I’m done searching the earth,
Beautiful meadows and sunsets
Vast waste land and beautiful hearts
Creativity and a gesture of love
Teachers and so so much to learn
I’m done with the taste of oysters
Caviare in rich clean lacy places
Smiles to die for and styles I crave
Nothing means anything to me anymore
Nothing at all
But my Lisa, my heart, My Lisa!
In the heart of a quiet town, on an equally quiet Thursday, where on a quaint street , stood a tall building built from red bricks, that were turning to brown.
In this building, six stairs away to the top is a bar, a seedy one, with tall stools for chairs and cracking wood planks set in the wall, for tables.
The bar was occupied by a wiry looking man in his mid forties, who was placing bottle after bottles of beers , for customers as well as plate after plates of pepper soup, made by his wife, who was at the back of the bar.
Nothing much happens in this bar, the Capons , politicians and cultists don’t patronise this place. The capons found it to be an easy place to be found, the politicians couldn’t afford to smear their reputations and cultists found it too confining, for reasons best known to them.
Only the road construction workers, the mechanics, plumbers and any other person that wasn’t mentioned above, so you see nothing could ever happen in this bar nor in the quiet street it dwelled in. Well most of the time.
At 8:34 am, Lanre entered the bar, he hated the quiet street, the sleazy bar , and despised the moody effect the whole place had on him.
But it was for the last time, very soon it would be over, Simon would come and they would finalise this crappie deal.
He was dressed as casually as he could. In plain black trousers, a blue polo shirt, a leather jacket, plain black pumps and a black and blue checkered baseball cap. He hoped to God, that he looked nothing like the lawyer that he was.
Walking towards the bar, he sat down on his favourite stool, the one at the edge of the bar, overlooking a curtainless windows , with most of the louvres missing.
‘As usual?’ The bar man asked.
Lanre just nodded stiffly,being nowhere near the mood for this man’s cheeriness.
Lanre downed a large portion of the Guinness in one swig , he was wiping froth away from his lips when Simon came in.
Simon was averagely built, with a straggle for strides and a plump body coupled with an always smiling face, he looked nothing like the police officer that he was.
‘I see you came early today’.Lanre sarcastically commented.
‘I saw you walk into the room.’ Simon retorted, taking the Guinness bottle and downing the rest of it’s content.
Lanre humphed at that, before ordering for two more beers.
‘So did the Governor call?’ He asked, turning to hand one to Simon.
‘Yes, he confirmed the payment and asked me to commend you for a job impeccably done’. Lanre smiled broadly at that.
‘And where is the money?’.
‘In my car’s boot, but I won’t be handing it over now, someone’s watching’
Lanre turned back, his eyes searching for any spy- like individual in the almost deserted room.
‘I don’t think so’ he said, after confirming that there was nobody like that.
‘I know so. I’ll drop it at your house later today’. Simon said indifferently.
‘No you won’t’. Lanre narrowed his eyes at the police officer, ‘You don’t know where I live’.
‘Oh but I do, look don’t worry’. Simon was standing up abruptly, suddenly looking ill at ease, Lanre saw this and pulled him down hard on the stool, and at the same time, jerking away the pistol, Simon had been surreptitiously slipping out of it’s band, Lanre flanged it to a far corner in the bar.
Ten minutes later, Barrister Lanre was walking down the building steps, away from the bar, where Simon lay on the floor, with broken bottles on his foreforehead, The bar man looking sick and a customer hiding under the plank.
There was no money in the boot, but there were loud sirens chasing after him, as he sped through the quiet street……………..
Yes , I’ll not tell anybody
but can i tell the the moon
and the countless stars?
They were loyal companions
in those lonely hours,
before u walked into my life
with no clutches , but on bouncing feet
and rose feelings higher than the sky
my only fear is just that
The moon brightens secret
every noon of his life, and
every night, is a day for array of twinkle stars
to light their mind , and spread it
on the fluffy sky.
Should I tell the tree, who showed me the muse
wherein I got the inspiration
to compose you the poem
that won me your heart
wouldn’t it be unfair , if I don’t pay
But know this: it’s a defenseless timber
even a toddler could come
for a slaughter,
and soon goes from branch
and here goes your secret
horn into the word
everyone dancing to the
tunes of our secret.
My Dog has gotten a loosen mouth
Jade, the parrot don’t even approach her
who will keep us this secret
and keep it untell?
