Pure water is now 10 naira; so, surely, the world has come to an end. Little birds are whispering that some government schools are about to be privatised, and so the students face the possibility of a tremendous increase in fees. Salary, which in the first place is barely enough to cater to all our needs, is constantly delayed. And all the haemolytic fevers have suddenly decided that Nigeria is the best place for them to have a family reunion.
Do not be afraid. Another day is about to end, and you are still alive. You woke up with yesterday’s worries this morning, and now the day is almost over. So far, you’ve survived it. This is good news, because it means that you now have tomorrow to continue worrying about the problems from yesterday that you thought would kill you today, but didn’t.
So, now, just take a deep breath, drink a cup of water, and then go to bed and sleep.
If what you fear most in coming to pass is as destructive as you think it will be, then take heart, because when it does come, it will kill you; and then you can rest, because your worries will finally be over. So, no need to bother wasting time planning how to kill yourself, if truly there is nothing you can do to prevent the evil you think is going to happen from happening.
There is this feeling of worry that has crept into the hearts of most people here in Nigeria. The feeling is contagious; this worry driven by the economic machinations concerning a certain green coloured rectangular paper of that country ruled by a black man with an oval office inside a white house.
So, the price of everything has gone up; and our level of income remains the same. But we get by.
So we can no longer have two eggs with our bread every morning, and we have to count the number of spoons of milk we mix in our tea. But we get by.
So we stop visiting people, and we go to events less. We sell off our items discreetly when we are lucky enough to meet anyone who wishes to buy them. But we get by.
We are afraid of the slightest scratch on our cars, or a headlamp getting broken, or a tyre getting flat. We cannot go for a cheaper alternative of commute even though we desperately need to, because the image we portray is crucial to our occupation and source of livelihood.
We are out of any more excuses to give that nephew or niece of ours who wants to spend the holidays with uncle or aunty. We cannot have enough to give out to those we usually give out to, and still maintain our impressive lifestyle, so we prefer to hide behind the wall of them calling us stingy, because we cannot let them know the truth. But we get by.
Some people take to bashing the current government as their source of consolation. Hence the memes, hashtags, slurs and name calling that assault my eyes whenever I remember that the large rock I live under can sometimes have an internet connection. The most amusing meme I’ve seen so far is that of a bewildered chicken looking at a corked, glass bottle of groundnut, clearly failing to understand why on earth it cannot peck at the nuts it so wants to fill up its empty stomach with. The caption under it was “Change is now here: the more you look, the less you see”
I think this rave about a certain street seller turned super model and brand ambassador couldn’t have come at a better time. Stage-managed or not, I think this serves the people of our dear country as a much needed source of hope. Truly, no condition on earth is permanent. That thing you worry and lose sleep over, that thing you scrape and grovel for, (and possibly compromise your integrity) is what some others get on a platter of agege bread… sorry, gold… on a platter of gold.
Therefore, now is the best time more than ever for you to pray, if you are religious. Even if you’re not, still pray. It has a good psychological effect. Pray for God’s will to be done, (because it will still be done whether or not you pray for it) and also pray for the fortitude to bear your hardships, because life will always have some form of difficulty for you to contend with. While you’re struggling to push one problem out through the front door, another one is quietly climbing over the backyard fence.
We will get by. We shall not die, but live to proclaim the glory of God.
But what comfort is it to tell a man: “Go in peace, may God bless you and keep you well fed” if you do nothing to help his condition? So, help the people you can, in any way you can.
Yes, words go a longer way than you can imagine. But it is the living who can remain alive to listen. A living body needs nutrition and clothing. Nobody is too poor as to have nothing to be able to give. (Well, nobody that has the time, data access, security, light and presence of mind to be reading this article, anyway.)
So then, let us be of good cheer; and be up and about our business. Keep calm and keep moving! Purewater is now 10 naira, yes it is. But the world has not come to an end.
Thank you so much for your mails. They are wonderful to read, all of them. But I usually give a noncommittal reply to any email without the sender writing at least a little about himself/herself. This includes mail which has nothing more than a link to join you on any networking platform. I definitely do not take kindly to unnecessary abbreviations either, or messages that come in ALL CAPS. Your mail will be deleted immediately, and your address flagged as spam.