scramble to kick.
Within mist of stolen treasures, our refuge lie.
At the price of gold, our wares we sell by a lie.

Nija

Nija

Random pickings at the Snipers’ will.
The picked and fallen, the part of the bill.
All and all, targets for guns so deprived.
Behind shackled doors, hiding and grumbling.
“Heaven’s fault”, muffled voices now mumbling.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jangebe’s Blues

(circa 2000, six years down the line, everything remains the same)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/688639.stm
I cannot say for sure, if Buba Bello Kare Garke Jangebe has heard the Mississippi blues, but I’m almost certain he owns a short wave radio. It is also almost a forgone conclusion that he listens to the BBC, particularly the Hausa service. I can hazard a guess, he may have tuned into the station once and fortuitously found the blues playing. Maybe he liked it, and had wondered how he could replicate the sounds of the rhythm guitar on his Goje strings. To do this successfully, as a matter of course, he definitely needs his two hands and the fingers on those hands. Now, he will never be able to play the Goje again.

Denis Chatelier, the Frenchman that had his hands restored, on the other hand (yes, that is right, are we not talking of hands?), will be able to play the blues if he desires to play. The nails of his newly acquired limbs, I heard have started growing. The limbs from another (though departed), giving him a new zest for life. Denis lost his two arms in a firework accident in 1996, now he has a new set of limbs, if he likes, he shall play the blues all he wants. But being French, he may just be content with being able to pour himself a glass of red wine.

A tale of two cities you’ll say, and of two men, Jangebe of Gusau and Denis of Lyon. One city, enceinte with primordial norms, the other pushing at the frontiers of cutting edge science. And, yet, there is connection between these two cities, the one having to do with limbs. One cannot help, but be cynical. They say Zamfara state hardly generates enough revenue internally to service the running of government. Then, here lies a unique opportunity for earning more revenue for the state. Arms, legs and other body parts harvested from the theocratic state should be exported to countries requiring such, thus earning the much needed foreign exchange. If substantial quantities of such body parts are harvested, Zamfara may just be on its way to an economic ‘el-dorado’ , and consequently helping Nigeria to move away from the mono-product economy that has been her lot. The Zamafara state slogan becoming “Body-spares for sustainable development”.

There is this curious twist in the fate of these two men. They both had their limbs operated upon by doctors in hospitals. Doctors that swore to uphold the Hippocratic oath, to preserve the sanctity of life. For the doctors in France, I can certainly see that by restoring a person’s limbs, they were living up to their creed, not do for the doctor in Gasua. Anyway, at the end of the operations at the two sites, separated by space and time, but connected by limbs and history, both patients, raised both their hands, or in Jangebe’s case what was left of it, giving “thanks”. Denis with his arms raised appeared genuinely blissful and marveled at the feat of science that the doctors were able to accomplish. He was full of praises for the doctors that restored his arms. In Jangebe’s case, he thought himself a martyr, a man ‘Allah’ chose to proclaim his name and propagate his cause. He accepted his fate with religious resignation without any hatred for the doctor that perpetrated the crime of tearing of his right arm.

Denis, with the spirit of a fighter, will not resign to the caprices of fate. No. He would not be deterred by the freak of an accident, he believed he would make use of his hands again, and science gave him a set of new limbs. Jangebe, I suppose, has an unquestionable believe in an Imam’s version of religious ethics and the philosophy of the hereafter, even when such versions are warped, and the main thesis is fatalism. The plot in places like Zamfara, is for people like Jangebe’s to surrender their ability to think and to remain in a perpetual state of ignorance and servitude. Such people find ready use as soldiers in an ‘army of god’ whose sole purpose is to maintain the status quo and destroy progressive elements from other climes. That is, being used as weapon of internal colonialism. It is in the light, that what happened in Kaduna can be understood. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/africa/newsid_663000/663631.stm

In Zamfara, between Sani and Jangebe, there exits a desire to predominate and control, a perpetuation of the oligarchic class, which makes religion its cloak. What is being exhibited in places like Zamfara, is the propensity for mundane perversion. It is such predilection that allows a man to seek pleasure in the suffering of another, while preaching we are all equal before God. Yes, Sani we’ll say to us “we are all animals and we are also equal”, but whisper to himself “but I Sani am more equal than Jangebe”. This is the tragedy of the feudal system in the Northern Nigeria, whose pinnacle is the Sultanate in Sokoto. I’m waiting for the day the hands of those that have stolen the PTF funds, the South-South Oil revenue, the ECOMOG funds, shall be amputated. And if these Master thieves are so committed to having their variant of Sharia, let anyone of them bring out their children, who continuously pilfer from their stolen wealth, for their arms to be chopped off.

This nation has been kept in a state of arrested development, because we all choose to be eunuchs, whilst the nation is being repeatedly gang raped by group modelled by irrationality and fatalism. With acquiesce we sat down, watching with glee. Some of us groped at the limbs, while to others, a touch of the Nigerian flesh led to the quenching of the lust. The man has died in us all. No wonder we gravitate towards newly found ‘pseudo-religious cum spiritual’ empires of divination, searching for sanity for our soul. The irrationality of the Mai-guadi that lashes out with his dagger at a six year old for pilfering Tom-Tom from his displayed wares, still largely latches us onto the abyss of backwardness.

As long as we remain fearful of the irrationality and arrogance of Mai-guadis masquerading as leaders, whilst we are quick to admonish people calling for confederation, or true federalism, or national conference, or the provision’s of the consensual constitution of 1963, and other rational people’s call, so shall we remain in the state of unfulfilled potential. What the Nigerian situation requires is tough love, and not fear. People need to be told the truth, even if it is a bitter pill to swallow. Noble intentions and things (ideas and inventions) are born of love. Love, which forms the basis for justice that guarantees peace, that brings forth progress, which gives birth to prosperity that delivers collective happiness.

Jangebe has lost his limb because of political sharia , if possible, like Denis, as a matter bordering on decency and the dignity of our common humanity, he must be given the right to use his right ‘hand’ again. The responsibility for the limb restoration his Obasanjos', and this in the only proper thing to do, it is never too late, else…

Friday, March 17, 2006

My confession

It is hard to admit,

To admit, I made the life’s muddle,

My courage to flee at the crossroad of life’s puddle,

A “refuge- in-fear” a home for my cowardly soul.