It’s too hot for my soul to hold
burdensome for the mind to bear
she says I tell none, if its
truly i care
I can’t hold this anymore
I am gasping for breath
I love her, I love her ! and
Shade loves me too
Oh my gosh , and I just blew it in the air!
The Wind of stigma made Emeka’s world so cold. Everywhere he turned, fingers pointed out at him like he was vermin, an outcast. Parents warned teachers to prevent their kids from playing with children of his kind. His uncle Odiba often attended PTA meetings with all the arsenal in the world, cursing and lashing out against all the parents and teacher who treated infected students like garbage.
This torture lingered on all the way to university. He formed an association of infected students and fought hard for their rights. He ran several protests to build acceptance amongst other students but these activities were often used as comic relief as “Normals” would perform pranks and laugh hysterically, leaving the infected ones depressed.
Emeka as determined as always rallied his troops to fight more and never give up. “Alaran” as they were called, was a derogatory term used to describe the infected students.
The Government did everything they could to supply these infected students with their dose of Anti-retroviral drugs. Every month students would line up at the school teaching Hospital, the nurses covered up in bio-hazard suits and gloves handing out the drugs. Emeka, as part of his agenda fought against the bio-hazard wearing nurses as he felt it contributed to the Discrimination of the infected, as the disease could only be spread via Sexual intercourse and Blood transfusion but again the cries fell on deaf ears.
Emeka stepped out of his room this very cold morning, his usual practice included going through his social media platforms for news. He often day dreamed while he smoked marijuana with his friends as they joked about things they could achieve if a so called cure was found, the places they would go and hot girls they would bang.
Emeka checked his phone and saw that the #OVER was a trending topic on his twitter timeline. He decided to check what the discussion was about. For that movement he felt he had just hallucinated. “But I didn’t Smoke this morning now?” he asked himself, he rolled his scanty beard in anxiety, paced around the front his room before he burst into hysterical joy “YES!!!!!!! It is over guys! We are Free! YES!” the whole boys hostel jumped out of beds and the infected quarters was left puzzled by the Emeka’s outburst.
His closet friend Simon, an abandoned infected orphan found at a night club, asked him “You mean they have found the cure?” his were eyes watery, he knelt down slowly and grabbed Emeka by his shorts, Simon looked up in the sky as tears cascaded down his cheeks he flashed back to the days at the orphanage where he would watch other “Normal Kids” get adopted while he was always left behind, the years of stigma, the nicknames, the bullying. Emeka looked down on his crying best friend he whispered “Yes Bro, We are free” Simon looked away from him, let go his shorts sat on the ground like a throne, and grabbed the earth while screaming loudly.
It was wild! The infected partied on for three days, didn’t attend lecturers, drank and danced like crazed monkeys. The Normals looked on as the infected partied and rejoiced. Finally, they would be accepted into society as humans being.
On the fourth day, a Huge truck with supplies of the antidote rolled into the school as the “the Infected” escorted them from the gate down to the teaching hospital, holding palm branches, waving white handkerchiefs in the air symbolic of the coming of a messiah, they walked a good 2km dancing and singing as the trucks slowly drove down to the hospital to administer the antidote.
Emeka, stood at the hospital gate, his legs vibrating like the earth shook, the oxygen felt different, clean and fresh like it was his first breath, his hands twisting his scanty beard over and over as they stubbornly untangled themselves, his shirt tied across his head like a hooligan. Different families waiting at the hospital to witness the emancipation of their wards from their Bio incarceration. The head ties were so colorful the rainbow would be hide in shame and the cameras were flashing like lighting.
Each infected student entered a tent and the specialist gave a 5mml shot in the arm of each. Emeka, the last to take a shot did so as a show of leadership. As the needle pierced his skin, he felt sweetest pain prick, it travelled swiftly through his nervous system, the effect of the cure felt like a heroine kick and this gave him a high only a rocket can take him to.
Three months after…
“We present to you all graduates as one” the VC announced. The infected and the Normals sat together much to the disapproval of the parents of the Normals. Everyone sat together but apart at the same time “Please Shift!” a normal yelled at a “Cured” using her handkerchief to wipe off vigorously where their skin had touched.
A new Group had emerged “The Cured” as the government tagged it. Companies came to the graduation ceremony to offer best students in each department jobs and it was made mandatory for them to offer the best cured student in every department a job also by the government.
Emeka, who studied Marketing was offered a job in a huge telecommunication company as a marketing analyst in the marketing communications department. He was assigned to a manager who was a Normal, but had a team of 3 Cured and two normal analysts. This included his best friend Simon and one other cured from other university.
