I picked my pen to write something, anything at all, the pen stopped working. Not that the ink stopped flowing, no, the muse left me. The creative mind went dead. My pen rests on my paper for almost two minutes without a word scribbled on it. How do I start the story? Once upon a time? That old school way we started stories back in primary and junior secondary school. But the question is, once upon a time what? What happened once upon a time that nobody already knows?
The guy sitting next o me in the common room yawned. Chai! all these hall three boys ehn. The text book on pharmacognosis was apparently too big for him to read the way he stared at the book with confusion streaming all over his face. Some of these pharmacy students sef, they stress themselves too much. I am sure he has been here since morning, the body odor oozing from him is the reason mosquitoes have been far away from us. Natural insecticide. But the mouth odor kill me. Dead brain. Even if I try leave this seat there is no where for me to sit, everywhere is occupied. Exam is close.
I faced my book again hoping to write something. What would I even write? I have not written anything in a long time, and I need to start now. My head is trying to touch those creative spots , looking for somewhere to get inspiration. Nothing. No muse. I need to write something original. Original? That word original makes me laugh. Is any literary piece original? No. people recreate the story of a writer they don’t remember. No story is original. Somebody has written it before. You either heard of it or read it somewhere, you don’t create original stories. People have written it all. That’s my problem, there is nothing to write.
I am thinking on writing on the most popular movement of the 21st century, the one women folks like to shout about, feminism. I laugh whenever I hear the word feminism. How many people even believe in the word? Who believes it is a womans’ world? “who runs the world? Girls. Really? Girls? No. men run the world. Most of the feminist movement are vocal activities. Even the women who scream pro-feminism don’t believe in the idea. Girl power does not exist. People use the word because its vogue. Please don’t judge me. I love the ladies, I love intelligent independent women, but lets be real with our selves. Do you ladies believe in it? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Beyonce, Jeniffer Lopez and all these powerful women who scream feminist movement, how well do they know about the girl in the village of eastern Nigeria trying to pay her way through secondary school? Go tell feminism to a woman who has a drunk for a husband and is working very hard to fend for her five children, tell that to Adesuwa in Lagos whose parents are pressuring her to get married because she is forty, tell her. I don’t believe in a feminist movement. Maybe some sort of equality but that too is a dream that would never be achieved. There can never be equality. Call me chauvinistic all you want but there is never going to be a time when men and women would be equal. Feminism is nothing to write about.
I bit the cap of my pen, same way I did it back in primary school when the teacher sets difficult tests. I spied and was never caught. I am here thinking of what to write when there is a competition I should be writing on. Kola magazine writing competition. The topic is THE FUTURE OF THE AFRICAN CHILD. The future of the African child? What a topic. What is there to write about the African childs’ future? Nothing. I am myopic? No. I just hate hasty generalization. It’s funny when people are asked to write on the African child, they are always biased. If Europeans write thrash about us must we also write even more classical nonsense too? Most of the story of “African child” are fake. The African child is always described as that big stomach, big head, with tattered pants on his waist, thin legs, a child suffering from abject poverty. The African child would be portrayed as that child that can’t go to school, that one that wears worn out school uniforms that’s been patched with thread and needle in all corners, that child who can’t speak proper English. The African child is seen as the delinquent who smokes weed, rapes young girls. The African child is rarely painted in his true picture.
Africans love sympathy.
Nobody talks about that kid that lives in GRA with fat cheeks, that wears the best cloths, that drives in an air conditioned car to school, that is taught in a well furnished and conducive classroom. Nobody writes about that child that wins the science competition abroad, that has the highest SAT score ever, that child that graduates with the best grades in medical school. Nobody writes about that 20 year old app developer that just created an application that apple is willing to pay so much money for, nobody writes about that great business idea by that African child that is set to take the business world by storm. No, that is not an African child.
So there’s nothing to write about the future of the African child. If I write about a future I would be writing about somebody present state. The African child has no future. Just a present.
Wetin I go write about now? There are no stories to tell, they have all been told. Should I write about the bad government? No. too much articles already. Love? Girls? boys? Family? God? There is NOTHING to write. No story to write, it has all been written.
Goallllll!! The sound of goal from the common room brings me back. My muse returns. E be like say chelsea don dey beat Arsenal. I close my empty book and keep it inside my bag. School bag on my arm. I am headed for the common room. Since there’s no story to write, at least there’s still match to watch