LETTERS: TO OLA. W. HELIM WHOSE HEART IS A PYRAMID OF LOVE
Sometimes the only way I could be able to relate my experiences is telling them like tales. The other times I found joy looking at the sun grin with alluring smile from the sky. I’m an observer, a listener and sometimes can be overwhelmed by the goings in this ever busy world. I have been studying your art and act from afar. I know you even If you don’t know little or more about me. You are to me what salt is to soup and what it is also to everything edible. Remember, there are many dreams we must live to conquer and those ones that we must hand over to our children when we are hundred plus for them to go after it. Happiness happens in everything that our eyes watch but holding to the fact that we are here for each other, we must write to channel our good fortunes to a place where heroes are made.
I have watched the sun in many days and weeks and months. I have watched it in its gloomy days and joyful days just like humans taking turns to face their own warrant of hardship and struggles. You can’t imagine holding the ray of the sun, looking at its face boldly without any atom of fear. You face the sun bravely and look into its eyes. You listen to your body giving out these strange feelings. You listen to your heart beat singing a lullaby to a nearby friend. Sometimes you don’t care anymore, sometimes you care. You don’t care anymore what people say about you, you stop running away from your body; you stop seeing yourself as not being equal to others because of what the society has propagated on a particular subject. How bold it is to accept yourself just like you are; you accepted your personality, you love yourself and damn the consequences it bring to you? Even when people say you don’t belong here, you stand firm to look into their eyes and tell them that you’re sure you belong there.
You see, there are times I failed myself, I became afraid of accepting myself the very way I am but your words came calling. Your words encouraged and amended my heart. They are gold to whosoever that beholds them. They are stream of knowledge to those who come across them. We march on trying to pick up from where destiny dropped us. We keep running from here to there, we keep running out of ourselves not to find hope but to confide in an unknown places, unknown dreams, and unknown land where nothing is seen as anything. I have a dream that someday we won’t run again. We will dream together on the bank of the oceans, we will sail along the path of redemption. We will sail through the eyes of destiny.
I love your fight for acceptance. I love your fight against the hate on albinism. The fight to be called one among all. Albinism is not a disease, it is not in any way a crime to be one among all and so therefore, the discrimination should stop. Albinos are just humans, they are not evil; they are not devils, they are not mistakes. No one begged to be created albino and therefore, the discrimination should stop. We should stop telling the black goat to go to the dark to look for the grasses. In principal understanding of life and the policies guiding the so called nature, humans are created to bend and be erected again. I wish I could testify how lovely the skin of albinos are. I wish I could gently tell honestly how their skin give me joy of the beauty of creation, how blacks, pinks and whites were created among the albinos.
I think generally we should accept everyone just the way they are. Accept the rich as well as the poor, the whites, the pinks, and the blacks. Never discriminate anyone because we are all created by same God.
Ola, I love your spirit accepting yourself or colour just as it is without allowing the illusion of the world to overshadow you like the funnels of hell. You should be a voice out there to others to speak out for those who have no voice to speak for themselves as Albinos. I must commend your efforts, I have read couple of your articles on Albinos and I think I love them. They are something that will stand in years to come.
Furthermore, let no one deceive you, you are loved just the way you are. I admire you from afar. Remember we promised to see each other in 2018 during the Ake Festival but we could not. I was thinking of hugging you on that day, I had in mind that i will hold you tight to my bosom and allow your heartbeat tell me a long story of how courageous you are. I know how it feels and what it means be rejected by those who supposed to hold you dearly in their bosom. I know and understand how it feels to be discriminated or rather people taking turn to look at you in the street and even someone coming to touch you and some; shouting “Oyibo pepper” in the street. I have done that when I was much younger. I have once told an albino that he was not fit to be among us. I watched him went away in tears. I watched him stood in the middle of the street looking at us played hide and seek. Later, I learnt it in the hard way that it is not good to put shame on the face of those whom you suppose to care for. Yesterday, I shouted at my little niece, Chiyelum, for laughing at one who could not really see very well under the sun.
I still have to appreciate you for my book “For Boys of Tomorrow”. Your words were appealing. They were satisfying. When Micheal Ace sent me the first Draft and I saw your name on the foreword, I was glad that someone like you could go through my work. It was an honour; it was an honour having your name on my first offering to poetry. I really appreciate you for who you are.
Notwithstanding, I still have your hug here. I will keep it till we meet where we’ll sit together to drink wine and cheer up for a greater future. You are one in a million.
Meanwhile, how is Granny and those around you? Hope you are doing very great and I hope that this government is in many ways favouring you in your career. I hope you’ve been good imparting spiritual knowledge to those boys and girls put in your care. I must tell you that I admire your courage and bravery to trade in that lane. I have being there once, I was once a teacher and I know what it means to stand in front of student teaching them what they should know. I know the exceptional attraction, standing heart to heart with students from different background and having them tell you what they think is right and what they think is wrong. The joy teaching brings is something one can’t really explain. The other day, I met one of my students on the way. He ran to me and hugged me very tight, our body and heart beating simultaneously as we held each other. He was now a big boy. We had drinks together and he told me how my words have really helped him in the university. I have met quiet a lot of them and we had great time together measuring those days I caned them and those times they made me got mad at them. I could remember that one of them, a lady, called me some times ago and told me that she wanted to see me.
And we met in one eatery where we had nice time together. One wonderful thing about teaching is that those children will never forget you no matter how long it takes. We must not keep running out from ourselves, we must fight and fight hard from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun; we must fight on.
I won’t forget those calls you put through to me in my dying state; I won’t. You know rubbing shoulders together sometimes brings love and friendship. Thanks for making me feel important. Thanks for taking out your time to call me and, thanks for teaching me that life is as easy as making friends, I really appreciate. On that day of appreciation, this too will come. This too shall be remembered and we will share drink together on high places where dignitaries shall hold us both in high esteem. We will let out a smile and tell our children how it all began from Facebook to that Platform where we would see ourselves. We’ll soon be the next rated, the next writers on the block holding rivers, kindling fires, holding waters and the vital part of humanity. We will be called Children of Symbols birthed in the house of courage. We won’t miss it; we won’t because we have come to stay among the brave men. I love you and let this spirit and words remain fresh in your memory till we see to give out that boyish smile that we are known for. Just keep it in mind that we aren’t stones; boys are not stones but have feelings and emotion like our counterpart, the girls.
I am of the opinion that you keep blossoming like the flowers in the garden and don’t give up no matter what is after you; the flowers still bloom in war.
This is from a heart refusing to be frustrated!
© John Chizoba Vincent