Six months down the line, the Great Depression had kicked in, it was a bad year for business and most companies put pressure on their departments to do more with less. During the annual meeting the director announced “Any unit that doesn’t show its significance will be wiped out, as we are not looking to carry any liabilities this year” he said as he took his thick glasses and wiped the frames, with eyes rolling from side to side lackadaisically without focusing on anybody’s face. The managers knew the heat was on, their jobs were at stake and so they demand that each analyst produce three ideas per week and at the end of the month a pitch will be organized with the director and members of trustees seated.
Emeka saw this an opportunity to shine with his great insight and he embarked on a journey of tireless research, burned the midnight oil and made sure he was ten steps ahead of all this colleagues both normal and cured at progress meetings and general office work.
“Eureka!” he screamed at 3:00am in the morning, he finally figured it out, he smiled at his computer and couldn’t type a thing. “This is my chance, I will be normal as soon as I save this company” he muttered to himself, twisting his scanty beard in anticipation
The next morning, he strolled down the office complex with a spring in his step, his smile beamed off the perfectly polished marble floor as we greeted everyone that worked passed him. The normals avoided him and answered reluctantly, but he didn’t care, he was on his way to being the first cured human to climb the corporate ladder.
Emeka Came out of his manager’s office, feeling like a prince, his manager had praised him so much he felt like his head was going to explode “You’re the best cured staff ever, we might just retain you” he remarked winking at him. Emeka meditated on his words till he was about to sleep, he thought about himself becoming a manager and also joining the board of trustees.
Everyone came in their best suits and shiny shoes ready to vow the board, it was pitch day! Emeka did not default in looking his best either. As he walked to seat beside his manager, his best friend Simon looked at him and smiled “Goodluck! Knock’em out” he said tapping him on the shoulder. Emeka twisted his beard as his legs were starting to sweat, as he opened his laptop to revise his presentation, his manager tapped his shoulder “Good luck out there today, Cured boy!”
Other teams presented to a straight-faced board of trustees, other staff members clapped after the presentation of each team. “Next!” the director Yelled with trade nonchalant look, as Emeka tried to get up, his manager tapped his shoulder and winked at him “Let me get this cured boy, I see you’re a little nervous” he whispered swiftly getting up. Emeka sat down frozen on his seat feeling like life was just snatched from him.
“WOW! What a presentation, the thought process and seamless solutions, I believe this is the future of this company’s growth” the director yelled out standing up and clapping wildly “Thank you sir” the manager said smiling and controlling his boiling emotions “I see this cured analysts are really putting in work for the your team” director remarked looking at Emeka straight in the face like he knew it was his idea.
The manager suddenly stopped smiling, looked down, up and then straight into the eye of the director and spoke softly like a poet “These cured Analysts had little impact on these ideas, I will like to commend my team of normals for putting in hard work day and night to make this idea come to life”. Emeka felt like the world was sinking, he looked straight at Simon with water in his eyes and Simon looked back at him his eyes red with anger and suddenly looked away.
Emeka felt pain like no other, his hands shaking, the room become small as the burn of the director overwhelmed him, all the forgotten pains of the past flooded back like a tsunami. The manager looked at him smiled and winked as he walked towards him, on getting to his seat he whispered in his ear “This world is for normal people, GET LOST!”
The next morning, all the cured Staff were sacked. Emeka sat in his living room staring at this TV, different ideas running through his head. He could not take it anymore, he snapped, picked up a glass cup beside him.
As he about to release to launch the cup into the TV, he saw the breaking news and paused “The Factories that Manufacture CHGD Vaccine has shut down due to lack of funds and economic issues, that leaves us with only one factory producing these vaccines for infected citizens, we hope that these issues are resolved soon, we must win the fight against the virus!”.
Emeka eyes lit up like a cigarette in the dark, he look across the room and saw his mobile phone ringing simultaneously, it was Simon “Hello” He answered “Did you just see the news? Factories have shut down! That’s serious” he worryingly said “I see an opportunity there friend, let me tell you my plan…”
Emeka walked briskly into the former office cafeteria “Good Afternoon Bros! I so miss your cooking” he smiled as complemented an excited chef “Emeka my friend great to see you again, sorry about what these bastards did to you, your better than this place” he replied waving his hand dismissively. It was almost lunch time, “Bros Abeg I need that sweet chapman you always prepare” he said walking towards the storage room, “Sure you can have all you want and more back there, what did you come to do around here anyway?” he said with a puzzled face, Emeka paused and looked back “Came to get my payback” he said smiling “HAHAHA! You funny guy!” chef laughed dismissingly.
