A good day for me would be a day I wake up from the touch of my beautiful and supportive wife as the sun kisses my face. Not minding my early morning breathe, she kisses me for a few seconds and as I start to warm up to it, she gets up and reminds me of the busy day I have ahead. I go and my knees and talk for several minutes to my Source and allow Him to also have the say on my day. Taking my bath and coming back into the room, my five beautiful kids – three girls followed by two boys – come into the room to say good morning to their parents. Respectfully greeting us in proper African manner, they jump on the bed as they try to choose which cap will match my cloth. Though I do not eat breakfast because my waistline is beginning to resemble Shakira’s, I stay at the dining table with them as they eat and discuss events.
We say prayers in turns for the Lord to guide our steps on this day and I exchange looks of love and a kiss with my wife while my embarrassed teenage girls blush (they must be kissing some boy for them to blush so hard!) Off then to my day, driving on good roads in my modest car, off I go to the Old Peoples’ Home at Yaba to give them some foodstuffs and clothes I bought at the market. Spending time with the orphans at Little Saints reminds me of what it was like growing up. A call comes in from my close friend who is now the Prime Minister of the parliamentary Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Nigeria. My role in the struggle to overthrow the democratically elected Executive but dictatorial president is recalled in the media often but more is my nomination for the Nobel prize in literature, a feat attained before only by Prof. Wole Soyinka who had passed on during the struggle for a better Nigeria. As I recall him, I remember also the Bola Iges and Gani Fawehinmis of the old days – this is a Nigeria they would be proud of…the Prime Minister waits though and we discuss recent trends in the polity of the nation.
I know he didn’t call me at 11 in the morning to chitchat and I wait for him to cut to the chase. He finally tells me of how the opposition intend to grill him at the next parliament meeting and urges me to reach out to their arrowheads to soft-pedal since I am influential even in opposition circles. I agree to do so and immediately place a call to a few friends in that camp. They refuse to give up the grilling but agree to go easy on the primus inter pares of the parliament. I call him back but his line is engaged so I send a text to his personal aide. A text to my wife reminding her of my love as I do always makes her text back that she is missing me already as she attends to people who troop to our home office for counselling and prayers. Stopping by at my old friend’s place, he invites me to lunch with him in a meal of pounded yam and efo riro, though he knows I never eat anything until 1pm in the afternoon. A game of chess is what we engage in until we watch Arsenal trounce Barcelona 4 – 1 in the champions league final hosted in Switzerland.
A Nigerian born striker scored the opening goal and so my happiness knows little bounds as I request for a drink of warm water to break my daily fast. To my office-sanctuary then I retreat to meditate and write more of my memoirs to be released after my death. I finally let the many people who have come to see me enter after an hour of serious work and I engage in this task all noon till about 5 in the evening when I go down to a little hangout beside my office. Here I mingle with the lower class and we engage in small talk as I take my meal of beans and pap without sugar. A strange call comes in from an old friend whom I’ve not seen since he left Nigeria in 2000. We talk about the past and reminisce on how life has changed. I promise to pay a visit to his aged mother and we end the call with emotions… The past always does that to me; I flow in thought to past lovers and what might have been.
A grateful prayer escapes my lips to God for the wife he chose for me – unassuming, loving, dutiful and forgiving. She is the epitome of virtue. My driver asks if I intend to attend the Men’s prayer meeting in church and I hesitate a little before I agree. Seeing grown men raise their hands in worship of our Father and lift up our nation to His throne in tears never fails to move my heart. Some of us after the service discuss the game and exclaim in delight of how Arsenal had won the champions’ league under Coach van Persie. RVP was a former Arsenal player under Arsene Wenger who had suffered his second heart attack during a heavy defeat to newly promoted Bristol City at the Emirates Stadium in 2017. His assistant – Pat Rice had refused to take over the management of the team and so French world cup winner, Didier Deschamps, was brought in to manage the team before handing it over to the present coach, RVP. On my way home, I stop over at the convenience store to buy some gifts for my wife as I have done in the last years of our union.
I buy some handkerchiefs and have her initials embroidered on them. Entering into my street, I ask the driver to park as I walk the few metres home. The sight of the formerly poor, many of who I had encouraged to greatness greets me. The alcoholic who lost his wife and kids, the widow who is raising seven kids alone; the prostitute who is now an evangelist; the lunatic who was healed by prayer all wave at me. The little kiddie angels show me their soccer skills on the street and I tarry a while with them. My wife having seen the driver at home knew I was where I truly belong – in the streets with the poor and she joins us. She calls out to me loving and everyone looks at us knowing that my display of affection has no regards for publicity. With my arms round her shoulders, we walk the last few steps home. The prime minister sends a text to thank me for my troubleshooting and as he has done for over fifteen years, again asks me to join politics and I smile. My dinner is a meal of local amala with gbegiri and ewedu just like my mother used to prepare it. She’s still alive though and so I call her as I watch the news.
I didn’t win the Nobel prize, it went to an American again…damn them and their new style of freehand writing. I never expected to win though, only to show a younger generation that they can be all they want to be. My mother had a great day as did my wife who now fills me in on local news as the TV does the international one. She goes to have her bath and puts on the pink negligee…that means my day would end in lovemaking. We kneel and say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for life, for joy, for kids, for honour and for humility.