They say love if true, treads where no one has known,

But the beauty of love was too true, more than I’ll ever know.

And when my life comes to a final close.

I will always remember, I once found true love on Airport road.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This dream, this life



On the bed, lay he,
an empty bottle, a hand,
evening sun, drifting rays,
a smile, peace, floating sleep,
endless slumber, a dream,
floating, dark ceaseless tunnel ascending.
At Einstein’s speed, brightness approaches.
Gleaming light, ends awaiting.
Brightly shimmers, soul to welcome.
Peace.



The body, but only out,
drifting above, seeing all.
Frenetic struggle for the body,
for the boy.
Frantic Doctors, nurses frenzied,
struggle to defeat,
peace.

Others worried,
but peace, only peace fills he,
then, nothing, blankness.



Back,
on his bed he lay,
slowly, eyes-life shutters open,
morning sun and rising dew.
A living dream this is.
Back, to find his role,
on this stage,
back.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quatrains of 2006

Wings of the Eagle clipped,
Smaller Nations dance on her dying Wings.
For all the posturing of the eagle,
Bronze only her treasure.

White Shoes, White Shirt and White Suit.
Pastor to the Chris,
Lethal tumor to the Brain,
Hemorrhage leads to death.

Momentum and Velocity in the dance of stress and strain,
Plates collide at death’s boundary.
The earth quakes at San-Francisco Bay,
Millions homeless, deaths in thousands.

Crises in the church on every street.
Two ambitious “vice” try to upset the apple cart.
The principal to ill for six, fetish charms behind the sick.
Recovers to unmask their deed.

The warrior to peace everlasting.
The Mayor and his henchmen to“bata”dance on the dusty streets.
“Foul” cries the subject of the warrior with cudgels and cutlasses,
Fountains of blood turn the seven hills red.

Of excess oil sales of yore,
The missing report unearthed from the past.
The foolish wise one on the hill to probe at last,
The Eagle forages on his linchpins at random.

From the eastern fringes of the southern land emerges the youthful leader,
To the extreme reaches of the northern land bellows of protest.
The agrarian middle gets the vice, whilst the old father protects.
To the present OPEC, the oil finally his, as the nation watches.

The dribbler gets dribbled,
To disease and degeneration the limb of yore.
The surgeons knife the only cure,
A refusal, a dribble to the final kip.

The glare of two billion pairs of eyes,
At the mercy of the samba of the boys in yellow and blue.
History to repeat as four decades ago,
As the red cross of St. George steals into the final.

The heavens weep heavily,
The Ganges and the Yangtze are overwhelmed,
Their banks cannot contain the tears,
Millions watch helpless at their drowning peers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Canoes passing

Each day I pass you by,

each time my eye can only say bye.

Of horses and wishes,

As beggars to ride.

Pleasing face and gorgeous legs flawlessly yours,

feelings of my heart anything but pure,

to oars and away,

till the next day I pass you by.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Chi

Chi

The wind, her hair.
Breeze so slight,
Dances of flowing strands.

Golden band, a gleaming stone,
Assuredly, rested on a finger.
To the host of heaven, wedded.

A step falls, another follows.
Strides, majestic.
A look, a fixation,
Tranquillity beckons.
A glimmer of hope for love lost.


Chi-Chi

Her voice rings,
Hope alive,
To the surface, purpose and focus rise.
Clicking, making music tapping the keys,
Wondering what key to the unknown she holds.

I wonder, I stood up, and I wandered,
Navigating the tiny space I occupy,
The hair would not leave, nor the assured walk,
Her confidence permeates my ambience,
A Lady.

The 'Chi' within your guide.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Much Ado about cloning

Primordial men were largely driven by instincts. These instincts were propelled by the need to relieve the cry of hunger, pain and sex. This is still largely the way we see a lot of the lower animals. It also suffices to say, that, when an otherwise civilised enclave is reduced to a jungle (e.g. Naija), then the inhabitants fallback on primordial instincts i.e., they become lower animals, relinquishing the title “homo”.

In a world which left the cave man little room for reasoning, he had a ordered existence. This revolved around sheltering in caves, hunting and gathering in the wild, and copulating whenever he fancies. In essence, these essential chores provided an opportunity of escape from his brutish existence, driving him towards pleasurable ends. Of all the pleasurable experiences, copulating provide the most mythical and also mystical experience. By removing the discomforts he also guaranteed his survival. And he indeed survived for as long as he could manage (or nature allowed) and procreated while doing so. The procreative act thus guaranteed the continuation of his specie.

It can be argued, that the primary purpose of copulation (pollination, mating, etc. if you like) is to procreate (and not to pleasure) so as to ensure the continuance of organisms. There is this tacit recognition of the ingenuity of the gods (or mother nature) in the act of copulation. To make the act effective, in fulfilling its primary purpose, the gods made it not only attractive, but also interesting and alluring by adding a sweenter. Call this “bisociative creativity” if you will. It can also be argued that without this sweetner, a lot of organisms that are in abundance today, would not have been. Maybe I would not even be here writing this “gibberish”. Now, the tenant is gradually becoming the landlord. The sweenter is succeeding with the coup, and procreation is gradually being pushed towards the gaol. The advent of cloning is therefore timely. The sexual act can thus relinquish its primary purpose, handing it over to the clone process, and what will have left will be just for fun (I mean this literally, no pun intended). Albeit with cloning you will be sure of what you are getting; if not close in cranial capacity, but at least in an exact replication of the physical attributes. And if you don’t like you, then you can steal somebody else’s cell. Cloning would inadvertently remove the worries associated with the vagaries of permutations of the game “cell catch a cell in a million cell whirlpool”.

If the success of a product or procedure is determined by its acceptability, and this of course is inherently linked to its perceived usefulness, then, cloning might just succeed in a vain environment characterised by conspicuous consumption.