Emeka entered the room and brought the infected blood bags he stole during his 6month checkup. He mixed the infected blood with all the drinks and food that will served that day
As he walked out, he took a glance at the chapman jar and smiled “You will require a double dose of Alaran blood, since everybody loves, but first I will take a drink for Simon”.
The war on the normals had begun, Emeka released a video wearing a mask that went viral on all media platforms.
“Good Morning Everyone, We are the Alarans! We have infected your water system, food and your entire life with the dreadful virus you cursed us with for years, funny who is normal know? we have also taken over your only functioning vaccination plant, and it is going to explode in 7,6,5,4,3,2…be continued.
My name is Agbo. I neither live in the town of Lagun, nor do I live in Ibadan. I am Agboola Joseph, a fresh bachelor who lives by himself, in one of the coolest parts of Lagos state. Been “independent” has been a childhood dream. In fact, since I was 13, I had dreamt of being a king in my kingdom in many of my childhood fantasy. I thought higher education would afford me the latitude I had craved for ,very soon; unfortunately,the university couldn’t afford me the freedom I wanted. My homey made sure I spent all my undergraduate years with a close relative family that live at the nose of my school. So when I finally made it on my own, it was as if I got an indelible writings on the book of life!
I live in Gbagada, Lanre Awolokun estate precisely. You can also call me Mr lucky, as far as am concern I have never been hit with any life’s ferocious missile. I have a comfortable job, I can afford many luxuries ,of life,for myself. I am as fit as a fiddle, to crown it all I have a very strong bond to crown it all I have a very strong bond with my Creator-almighty God.
My whole life is a triangle made up of my job, home and my place of worship, and everything was going the way I had planned, until an intruder walked into my life. It was Satan - yes, devil. She strolled into my compound one evening with sinuous movement, and everything about me never remained the same anymore-She upsets my apple cart, not sooner as she entered!
My first meeting with Satan had been a decade ago, when dad, while I sat on his laps, flicked the pages of the Bible story book he held me with a subtle grip, with his right hand and his right hand patting my back gently. He showed me the picture of this horrible creature, who look so gory! I hated him, even before I learn his name. I can still recall vividly as he told all worst atrocities of his. I still hear his emphatic tone, saying: “never allow Satan into your life, never give Satan an iota of space in your life.”
I had thought this heinous figure, had never seen me as a prey all these years, until she remembers my abode, and came haunting in my resident. he was fully prepared, Satan came with his luggage, and moved into my resident, armed to the teeth , with the best machinations he will use to capture me, whenever my guard is loose. Had I not seen enough many of his machination , but it seems this fruit of knowledge of good and bad, wouldn’t stop tempting my eyes.
Satan came at exactly 2:30pm, I was in the living room, seeing one of my favourite sport programs on my flat screen TV The cloth of my window is always left open, when I am indoors, obviously for security reasons. As my eyes quickly caught Satan as she walked in, WHAT! I jolted out of my sofa;paralyzed with fear. Adlib, I recited the available psalms that came to hear, in defense.Who opened the gate for her? the tenants in the other duplex had just moved out, two weeks ago. so how? Did Satan disappear? I jumped up and clung to the burglar proof, my eyes intently fixed on her moving soul.
Her eye lashes stood firm, in somehow unnatural way. Her face looked eerie, like those creatures from other planets in adventure movies.
Then I began to stroll a bit down the line, this time it was as if Satan wanted me to see her very well too. As she telepathic stood fixed at a place, feigning she was probing the duplex that sit firm in front of her. Her countenance wears a bewildered look as she scanned back and forth the premises, her owlish eye , probing its nooks and cranny. She got this big tits that made me drool instantly. I lost my sense of feelings, my skin temperature drastically fell. The pair of trousers on her, hug her figure so well that I was left with nothing to imagine.
Satan finally delved her right hand into the handbag that hung in her left hand. She brought something out - it was her phone. As she spoke, her tiny voice sound so seductive that I felt I should go meet her immediately, and have carnal knowledge of her ASAP. This time my member had grown into an immeasurable size…
Two weeks have passed, before I found out from the landlord that Satan will be my new tenant. He told me her name was Agness, and we will share nothing together except the prepaid meter we’ll both share for power supply. THEN I REALIZED SATAN IS HERE TO STAY.
I went on 2 weeks dry fasting and serious prayers, seeking for the blotting out of the gross sin Satan had made me committed. I couldn’t believe myself, she could make me commit fornication with my eyes, so easily. My conscience prey on my mind, and I just felt like gouging my eyes and strip off my heart, for conspiring in leading me astray.I remembered how easily I could have fallen in the snare of that filthy thing. Many scriptures, scourge and scolded me inside, like:…”No fornicator will inherit God’s kingdom”…”your body is a temple of Christ”, and so on… I HAD BEEN
A VIRGIN both in spirit and soul until that day. Oh my gosh, am I not giving Satan an iota of chance?
If I must flee from Satan, my feet must always wear their spikes. So I changed my work routines, spending more time at work, even when it requires me doing unnecessary things after work, which my colleagues, soon noticed as it was unusual for me. each time I from work , or I’m at home, I made sure, my door is well locked and all windows covered. I don’t give any trace of me being at home, except there is a power supply interruption, which made it unavoidable for me to switch on the generator.
This Satan does nothing but to go to who knows? and return in the early morning, honking at the gate, till I became irritated by both the honks and her persistent calls. As soon as the gate opened, I mechanically turned my back and stomped back with my eyes knitted and ears muffled by my palms.
I hated all my conversations with her , it’s always like you are negotiating with a harlot.
She has a way of twirling her hair and this her coquette look… plus she is always frugal with her dress ,as if she prefers her nakedness. It was not long, I concluded on being responsible for paying of the prepaid card, So it will put an end to all of our future conversations. even , with that, the greetings from her became more intense. When I feign deaf or not seeing her, and sometimes I just resorted with a nod reply.
How on earth will Satan has her bathroom, but still chose to bathed at night, naked at the back of my window. The day I saw her in her birthday suit, from one of those silly back yard bathings, I can’t lie, she was well chiseled! You won’t even know this is Satan. It got me looking on moronic, and even when our eyes met, Satan wasn’t ashamed. That was when I confirmed her identity! Satan, who has one mission to ruin my life.
Satan has many vices too, she is a chain smoker and a dipsomaniac.
And not sooner, she started bringing in many of her male demons home that really pissed me off! The moans were terrible at night, while they call out different styles for each other. They will put on lewd songs and accompanied it by sultry music blazing out of their speaker. I wondered without number, how soon it would take them to turn here( the house we both share) into their den.
I took further actions, by closing down one side of the house I occupied, and moved to the other part of the duplex, so my only route would be through the back gate. I don’t want to ever see her again, and it has been in my prayers that she wanders out of the house anytime soon!.
One night it rained heavily, it was so much that it looked like heaven’s bank had busted forth. I had come back from work, earlier than usual, so I could lock myself indoors. However, when I got to the gate, I met it locked. I wondered who would have done this. As expected,
I should share this part of the house with myself-alone. I took a turn around to use the main gate, as the pelting rain hitting my vehicle so hard. The gathering waters soon are forming flood, it would be dangerous to resort to sleep in the vehicle here.
I had hardly knocked the gate, before I had a rushing footsteps rushing in to open it, so I went back into the vehicle,and in a twitch of an eye I had seen a free road to ride on my vehicle. As soon as I came out of my vehicle, I heard a clarion call , coming from her corner. ” Pastor, pastor! Plus, I had waited here for you to return; please I need your help. As the unstopping rain beats me on, I wondered inanely what help would I have to give to her? what’s mine with Satan? intuitively, I heeded the call, and I realized she wanted me to help her break down her front door, as she has lost a bunch a key in one of her drinking bouts.One part of me also warned me to stop, wait, I had never entered her room before, with this weather, is this not a sinner? that could entrap me and wipe my name forever from the book of life?
It took only my soft kick, and the door became widely open before us. I began to wonder, why she wouldn’t have done this herself; unfortunately, as I turned back in angst, the lock fell and hit my heel. The sharp pain struck my spine that I fell flat on the ground. She quickly rushed to me to give me a helping hand. Every touch caused my veins to thunder, her palms were tender than the fluffy sky. “let me get you the balm please”, she said. I don’t even know what to say, as she quickly dashed in.The bending had dragged her trouser down a little, so I was given a show of a robust, bouncing anus, staring at me as she walked in.
As she applied the lotion on my ankle, the feelings inside me, were ineffable. In perishing cold, I began to sweat profusely. Beads of perspiration, crowned my empty skull.
I didn’t get myself, as she crouched and caresses my back, suddenly, her boobs popped out of her slovenly blouse. Then she asked me, subtly, this time no pastor, “AGBOOLA are you sure you don’t want anything?” At this my daddy’s cell rang a bell in my head. ” Don’t give Satan an iota of chance in your life”
I jumped and ran out, shouting:”Satan be gone! Satan be gone!” I didn’t even bother to turn back to look her reaction, and read the look on her.