Tarry a while and allow me, please. With Cloning complemented with a better understanding of the intricacies of genetic engineering and micro surgery, with an added gravy in the discovery of a futuristic process which I shall term “Gene/Cell Localisation Isolation Modification and Acceleration”, GLIMA for short, there might just be no stopping us now (sounds like Luther’s Ain’ no stoppin us now), at least, from being like the gods. When (and not if) such a time arrives, humans and human parts, will not only be successfully cloned, but such cloned products will be growth accelerated. In essence an embryo can be accelerated into a developed (adult) form, within a short time span. If you think not, it might be worthwhile remembering that, some animals are known to have the ability to grow back certain parts of their anatomy that are lost (e.g sea lobster).

Before long there would be a market for cloned organic parts, and of course (trust Nija people) a proliferation of “Parts Renewal shops” (remember otokoto). I could just imagine what effect such organic spares would have on relationships amongst lovers.
I digress. A man for instance, that imagines rightly (or otherwise) that a certain part of his anatomy (which exemplifies his manliness) is in-appropriately designed, now has a recourse, he simply gets the dysfunctional part chopped off and gets a new one attached, call this a detached dick (or as my friends from Ibadan will say putting the two words together detasidi); Shikena-end of story. And if he still remains dissatisfied with the new one he goes for something better.

For the womenfolk, there would be infinite adventures in change of looks. You could simply move from a 32B to a 34E ( and maybe back) without any worry of the after effect of a silicon implant. A short visit to the spares stores shall do this for you. And thinking of Nija men and their main source of attention on women (you guessed right- the bakassi), it would serve women a good purpose to go for occasional upgrades. And just imagine the effect a new and improved bakassi will have on Oga (I beg to say, Na die). I’ll bet, no more going out for him until a full cycle of exploring, appraising, developing, producing, selling (to whom? Well remember the Tiv land of old, I no like dis one O!!) and the eventual abandonment is completed. And women being as smart as they are, will as a matter of pragmatism get a new prospect (I’m sorry. bakassi), before the preceding cycle is complete.

What an effect all these changes will have on relationships in general and copulating in particular (remember this was what started this tirade). This particular act is something that has been mystified. Hard as I’ve tried, I’m not yet close to solving this mystery. Maybe, the mystery is related to the mist called femininity, or maybe, at its end lies a myth. Or maybe, it is simply magic. Or maybe, it is just the metaphorical expression for the whole of nature. Or maybe, it is just for its plain old sweetness we get drawn to it. Relationships are made by it and are also broken by it.

Back to the issue of organic parts. Talking about detasidi, mother nature should have engineered some organic parts evolving into detachable elements. And when you think about it, this would have gone a long way in preventing sexual promiscuity. With Iranlowo (Analy Injected Death Sentence --- this was the general misconception that was created in its early days) still very much in the air, sexual interaction is still largely taken as a hand shake. And it seems almost everybody is shaken almost everybody else (If you doubt this, then check front page of the Nija Guardian of 11/05/97 ---- “Nigerians consume I65 million condoms in four years”). I’m sure being saddled with a detasidi will be a big blow to men. And of course most women will simply uncouple their partners detasidi and safely tuck it into their handbags. That way, they will be sure their partners will not be up to any silly game. But again, this may not be a safe alternative. A woman might just desire somebody else’s partners detasidi, (I’m sure Sigmund Freud will call this penis envy ) and decide to steal same. The owner on the discovery of the theft, may employ force to get it back. Before you say “Jack Robinson ” a fight would have ensued at Okere market. The two will be at war, and at its end, a ruined detasidi. And of course, a man somewhere with a broken life. When two women (Oh, na elephants) fight; the detasidi (I’m sorry ,the grass) gets ruined (again!!! hurt). In a world in which men are still trying to wrestle control from women (sounds debatable), giving the women ability to “detach” at will, will completely enslave men (it is not as if they are not enslaved already, abi? all married men are “Supa Mugun” including yours truly). Mother nature is right after all for making it the way it is. Thank God.

Sexual promiscuity sometimes elicit different feelings, depending on the gender of the person afflicted. For a man, this might translate to mean being a stud (usually a title of “woman wrapper” is positively appended to the afflicted); for a woman however, this connotes being a slut (as if this is not derogatory enough, she might be ascribed the appendage “Donatus”). One of the many piss-head shrinks I met in my voyage through Seismic field crews, while entrenched in one of his drunken stupor put it this way “ A man is a tap, and everyone comes to it for a drink; a woman is a cup, and this just can’t be shared”. What male chauvinism!!. To his assertion I say bull and baloney. The spokesperson for the womenfolk may just reply “A man is a bucket that comes to a well for a drink. Most often than not, the “well” does not even fill the presence of the bucket.”

“Get back to earth Jagu, enough of this fantasy, get real”. Well I’m out of ink and out of space anyway so I’ll just say “This is more than enough bull to keep you till whenever. Oda bo.”

Friday, February 18, 2005

?

That sage was right,
for clutching alien gods,
we are but slaves of strangers,
estranged from within,
wearing a mascara of pretence.

Our growth measured by,
speed and distance from home.
Ourselves, our race,
we refuse to accept.
Sacrificing our culture,
for alien traditions.

Mimicry our trade,
these clowns that we are,
on this world stage.

And we wonder,
why we are,
the ladder’s lowest rung,
in mire.

Toys of life

To the night to death I go,
To land of dreams myself awake,
Arise the depth of soul to quake,
The quest of spirit to bake.

Awake my body,
To fore my worldly buoys.
Of petty games,
Pleasure, Power, Privilege,
And of Position, Property and Patronage.
Amusing hunts for Politics,
Popularity and Pretence.
And of other toys,
Persona, Prominence and Profit.
Pseudo passion for people persuasion

All these my body to reap,
But to the desert my spirit to keep,
When called to my eternal kip.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Twilight of a Being

In the twilight of the evening shadow, as I gazed with heavy eyes at the emerging stars, I became lost in deep contemplation; “what if there exist other life-forms on some planets surrounding any of the stars above?”. Hard as I tried at maintaining a course on my introspective sojourn, the weight of my heavy eyes cast a shadow on my mind. The veil of sleepiness succeeded in shutting the gates of my vision. My head came to rest lazily on the side wall; snooze. Zzzzzzz !!!