For two weeks I couldn’t sleep at home. I requested a quarter in my office, pending I get a new house.
I had gone home that day to get me some few things, as I sneaked in through the back gate, the my phone rang . It was the caretaker, who had called to tell me the greatest news of my life that: Satan was gone! Satan had moved out, and he had called to remind me to come pick up new keys to the house, as he customarily does when someone newly moves out of the house. I also learned later from him that she moved out in frustration, wanting her money refunded, even that will cost her a splash of the original amount. She stated that she can never live with me. In her words,our spirit can’t work together! Yes, she was right, we can’t just work.
I also learned that she is a stripteaser, reason she watched movies and smoke all day and resume for her night duty work, at night, and come back in the early hours with her usual male demons, who want further services. Finally the heavens answered my prayers, Satan was gone, and that would save me the stress of moving out. But don’t you think I got an inner Satan too?
Blessing for the Bards
You and I be friends,
Of a meeting and of more.
Sharing tales of bards,
And being ourselves bards.
You and I be pals,
Of pen and of more,
Sharing the pleasure of creating magic,
Yes, it sure gives a good kick!
You and I be allies,
Of writing and of more,
Sharing the beauty of written words,
And having a chance at playing gods.
You and I be friends,
Of a meeting and of many more…
Sharing tales of Bards,
And yes! We are Bards!
Blessing for the Bards!
“For whom is it well, for whom is it well? There is no one for whom it is well.”
I tell you something about my dad. He was the kind of a man who never left anything to chance, who stressed himself out to make sure things were in order, who always checked and double- checked just to make he was not leaving anything out of place. He was a stickler for details and a strict disciplinarian. He hated negligence, indolence or pussy-footing. He was the type of dad who flogged the hell out of you because you came out second in your class, a position one could be proud of given the keen competition and academic rivalvry that was the order of secondary school days. Being the first runner-up in any contest is an achievement that is good enough. But you wont tell that to a father who wanted nothing but the best, for people around him, especially his children. He always had high expectations from us-me, my younger brother Jude and two sisters Kate and Precious. This expectation is not the expectation of a man who wants the best for his children as a compensation for his failures. It was not the expectation of an illiterate father who wants his children to do well in school. On the contrary, it was a justifiable desire of a man who was an embodiment of excellence himself, who could raise his head high among his mates, who could walk tall in the society, being ashamed of nothing. A flourishing career, a wonderful wife who is a reference point of what any woman should be, especially in a society that is fast losing its sense of moderation and sanity, four wonderful children doing well in their school work, the type any parent could wish for, was more than one could ask for. But I am sure Dad did not ask for all these, he deserved them. He was a hardworking and honest Nigerian, who always wanted to be the best his environment could permit him to be.
He always told us, my siblings and I: “Something that is good enough is not excellent, and if it is not excellent, then it is not good enough for you.” I think he must have read that up somewhere. He was a voracious reader. He read books on virtually any topic you can think of. He had books on motivation, love, religion, society, just name then. His library of literature books of foreign and local authors says it all. His addiction to newspapers and news in general made him always up to date with the latest information flying around. There are two things I am sure of and with pain I say them here, despite that it might break my line of thought. On that fateful black sunday, as that flying monster descended, my dad was clutching a newspaper. Whether it is The Punch or Daily Sun, I cannot say. He reads them all, as far as they contained information. The second thing is this, had it been Dad was home that ugly sunday, he would have seen the news of the ill-fated error-plane on the television. And he would have seen it before anybody else in our neighbourhood. Sometimes, I wondered when he never ventured into literature,or into broadcasting, why he studied mechanical engineering instead. I once asked him if that was what his parents, my grandparents wanted him to study. He took a no nonsense look at me and said: ‘ That was what they told me not to study’.
My dad was our role model. We wanted to be like him. It was our ultimate desire. For instance, I wanted to graduate with a first class, not because I believed in it, but because my dad was a first class product. I studied hard, I prayed, I avoided bad company and the mundane things of life, all in a bid to attain that fatherly standard. It was hard, but it was worth the effort. It was the same for my siblings, the girls especially. They were different from the other girls I saw in school, in church or in the market. No matter how good they seemed to be, they did not just meet up with my sisters. Those girls-my sisters, I can vouch for them anyday.