I found my self in a strange land with a set of strange people conducting a strange ceremony; a celebration of sorts. I looked around me and saw that the people were different in many ways, every feature of theirs was to me, positioned wrongly. But for some strange reason I felt unusually unafraid. I beckoned on one of them and asked “what is the celebration about?”. And he replied “this is the worship of death”.
I became astonished and probed further “Is death a deity?”
“No, it is a messenger of the gods”. He continued “It acts as a conveyor of souls from one life to another”,
“If it is just a conveyor, why worship death?” I asked again.
“Well, since we live in a world that is largely uncertain and unpredictable, we revere death because of its certainty. In fact, it is the only certainty we are sure of in our world” he said.

The other members of the congregation were by now milling around something that looked like a luminous spire. A pink beam pointing skywards emanated from the spire. There were successive rings of glowing red moving upwards that encircled the beam. The heat generated by the spire increasingly became unbearable but the people remained undisturbed. As they moved around the spire, a rattling sound was generated by the seemingly independent movements of their mid-sections. It was as if their midsections are bags filled with stones, it also seemed to have rebellious inclination . The midsections reluctantly went along with the rest of their body.

I wiped the bit of sweat that formed on my brow with the back of my right hand. “You all seem to be at ease, happy and excited” I said.
“This is one of the few occasions that gives us glimpses into what ultimate happiness is” he said.
“Where I come from, death does not necessarily portend happiness” I countered.
“Death is inevitable, and it is a serious event when someone dies. We use it as reminder to ourselves that one day we shall also return home” he said. He now started gyrating in synchronous movement with the rest of the pack. He continued “You see, Our life is a dream which we wake up from when we die”.
“You mean, this is not your main existence and the real one comes after dying” I queried.
“Yes. Here, we use death as a focus for our lives. Our interactions, relationships, aspirations and motivations are predicated on the notion that we shall surely transit from this plane of existence” he retorted.

The rattling suddenly stopped, each member of the congregation now assumed a sombre posture. A humming sound emanated from a tiny orifice that opened out from one of the things I will liken to a limb.
“Excuse me, I need to join in the supplication” he said. I stepped back a few metres, seizing the opportunity to take in the ambience surrounding the ceremony. The sky was mainly fiery yellow. This was intermittently disturbed by the splashing of differing colours against this sky background. The whole expanse as far as I could see appeared desolate. However I had this strong feeling there was life present in abundance. Here, the inanimate objects had a life or so it seemed. An unimaginable sense of contentment descended over me. I just remained standing in awe. I looked on into the endlessness, lost in my own thoughts.
“Do you know it is only on this occasions that we get to meet other members of our race” he said, interrupting my thoughts. “You mean you do not often see each other” I asked, needing clarification.
“No, we see each other all the time; but it is at this occasions our inner true feelings becomes revealed; no holds bar. And with this come the true sense of oneness” he said.
He seemed to grasp at something and continued “Not too long ago , our true gods came to a realisation that our being is essentially a hypocritical one; our outward appearance was in constant conflict with the inner self, this led to the general unhappiness in our world”.
He went on “Much of our societal norms, values and rules were an aggregation of ideas which to an individual member of our society, were innately untrue”.
He tried swathing at something I could not see and continued. “Our people became afflicted with various forms of madness, but we were not aware of these afflictions. Our collective and varied madness were manifested in diverse forms of worship of dissimilar gods.”
“Uh hu”, I heard myself saying.
“Unknown to us, these were invisible gods created by ourselves; by our fears. We ended up worshipping our creations”.
I assumed a crouching position with my chin rested on my palms and continued listening.
“We sought after fame and groped for security so that like our gods we could be in control; but we were mistaken. Fame and security were expanding universes”.
Stomping his what I will liken to a limb on the ground he resumed, “We became our own gods; gods driven by fear. For we had sold our passions”.

...........................
I felt a stick trying to push its way between my lips. I opened my eyes, it was Ladele, up to one of her usual pranks. The complete darkness of my neighbourhood descended on me. NEPA was at it again. The dream put me back on my path of introspective sojourning.

The great religions did recognise the significance of death in the lives of the living. Through death comes life. This might imply an upward progression in the larger realities of multifarious and seemingly infinite existence. If earthly existence is transient (and most of us agree it is), then maybe the man from the dream is right; “Life is a dream which you wake up from when you die”.

True realisation of the meaning and purpose of your existence suddenly dawns on you when you are dying (I sincerely hope not). You wake up and realise “I have failed again”. What are you here for?, For what purpose do you exist?.

The deepest question which confronts man, is “what purpose is his existence?” What meaning does his living portend?. In answering a related question “What is man?”, Samuel. L. Clemens (otherwise known as Mark Twain) reduced man to an automaton, a predictable animal, a pre-programmed machine. In many respects, judging by the behaviour exhibited by man, a dispassionate onlooker might be willing to agree with Twain’s assertion. However, the ingenious creativity in its illogic nature, sometimes exhibited by some members of the human congregation belittles this argument.

Since man became aware of his mortality, he has embraced different explanations in order to fulfil the yearning to know the unknown; the reason for life. But is the vast universal unknown that portrays the immensity of the effect of Godliness knowable ?. Is our ultimate search a futile exercise?. Are we really satisfied with the answers we outwardly embrace, but remain inwardly in turmoil? Or must we look within to find that which is without?. The wave of chaos that now pervades the planet (as seen through the eyes of CNN), somehow indicates acknowledgement in many, that the proffered explanations for existence’s purpose find no place in the hearts of men. Or is it that there is a nothingness of existence?

The immense unknowns humbles those that dare to search; the multitude of followers get shattered by the seeming absence of eternal truths. However, as humans we take solace in the notion that within boundaries that are defined for us, there can be workable truths which serves to useful limits imposed by the bounding conditions. No wonder Einstein came to the conclusion that “Whosoever undertakes to set himself up as a Judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods”.

Each seemingly successful and truthful discovery opens up a new window of the Universe. A plethora of questions surges forth. It sometimes appear that “we live in an infinite continuum, in which the tiniest yet to be discovered unimaginable spec is a Universe; and the Universe a tiny spec. So we must continue on our sojourn, trying to conquer the immense unknown. The beauty of existence lying in the continuing discovery of the missing pieces of this great jig-saw puzzle called life.

Of villages of yore and our cities of today

……and one can only think if we have left our villages behind?


It seems we are somehow set, more or less, in our views of reality by the time we get to about the prime of childhood. Our perception of the nature of things informs the vision of what we hope to become, albeit oblivious of the platform which nature will thrust on our way in acting out our chosen mission.

The dominance exhibited by certain individuals in our enclave was one of the factors that unconsciously shaped our lives’ desires. Somehow, as children we looked up to and are drawn to those individuals who seem to have control and influence over others in our community. In our impressionable young minds these individuals had power over nature itself, issues of life and death were easily within their ambit and control.

Growing up in the rural backwaters, persons welding these seemingly inexhaustible powers, in addition to influence and control were gifted, to our young minds, with abilities to discern mysterious occurrences. This was our chief source of attraction, as we saw them as commanding reverence and fear from other members of our community. The village oracle priest was one such person. The oracle priest had this special relationship with divinity, or so we thought. When our villages became afflicted with one infirmity or the other, the oracle priest was consulted to find what or who was responsible, and to do what ever is necessary to stop the scourge. Curiously though, it usually turned out to be that it was someone rather than something that was responsible. Typically, by way of transgression of the law of the gods, which may be of uncommon knowledge except to the oracle priest and some few elders, or by defying the gods, a charge only the oracle priest could make owing to his proximity to these gods. In essence, our oracle priest had a way with the gods, deciphering or interpreting their actions or inactions.

The solutions for pacifying the gods so as to mitigate the effect of the scourge usually came in the form of sacrifices. Foodstuffs were made available to the gods via the oracle priest. As a child I had this unspoken thought, which stood stubbornly on mind any time these appeasements were being made. I would wonder if the gods were gluttonous greedy pigs that could only be satisfied by the choicest pork or beef from the most cherished pig or cow, not forgetting too that they usually ended up with the biggest tubers of yam. The gods were so held in awe that this thought never escaped my unsafe lips, lest I became a meal myself. Occasionally, there were stories that trickled to our hearing about how the crime an individual committed was so grave, that the only solution was for the culprit to be sacrificed to the gods. As to what the gods did to the body I could not be certain, but I had the nudging feeling they also ate the poor fellow. One just had to think about their large appetite to come to the same conclusion, at least this notion was a consolation of sorts to assuage my wandering mind. Women more than men were usually to be found guilty of such heinous charges. Why the disproportion? I could not phantom.

Some of us became so consumed by the divinity of the oracle priest that we will often end up in a reverie, fantasizing on what we shall do when we became the custodian of the village rituals, the pathways to the gods. Like all things, our fantasies faded with the passages of time, the children of yore became the adolescent urchins, other set of realities creeping into our consciousness. The need to struggle for your own survival in the mist of competing mouths, your hand trying to grapple a big one time mould from the common bowl, succeeding to outwit other hands briefly, momentarily. And you knew your life depended on your success at this endeavour, which we took as feeding. Of course mother’s attention was now consumed by another, clinging always to her breast as she goes robotically about her daily chores, the realization that you are on your own was unmistaken.

Apart from our village gods which the oracle priest had the sole privilege of consulting and deciphering the meaning of their silences, we were also aware of other gods, or more precisely one particular god who we were made to visit on Sundays, usually sporting our best apparels. Generally we were made to believe that this god was more accessible and less alienating. He was often thought to be superior as supplications to him were often made in the foreign tongue, which we considered more potent at delivering our messages than when prayers were conducted in our dialect, which we were sure the priest had to interpret for him to comprehend.

Eventually as children are wont to do, we grew and these childish notions were quickly repressed into depths of our subconscious. Schooling and its attendant regimentation had done the trick. The wandering urchins were effectively made into noble young men, with a future to look up to in circumnavigating the radial paths of our individual universes. Along these chosen paths, some of us that were completely taking in by the glitter of western values and accomplishments, had no recourse but to run from our traditions and values as fast and far as possible in order to inculcate these foreign norms without question. The “superior” religion of the westerners or more precisely Caucasians was also embraced with the hope that their god will grant us also the accomplishments that will cast us as their equals, after all their religion was codified into a book and ours was largely whimsical and superstitious, at least so we thought.

The stage had now been set for us to be engaged in the competition that must have been programmed unrecognisably into our subconscious. The desire to better our childhood mates was such a driving force that we failed to give a thought to what our acquiring education would mean in terms of where we are coming from, and to what purpose we shall put the education, towards serving the needs of our community. Frankly, to us this did not matter.

What did matter and what we saw as the purpose of education, simply put was, a means of acquisition of social status and the attendant material benefits. We learnt all the ‘hows’ in the institutions we traversed. By so doing we thought finally we would overcome the nudging innate feeling that we were inferior as far as humanity is concerned. So consumed were we with the passion for peripheral actualisation that we aped everything Caucasian, from casual manners through the cultivation of what we believed were superior etiquettes. The eating with knives and fork, setting tables to dine thus confirming that we were far removed from those days when we struggled with our siblings grovelling, hoping to get a mouthful through the dexterity of our fingers. How far had we come we thought. The ‘whys’ of things to us was unimportant, as long as we are successful at aping, what did it matter? At last we can do as the Caucasians do, successfully repressing the nudging that we are mere pretenders.

Through our live of unacknowledged pretence, we became what we thought was important, being “somebody”. Brandishing degrees (initially in the arts to become colonial administrators, but latter in the sciences as university dons and much latter professionals), preferably from one of the western institutions of higher learning, becoming one of the distinguished fellows of society having survived the vagaries of the uncertainties in radial paths of life while our fellow siblings failed.

To celebrate our survival in overcoming the obstacles, we had formed professional associations, not for promoting our profession, but avenue to frolic with fellow survivors. Recently, we formed associations such as those of PhD holders (an ultimate apery), emphasising affiliations as accomplishments, betraying any lack of concrete achievement particularly when it comes to the realms of ideas, original and purposeful ideas that is, which will be useful in elevating our villages. We just ran away from our people.