He was not just a father to us, he was also the husband of our mother. And a good husband he was. He loved our mother, bought her gifts, played with her. Sometimes, he took her on holidays without us. He always had one surprise or the other for her. Like on her 40th birthday when he wore a customized T-shirt with a bold inscription: I LOVE MY WIFE. He had prepared the shirt without her knowledge. They were Surprises that sometimes made my mother clasp her hands in gratiude to God, that made her shed tears of joy, that kindled favourable moments in her life, moments when she relished fond memories of the past, when she would sit us down and tell us how meeting our dad was the best thing in her life, how she ignored her people’s piece of advice to marry our father. He was poor then. He had nothing, she would say and then add: ‘Except that he had a good brain’. She said good brain, as if it was nothing, as if it was something you remebered to use when there was nothing else to use. In this part of the world, that statement of hers may hold an element of truth in it. But I did not like that she talked about Dad’s good brain as if it were a waste product. And I told her, I told her that it was that good brain that gave birth to all the beautiful things we were enjoying. She laughed. We laughed. Mum was our teacher, and sometimes she shielded from Papa’s cane. We ate together, prayed together, lived together. We were such a happy family. And they were soulmates. It was therefore usual of them that they were together even in death,a death in a crash, a crash in an error-plane.
I say error-plane because of the nature of the crash. It was avoidable. It was not meant to be. If only people who should did what they were supposed to do. If only Dana people were like my dad, they would have taken precautionary measures. They have have checked to make sure the error-plane was in a perfect condition. They would have had engineers with good brains, good enough to see that two faulty engines would not arrive Lagos by an act of faith not backed with any action. The management would not have chosen to carry out a costly experiment with an aircraft that is older than I am. I bet my dad would never accept kickbacks to certify an unworthy plane,a plane that was not even good enough for practicals in a flying academy, if he was in the position to do so. I feel pain that he died of the very thing he hated, the very thing he never tolerated. My dad did not die as a result of an air crash. He died as a result of negligence. What is negligence?
Negligence is when the president fails to live up to his constitutional responsibilities, with the vain hope that issuing an emotion-laden statement after a preventable national disaster will calm frayed nerves. Sorry sir, but it wont. It is when the aviation minister cries on national television, but cannot summon the courage to do the right things about our airspace. And she thinks crying will bring back the dead or placate aggrieved souls. It wont. Crying, as I know it, is a sign of weakness, of helplessness. My dad never encouraged us to cry about situations we can do something about. My dad once scolded me for crying after I had failed my exam in my early days in school. He never accepted failure, but he never encouraged showing it off. Crying is a way of showing off your failure, a way of surrendering to defeat, he told me that day.
The cost of negligence is heavy and can be seen on daily basis. Avoidable deaths on the road, on air,at home,at work. Uncountable damage to human and natural resources, bomb blasts, armed robbery, corruption in our polity. Ours is a nation that serves as a dumping ground for fake products from different parts of the world.
Some things are incredible. Some knowledge are too high for me, I cannot attain them. I cannot understand the powers behind creation, or the processes that led to it. I have no full knowledge of who the Almighty is, or where He is. I believe in the supreme being but there comes a time when my faith in Him is dealt a heavy blow, when I find my soul slipping away from my body. I do not understand the intricacies and delicacies of politics, and so I cannot say when politicians who shake your hand before being elected into power turn around to shake your confidence. I do not understand the forces of love, how and why a man and a woman come together despite their visible faults. I do not understand what is life and death. Could it be that life is a misery relievable by death? Could life and death be twin sisters of the same mother? Do happiness and sorrow spring from the same source? I wonder. I shudder. For daily occurences around me leave me in doubt of who I am or of what life is. I cannot explain how one could move from a state of happiness to sorrow in a matter of seconds.I do not understand how my dad, who spoke with me on phone less than a hour before, asking me to come to the Murtala Mohammed Airport with our driver will be a victim of an air mishap, rendering him completely unrecognizable in the rubble that was Dana Air Flight 0992 and a two-storey building.
Oh dad, why did you allow yourself to be swallowed by the negligence of others? Why would you pay for your own death on a carrier that you never boarded before? How did you take mum along as if you were going on one of your vacations. You would have informed us of this. We would have gladly come along this time. You never told us it would be this soon, but say, why would you exit the scene few days to your birthday, as if you were not prepared for the surprises we had for you?You always provided answers to my questions, why not answer these ones?