Finally, we recognised our folly, or so we thought, having been versed in the ‘how’ but not comprehending the ‘why’, our recourse was to pacify or bribe through our fervent worship, the source that makes the ‘why’ accessible to the Caucasians, their god. Those of us that thought we understood the epitome of the sciences but were limited to the ‘how’ questions, but unable to probe into the ’whys’, gave up and bowed our heads before the Caucasian god, hoping the secrets of the universe will be revealed to us only.

Our childhood motives and desires having coming full cycle. The longing to be the village oracle priest now being played out on a national arena with a global audience, our party had began. We had now achieved what we set out to achieve. That is being the most dominant on our chosen stage, by being the custodian of the convolution of our childhood regurgitations of village displays of the oracle priest with our embrace of the rituals associated with the worship of the Caucasian god. We thus became the ultimate recognisable professional, the Pastor with the Pentecostal hue… Evangelist, Apostle, Reverend, Bishop, Pastor, etc, and now, wait for it General Overseer. Our propensity to acquire titles, religious, temporal and otherwise betraying our inner emptiness and reinforcing our innate acceptance of being humanly inferior.
Where do we go from here?

Naija men and woe on to men

Why do we Naija men fool around?

One Afro-American comedian once pondered on this question during one of his stand-up acts whose title bears a semblance to the suffix of the one time new Warri "Waffy" car plate numbers (albeit in reverse). In that comedy strip he came to a very interesting, amusing but may be unconvincing conclusion on "Why men fool around". In trying to be civil, I would not recount his findings verbatim, but the essence of his argument was: If a man could get a woman....... to obey Newton's first law of motion to the point where Einstein's theory of relativity comes verily into play, and space and time dilation become a reality, then such a man could always get away with any wrong doing to his woman , even fooling around.

To some, such a conclusion may be agreeable, to others objectionable, but lets us tarry a while and really reflect on why men do what they do. Is it game, or is it a manifestation of a desire for a toy- thing, or a way of getting back at women. I know what you are already thinking; What does he mean by ......"getting back at women?". Let us recall what one "mad-man" named Chiwenzu (But remember "mad men are people gifted by God with a vision denied to others) once said “A man chases a woman until she decides to get caught”, you really wonder who then is doing the chasing. We also do realise that while it most often than not takes a man all he has (actual, potential and imagined) to get the woman his heart (or is it something else) desires, it takes the woman only her physical attributes to get the man she requires. Like the saying goes the beauty of a man lies in his pocket, and for a woman we all know where it is on(or where it lays). Enough of this digression.

Since the beginning of time, men have subconsciously distrusted women. There had always been an undeclared war of the sexes, while men appear to be winning in the physical, with all their aggressiveness; women seem to have the upper hand in the emotional realm, using their psychological chips (this by no means accounts for why more women than men attend spiritual enclaves- this will be subject of another discourse). This distrust had manifested in various forms in different cultures. If you would recall that in medieval ages in Europe, men caged their women in metal girdles before going to war. In the not recent past, in certain parts of this country, men guarded against any possibility of indiscretion by their wives through the use of remote control devices (do not ask me how these works). All such and many more actions on the part of men appear to be a subliminal recognition by men, of the superiority of the women in this game of life, despite men's outward brandish display of being in control. For most men, a public acknowledging of this fact and they will seize to be men. A chauvinistic desire to physically dominate the women gender arises from internal recognition of the foregoing.

Men have always outwardly displayed the "Certificate of Occupancy" of their women, they see their women as their ultimate property; but the truth is that it is the women that own men. The women folk see men as instruments for providing the necessities (both essentials and frivolous) for living. They exhort men to take any risks even if it means losing their lives, they also psychological prompt men into taking actions and decisions. Little wonder then, the truism in the popular adage behind every successful man there is a woman(the converse also holds true) or one can just say "The man is the figurehead, but the woman is that figure that turns the head". The sad part of the story is men inwardly acknowledge this fact, but they find it so difficult to accept.

In essence, the need for men to fool around when stripped of its subterfuge, is not really a lascivious desire, but an act of vengeance, a way of aggressively gaining what you lose psychologically. This sexual symptom is a manifestation of the lack of grasp of the everyday-street psychology which women had always exhibited since the dawn of civilisation. Like I always say when it comes to the crux of life, the best game a man can play with a woman is a draw. When men do fool around, they do so with a pseudo-intent of their woman knowing ultimately. Some even go to the extent of flaunting it on their women faces. If and when a woman decides to do same, it is always with a touch of class and very surreptitiously.

A mans desire to fool around also arises from the need to psychologically reassure himself that he is in control, he still possesses his freedom. It can also be seen as an attempt to reclaim the perceived lost ownership of oneself.

I guess men who do not fool around (at least in the widely accepted notion of the expression), would want to think by the foregoing that they are psychologically equipped to tackle women. Wait a minute, you also do fool around, through your sometimes over indulgence in games, sports, etc. some by their roving eyes and lingering thoughts on things that swaggers and winds, and for some the compulsive obsession with work and some an unending foray in outwardly spiritual charades devoid of any internal convictions.

All men have always realised: A man executes a coup, he succeeds, he becomes the president, he shares the attendant glory, fame and security with his woman. If he fails, he dies alone. Today in Nigeria, if he acquires she comes, if he looses off she goes.
So if you do fool around, ponder a while: Why do I fool around?. And for me ....I'll keep on being me. .

Cowards’ Paradise

“In our inherited milieu, individual fears regarding unknowns find expressions in the collective worship of the gods. However, it is our anxieties regarding uncertainties in getting daily needs of survival that influence our decisions most.” ....Al-fade

Let us begin on a cautionary note about opinions that will be encountered in the following paragraphs. “I would not be confident in every thing I say about the argument: but one thing I would fight for to the end, both in word or deed if I were able---- that if we believed we should try to find out what is not known, we should be better and braver and less idle than if we believed that what we do not know it is impossible to find out and that we need not even try” so says Socrates (THE MENO)

Now. The other day I was in heaven, God was seated in all his majesty. To his right seated the choir of angels which had a black-man with his saxophone in the front pew. I moved closer to the choir, only to discover it was our very own Fela doing his thing on the sax. What a relief this was. I was almost being led to believe by my “New-day-saints” acquaintances that this our “bastion of authenticity” was destined for hell. I spurn around, “ha ha”, there goes that “Evangelist”, he is up to his whispering antics again. “What is he trying to do?”, “Maybe trying to convince God to send Fela to hell”. I moved closer to listen in. I heard God Say “Fela lived his life, and what did you do with yours?”. The Evangelist replied “I won souls for you my lord”,
“For me “said God “Not for me my son, You won souls for your ego and your pocket”,
“How would you know that my lord?”
“Well, I’m God your lord. Your query shows you lack belief in me”
“No my lord, hem...hem...but being a Nigerian, it is so difficult been totally convinced about your existence. There are so much sources of doubt”
“But Fela did believe”
“I thought I believed too, I thought I heard you speak to me”
“You couldn’t have heard me. You never listened. You only heard what you wanted to hear”
“I’m so sorry my lord”
“What should we do to you my son?”
“Forgive me my lord”
“Hum....eh..hen, I know what we shall do, you shall go back to Nigeria”
“Thank you my Lord. ....Thank you....Thank you”
“Don’t thank me my son, Nigeria is hell”.

The engine of my time capsule was still running idle when got back to heavens garage (no reverse packing here), I got in and left heaven, I pushed the time-warp button, felt my self being sucked into a resonating ambience propelled at the speed of mind {(c 2 ) mind}, a softening thud on the ground, a landing in the pre-historic African jungle.

The earliest forms of hominids had ceased to exist, and homo-erectus straddled the African continent which gradually inched itself into a position of finality at a spatial centre on the globe. I discovered that our progenitors found themselves placed in the loftiest paradise on earth; this wetland jungle. Fruits bearing trees everywhere abound and rivers and streams leisurely cut the landscape. What better habitat could these pre-historic men desire. The pristine environment was just right for living, no incentive for discovering agriculture, he simply climbed the tree to pick fruits or dug the ground to uncover tubers. Game ran wild, and he followed in hot pursuit for the tendons which his jaw could hardly resist. Any wonder that bush-meat is still a delicacy to the 20th century Nigerian. His environment encouraged him to rely solely on his instincts, his cranial component mainly occupying space.

I retrieved my micro-plane from the time-capsule, shot a stream of growth-beam on it, “voila !!!” a normal size jet for one appeared. I got in and sped up north to the temperate regions. “Daam, how could anyone survive in the endless land of blinding white and intolerable chill”. I had arrived in a clime in which hail storms battled with unceasing rumblings from the outpouring of volcanic ash, one trying to outwit the other in the contest of de-survival of the humanoid. These shivering humanoids were a pitiable sight, with the rumbling earth beneath their feet and; endless cold and bitter snow threatening to immobilise their joints if they remained static. They could hardly do otherwise but to move. Movement in all its ramifications did they exhibit. “Getting a shelter and a fur, is a pre-occupation of their initial thought processes” I observed, “Over time I’m sure they will get used to thinking”.

Different strokes I guess for different pre-historic folks, I flew back to the time capsule, “enough of these pre-historic reverie”. It is time to go back to my chaotic 20th century.

Countless millenniums had by now gone past and things had changed, but the fatalism of the African ancestors remained with their descendants. Mountains roared, land moved, wild fires ravaged the land while lightening struck some person dead. “It must be the gods that are the cause”, they echoed. “The gods in heaven determine everything-those that should be born, those that shall live and those that will die”.

As I looked around, some thoughts from Lamarck re-echoed in my mind “each individual appears to inherit the traits of his progenitors; such individual is also affected by the environment he is placed and; the inherited traits modulated by the environment are passed on to his descendants”. Well I guess a lot of research still needs to be done in determining the proportionate contribution of genetic antecedents and environmental factors in an individuals psychological and physiological makeup. Nature vs. Nurture you will say.

Some will argue that “though the inherited genetic composition is crucial, an individual requires an enabling environment to actualise his innate tendencies”.

And if the above assertions hold true, it is easy to see why a sizeable proportion of inhabitants of this clime, are more giving into feelings and sentiments than thought; waiting than moving; gaping than reading; noise making than thinking; Miracles (read Magic) than work etc. But all hope is not yet lost, there appears to be a silver lining at the end of the rainbow (to borrow the popular refrain). What is thus required is the generation of an ambience which alters generally preferred tendencies. How we do this, honestly I don’t know, I guess my preferred inclination is to wait on miracles (After all, I have not checked out yet, I’m still a Nigerian).

Following my own advice, I again boarded the time-capsule on a continuing excursion of the pre-historic jungle, trying to uncover the origin of character of the Nigerian.

Returning to the caveman days, in which our hairy ancestor was the lord of the manor. Our over-lording creature had massive expanse of land to himself. His next door neighbour was light-years away. To him his neighbour might as well be on the mars.

I put the time-capsule in the travel-observe mode, trying to do a time-lapse mapping of the evolutionary traits of our ancestors. The pre-historic man word was law, I discovered, at least in his immediate environment. Procreation was his chief occupation. As I moved on, population gradually increased and the land entitlement per individual decreased. With this shrinking universe, laws of individuals were no longer adequate to protect individuals rights. “Heh hen” I have now arrived at an epoch where the laws of one man came in conflict with the laws of another. It is interesting seeing these cavemen slug it out. A thud on an antagonist’s head, the man still remains standing, a blow by the cudgel, the protagonist to the ground only to stand up in the twinkle of an eye (Amos omo Tutuola, I beg yu O, sofly cari my leg, ...I no wear...). This reminds me of our wrestlemania in the twentieth century (I’m sure we still crave for those primordial days).

As population spread, It is curious to note that during this era “Societal norms, values, laws which sought to protect rights of the individuals within a collective was thus born”. But I could still see a lot of disgruntled cavemen. To these early men “Societal norms, values, laws were an aggregation of ideas which the individual holds innately untrue”. Maybe here lies the origin of human hypocrisy; the duality imposed by the conflict of doing for the self on one hand and doing for the commune on the other.

Musing all alone on the capsule on my way back to 20th century Nigeria, “I belief, such societal laws are valid in so far they guaranteed the survival of the collective. Thus, laws are an integral part of human relationship. And these laws and norms are allowed to remain in place as long as there is enabling (read economic) environment that ensures survival of the majority”. But oftentimes, I suppose such enabling environments get suspended and people have no option but a recourse to their repressed primordial instincts (every man for himself, God be the adjudicator).