We are sorry if we had wronged you in anyway as to leave without saying goodbye. But we would have preferred that you flogged the hell out of us or ask us to read the whole of the gospel according to John than have you leave like us. And you were cruel enough to take mum with you. We are sorry if we did not appreciate you enough, if we did not let you know you were the best dad in the world, and that we were happy to be your children. Dad, I am afraid. I am afraid that we could become the victims of other people’s negligence just like you. I am afraid to board a taxi or a flight again. I am afraid that I may not graduate with a first class without you being around to attend my convocation next year. I am afraid of stepping out of this house, for I do not know when or where the next bombs could be going off. It could as well be here. Or it could be that another error-plane will find this house a convenient runway to land. But I am afraid that none of these things will happen. For the earlier any of the above happens, the better for me. I cannot wait to come and join over there. I cannot wait to see you and mum smiling again. In life, they are things that canot be put on hold, like the tears rolling down my eyes, watering this keyboard. I never knew life could be this miserable.
But somehow we take solace. You taught me to be a courageous man, to hold on to life no matter how hard it might seem. You told me never to give up hoping, trusting that all will be well. We take to heart the lessons you taught us and the legacies you left behind. We will do our best to be the best. Kate and Precious will not eat anything since the news came. They wont even say a word. These days, they speak in tears, we think in tears. Your boy, Jude is just a shadow of himself. He says he keeps hearing the sound of your car at the gate. But you wont come in. Maybe you can tell him why. And me? I wont tell you about me. But I make a promise . I will do my best for you, for them, for us. Sure, it is going to be too hard for us, but we will cope. God is with us. All will be well.
Adieu Great Mum and Dad
We love you, God loves you more.
***For all those who lost their lives in the air mishap. Rest in peace***
**May we live to remember, and remember to live.**
I had just finished taking with my colleague, and now I was headed back to the office. But there was this very good looking guy, and trust me I was already spell bound. I made for my seat, pulled out my laptop, and I began the day’s activities. In my head, I was thinking what kind of angel dropped a guy so cute in my office. I dared not say anything, as my boss was seated directly opposite me.
Trust me; this guy to me was a wonderful piece of art. I don’t know what exactly got me attracted to him, but I know he is everything I ever dreamed off in a guy. The way he talks, his reaction to situations, his extremely calm attitude, and his inability to lie. I sure knew I was love-struck, though I made no move.
That very first time he talked to me, my heart skipped a bit, and I felt like I was floating on a clear blue sea. Meanwhile, my friends have been teasing me about me taking my punishment seriously too. Let me sharply explain the punishment thingy.
A couple of months back, I met a very bad boy, and been a good girl, I got closer to him, thinking I could change him. But you know the way the saying goes now, “It is easy to pull someone down, than to pull someone up”. Instead of me changing him, I ended up fallen in love with him. (Am sure by now you must be thinking how many guys have fallen in love with). We dated for say 5 months, and trust me those where the most horrible months in my life time. He was never around, and whenever he was we most definitely were arguing about something. I remember how many times my friends had to sit me down and talk to me, and I kept telling them that I loved him (stupid me right?). Anyway, a lot of water passed under the bridge, and he broke up with me. I cried my eyes out, and even fell terribly ill. Too bad I was the only one that knew the reason for my sickness. A very long time before he broke up with me, my friends made me promise that I would do without a relationship for one year, if my relationship with him did not last for a year. So when he broke up with me, I had to fulfill my promise. I already hated the men folk anyway, so it wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. Now that’s all with the punishment. Back to the main story
With time, we continued to relate as colleagues, only that he was my superior. He later told me not to call him my superior any longer, as we were both colleague. I found out later that he had feelings for me, but he was not saying anything. I also chose to remain mute, as I wanted to be sure first.
One fateful day, I asked for his email address, and added him on my messenger list, and we stated talking. To my surprise, that very day, he let me know how he felt about me, and trust a girl not to say anything now. And I just kept quiet. We continued chatting for a very long time.
I later revealed the way I felt for him too, and trust me; the whole thing feels so right. So that is how I found love in the rarest of places, and from the rarest of people. A day doesn’t pass without him reminding me of how much he loves me. And now, every day I go to bed, I am sure of one thing, I am going to see him in my dreams that night. And every day seems to me like a fairytale, where I am a princess, and he is always my prince charming. I love him for who he is, and though I know I might not have said it in ways he understands, I hope that with time he understands. This goes out to the love of my life, the one that makes my dreams worth staying asleep, and make my days worth staying awake. Ololufe mi, Nkem mi, Okan soso mi, Afurumginaya, I LOVE YOU.