Maybe this explains why we are witnessing a renaissance of pre-historic times in the jungles of Africa, from Rwanda moving westward to Sierra-Leone and also gliding through our own beloved Nigeria. Now, behold the new era of video clips of atrocious brute force, in which the man that welds the cudgel carries the day. Since most of us have evolved leaving our caveman savageness behind (have we really?, the genocide in Rwanda I’m sure was an illusion) what alternatives are we left with!!. But to run back to our gods for divine explanation for that which we are witnesses. And we wait on our gods for torrents of miracles to shower and reverse that which we are the cause. Well, remember for most (at least in Nigeria), this is the preferred inclination to solving issues.


At the risk of sounding patronising, it appears that our spiritual abodes are keeping sanity of the jungle dwellers in check. This really makes up for the impossible numbers of psychiatrists that will be required to stem the contagious madness enveloping the jungle. The offering of hallucinatory concoction (that leads to mass amnesia) in the form of religious parables in exchange for cash, thus providing us the delusion of being active as against our actual collective lethargy. The jungle dwellers get born anew, with hearts completely filled with “love of God”, no space left for fellow men. In this era of the cultist, in which membership of a cult ensures the progress of an individual, we should not be surprised by the gravitation towards these pseudo-pious cult. In every path that traverses through the jungle Alleluia choruses now pierce our contemplative solitude.


Alleluia! Alleluia!
Heaven’s door and our voices ring.
Crocodile streams our eyes bring.
Ether, vacuous and honeyed,
heathen contagion fills.

Flux of fable, our souls’ bliss.
In lurid worship, convoluted souls.
Mutinous feet enraged in stomps, the floor pulls.
Symphony played by full moon,
swarms of gyrating torsos flow.
Filling our arcane and lewd appetite,
this chow.

Nigeria


Oblivious yell and ground roll,
Gods love, all hands scurry to pull.
Frenetic prayers to the altar,
fingers take to flight.
The others eye, a bequeathed plight.
And all these, Heaven’s pathway,
for all to take.

Nigeria

Magma of madness,
fury flows.
Scathing all, wrecking blows.
Deluge mass of surface affection,
To bread and butter,
hoggish devotion.
Awash the gutters way,
crumbs set sail.
To the muck,
vagrant forage for a meal,
wander and scurry at their feet,
limbs begging low.
This show,
voices of new-day saints bellow.

Nigeria


The other way,
our eyes set to turn.
On our way,
marauders set to burn.
Our pores,
ooze of fattened oil.
The marauder’s sight,
a pig to broil.

Beads of adornment,
our veil of gluttony.
Show for our enterprise we claim,
a tale so phony.
A pot of honey,
we flee to in hurry.
The trampled on our way,
we are all but sorry.
To this hollow,
Our voices howl.

Nigeria.


On our knees, to God,
a glut of plea.
Escape our gaol of pious pretence,
Egoism within to flee.
Mercy and miracles,
ourselves alone we seek.
Thy neighbours’ love,
all scramble to kick.
Within mist of stolen treasures,
our refuge lie.
The price of gold,
our wares we sell by a lie.

Nigeria


Nigeria

Random pickings,
the Snipers’ will.
The picked,
part of the bill.
All and all,
targets for guns so deprived.
Behind shackled doors,
hiding and grumbling.
“Heaven’s fault”,
muffled voices mumbling.

And God said to Evangelist “why are you so a hypocrite ?”and he answered “you made me with a free will so”.
“Fela had a free will too, but remained authentic”. I was roused from my dreamy reverie by a loud explosion (not that kind we are by now accustomed to) from a tyre blow out. Back on earth, the sung of the weird one now escapes through my neighbours window. I could clearly make out the words. And need I say more, these words ring true for this moment..



“my people sef fear too much
we fear for di tin we no see
we fear for di air around us

we fear to fight for freedom
we fear to fight for liberty
we fear to fight for justice
we fear to fight for happiness

we always get reason to fear
we no wan die
we no wan wound
we no wan quench
we no wan go
I get one child
mama dey for house
papa dey for house
I wan build house
I don build house
I no wan quench
I wan enjoy
I no wan go......

..so policeman go slap your face, you no go talk
army man go beat your yansh, you go dey look like donkey....”


In my mind’s eye, that sincere moment in which Patrick Henry addressed the first American Congress associated with the declaration of independence in 1776, cannot help but resurface, and this he said “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? For bid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may choose but, as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” And here we are, arms folded, waiting to go to heaven, and non of us is willing to die to get there. Even for the sake of the beautiful ones not yet born. Do I hear someone say “the man has died for us; and he shall visit thunder and brimstone on the captors of his flock”. Well if we continue to await the miracles from heaven, without having the courage to follow through with that Godly thought within us all, one day we shall wake up to find, there is not much left to live for.

If the heavens my “new day saints” exist, then I’m sure only one criteria will get anybody there, and that is being authentic. Talking of authenticity, remember, Saint of the Gutters, Mother Theresa.

On a final note, our fears are aptly captured by Lawrence LeShan in his book Alternate Realities and he wrote— “We have always known that there was something wrong. Behind our busyness, behind the working at and worrying about everyday life and our survival from year to year, were the questions: “What does it mean?” “Why are we here and where is here? “Why do we love, fear, hate, kill, protect ourselves, die? “What does being born mean? “What does dying mean? “What is love? “Is there more to the world we see?” Behind our constant activity and our concern about our activities and plans lies a dim unease about these questions and our lack of any answers of which we can be sure.” In our present milieu, I’m sure many will claim to have found definite answers to LeShan questions. The solutions found in the embrace of re-worked religions (or as it is now popularly called by the new adherents—Way of life). I hope they truly have. But I suspect as LeShan puts it “This I will act as if I believe. This I will give my life to, hoping it is the truth. This I will have faith in”
is the way we are. In this enclave religion has always being a tradition. Now, it is also becoming increasingly highly fashionable. The only thing that has changed really, is the level of attendant hypocrisy.
Now is our authentic moment. Let us all seize it, and do that which is right from within, so that our beautiful ones yet unborn would live in a beautiful Nigeria.